Diapers and Dragons

Monday, November 30, 2009

thanksgiving: travelling

long road stretches before
and behind
wintry trees flash by
spare yet regal in their barrenness
promise of life asleep within
glimpses of homes with spiraling smoke
speak family and friendship
warmth by the hearth
and on by fields now stripped
furrowed and naked
sleeping until spring brings seed
and warmth anew

a voice whispers and i turn
twist the dial to give sound
to its potent melody
hum then break into song
he sings too
if somewhat off tune
and we grin at memories of childhood
raised on this

my hand rests in his
as always
cradled in rough warmth
i shift and bend toward him
to see his face in profile
against the blur of passing land
and content
rest my head against the seat
while miles and hours stream by

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thanksgiving: vicarious

sharp scent
like pencil shavings
and childhood
slick plasticked cover sliding
under fingertips until
creamy pages crease
at a touch and bend
spilling inky thoughts into my mind
dreams of other worlds
other lives
chasing each other in mad riot
as i gulp thirstily
never quenching or filling
for there is always another
and i reach again
raise this tree reborn and sniff
of sharp scent
like pencil shavings
and happiness

Saturday, November 28, 2009

thanksgiving: together

i turned the corner
and saw his form
silhouetted against the light
streaming from the barn

solid body
hunched for a moment
to duck under the descending door
and then he moved toward me
as i moved toward him

my pace quickened to match his
we met
melded a long moment
i rested my head on his shoulder
at last
to be there in his arms

Friday, November 27, 2009

thanksgiving: dawn

mine was a long-lived Dark
coming out into Light was not easy
nor simple
and still i see the shadows
creeping in corners of my restless mind

Time is an uneasy ally
i do not trust too easily
for she can scar as well as heal
and i bear the marks
born of her fickle friendship

yet when i look
at what lies before me
the obstacles and pitfalls
the fear of the unknown
i do not hide my face as once
i did

for i am earning free from chains
too long wrapped about me
bonds three decades in making
woven and forged in fear and pain
thus here lies my truth

whatever lies ahead
is worth living
come what may

and the shadows cannot last
in the light of a brand new day

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thanksgiving: them

they sneak up on me
these kisses
these soft round arms clasping my neck
lisped words of
i love you mama
or i want a snuggle
or i'm thankful for you mama
and i melt

it's a hard road sometimes
when mothering seems more than i can bear
when the beginning and what followed
scarred parts of my parenting heart

but when they laugh
and when they sing
and when they dance
and when they sneak their way
past all my defenses
all i can do is look at them
and say

thank you
thank you

and that is enough

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Letter to My Oldest Son on the Occasion of His Fourth Birthday

My dearest DramaBoy:

Four years ago when I gazed at your tiny, perfect face I had no concept of the boy you would be today. You hop through my days filled with giggles and jokes and smiles and fun. Your words spill out of you a mile a minute, always questioning, always commenting, always full of that unique mix of logic and imagination. I watched you last night waving your arms like a miniature preacher man, telling your big cousin once removed a fantastical story about the witch who lives in the dollhouse you discovered there, and again I marvelled at the breathless reach of your mind.

You humble me. That a little creature so bright, so vibrant, so full of life and love and laughter, could have come out of me--I am blessed beyond measure.

Happy birthday, my brilliant little four year old. I love you.

Your Mama

(P.S. I am thankful for YOU, too.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder If They Exchange Messages With One Another. You Know, Just to Keep Each Other Company. Since They're All Lonely and Forgotten and All.

Okay, so you know how you have your Safe Email Account and your Junk Email Account? And how you start out with a new email address and you're all determined that this will be your Safe Address that does NOT get filled with all sorts of bills and spam and emails from people you're trying to pretend Do Not Exist (Anymore)?

And you know how this becomes a long line of Safe Accounts becoming Junk Accounts?

Yeah. My Safe Account (In Real Life, not my bloggy address, though no doubt that is doomed one day as well) is slowly making that change.

I remember the first real email address I had was in college, that good old Michigan State University one that ended with a million extensions Back In The Day (cuz I'm getting Old, y'all) before they decided to simplify things the year after I graduated. Whatever. It was so primitive. Yellowish-white letters on a black background, because that was how we rolled in the Days of Yore. When I graduated, I knew I would never use it again, but it was handy as the I-Have-to-Write-Down-an-Email-Addy-so-Here's-the-One-I-Never-Use default. You know, for all those applications and memberships and whatnot where you know they only require an email so they can flood you with more spam than a World War II foxhole.

I also had a freebie Juno account for a while, but that one became attached to a short-lived stunt as a book editor for a tiny publishing company run by a very former friend who thought that quantity mattered far more than quality. (Remind me to tell you about that some day.) My real maiden name is still out there on the Intarwebz attached to that stupid company on a no-longer-legit but not-quite-defunct website, so no doubt there are still some poor saps sending cover letters and manuscript teasers to that lonely Juno account. If it still works. I don't even remember what it was and have no intention of figuring it out, so whatever.

(Sorry, author-wannabees. I feel for you, but really, you would have regretted that move anyhow. The idiot dweeb individual who ran that company would probably have expected you to turn around and pour any profits right back into the company because, you know, it would pay out Someday When We Get Big. Ha.)

(Not that I'm bitter.)

There were a couple other short-lived accounts along the way, but I didn't use them much. There was one for the school where I interned, but unless some misguided students and parents kept emailing me after I left, no one's using that any longer. Probably deleted anyhow. And I think there was one for the Time Warner Road Runner internet service we used when we lived in an apartment in my early years of teaching, but I never really used that.

No, I was using Hotmail by then. Ah yes, that Hotmail account. Those who know me personally may remember the days of my Hotmail address, which used (and still uses) my maiden name. There are still a few people who get confuzzled and email me there, which is now where messages go to die.

Because my Hotmail account became my Junk Account about five years ago. We moved into a house and our new internet provider provided us with shiny new email addies. The transition was both inevitable and timely: already my Inbox was starting to pile up with far too many spam and business emails, and my index finger was cramping up from hitting delete.

You see, there comes a time when one starts having to use one's REAL account for certain memberships and business accounts, especially when one starts signing up for those oh-so-convenient online billing and banking transactions.

So my Hotmail account became my Junk/Business Account, and my SBCGlobal account became my Personal/Aren't You Special account. Some people missed the news, but most friends and families simply sighed and dutifully changed their Contact lists.

(We won't go into how AT&T took over SBC after a while, which was Not Welcome since I'm really not fond of AT&T and the whole thing brought up some I thought monopolies were against the law!!!! rage.)

So this morning I opened up my SBC AT&T Yahoo (dammit) account and sighed. Because sitting in my Inbox, as has been the case pretty much every day recently, were multiple spam and ad messages.

You see, my Hotmail/Junk account is slowly going by the wayside. Every time I open it up I find there are approximately 1,289,456,723 new messages waiting for me, and the sheer effort of skimming through them to find the very few remaining legitimate messages, all of which are bill-related, is just exhausting. So when I've opened up or changed bills and accounts lately, I've been using my Real email addy.

Which is the Kiss of Death.

Right now I'm only seeing the edge of the tide. Inevitably it will rise and the flow of unwanted and delete-worthy messages will become unmanageable.

Looks like it's time to start shopping for a new address.  Which means that another email account will join the throng of spam-choked long-forgotten Inboxes trailing mournfully in my wake.

Gmail, anyone?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Sad Saga of the Cake That Was Not To Be

I had planned a gorgeous cake, the brainchild of DramaBoy's request from three months ago and a brainstorming session with the ever-creative Joe. It was going to be 3-D, a masterpiece of chocolate cake and frosting and candies, a four-wheeler with cupcake wheels surging up over a rocky hill. I had all the ingredients, I had all the decorations, I had pictures printed and a plan in mind.

And then I got sick.

Enter Plan B, concocted with Joe's help over the phone, he in a deer blind and me huddled beneath the covers of my sickbed. Forget a full-force four-wheeler. Bake a sheet cake and decorate it like an off-roading race track. Run to the store in the morning (granted the antibiotics kicked in) (which they did) and get some Matchbox off-roaders. Cake and bonus gifts all in one swell foop!!

So when I did in fact feel well enough yesterday morning to rise from my bed, shower, run to the store, pick the kidlets up from their (sainted) grandmother, and head into birthday party preparations, I thought perhaps All Would Be Well. DramaBoy exhibited his egg-breaking skills while helping me mix the cake (Look! I didn't get any shells in there! Just the yellow and white stuff!) I popped it in the oven, set the timer, and collapsed on the couch with my boys to recharge my low batteries while watching The Backyardigans. Good times.

Some forty minutes later I took the baked cake and attempted to turn it out on a rack to cool.

It fractured into several pieces, a massive chunk stuck still in the pan.

Alas, sweet cake. What might have been.

So much for Plan B. I've rescued cakes before, but this was beyond the means of frosting and toothpicks.

On to Plan C. I called the boy's father and asked him to pick up a sheet cake at Meijer, one with a minimum of decoration, and bring it with him when he came to the house. The sooner, the better. DramaBoy confirmed my sad tale of caketastrophe when his father heard DB's mournful little voice over the phone saying, Mama! What happened to my cake? Why is it all broken?

Sad times.

The cake arrived with half-an-hour to spare before our first guests arrived. With the help of some licorice, a couple of suckers left over from Halloween, slivers cut from the broken cake, and the well-washed Matchbox cars I had purchased, I came up with something that, while not what I originally desired, Would Do.

The border was already there. 
We were lucky to find anything without all sorts of crap already in the center.

DramaBoy had a great party. He had three little friends over, he received all sorts of fun gifts, and the cake was deemed satisfactory.

This was, of course, the one time he decided NOT to smile.

So Plan C or no, he was happy. And therefore, so was I.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How I Managed To Ignore My Body's Messages Until Things Were Getting Really Bad: A Cautionary Tale

So it turns out that if you go to the midnight showing of New Moon and you eat lots of ridiculously rich and yummy fondue beforehand and have a few drinks and then you're standing in line for concessions and you feel all yucky and dizzy and your back hurts and you have to sit down for a bit?

It might not just be the food and drink.

And if you spend the whole next day feeling weak and dizzy and your stomach hurts and you stick it out and even go to the after-work get-together with some colleagues and get your kids home and to bed and then stay up a little later making your son's birthday gift and finally collapse into bed because you still feel like crap?

It might not just be the two-and-a-half hours of sleep and lack of proper eating during the day.

And if you wake up the next day and your stomach is cramping and your legs are wobbly and you feel dizzy and your back hurts and you have chills and then certain other symptoms start showing up and so you cancel your plans to visit grandparents with the kidlets that day and instead spend the day huddled under the covers until you finally decide maybe you should go to urgent care because it's all getting worse?

It might not be a simple stomach bug.

No, it might turn out to be that you have a urinary tract infection that is working its way to your kidneys.

Thank God for antibiotics.

(And yes, I'm feeling quite a bit better, thank you! Now to get through the birthday party after all...)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've Only Had Two Hours of Sleep and I Don't Do This Stuff Well on Eight

I was a...difficult child. Strong willed. Rebellious. Contentious. Many people would assert I haven't changed much.

I am trained in public speaking and debate. It's part of my secondary certification.

I coached Forensics for four years.

I was a building representative for our teacher association for three years.

I have gained a reputation in my district as a well-spoken, strongly-opinionated professional who is willing to challenge the administration and speak up for teachers and students. In recent and on-going debates with administration over some proposed changes to the English courses to which the English teachers are unanimously (for once) and strongly opposed, teachers from one of the other high schools specifically asked their department chair to make sure I was part of the committee. My own building had already made sure I was on it.

I'm known in my literature classes for leading challenging discussions in which I often play Devil's Advocate. I stir the pot. I work up my students. I get them going in debate and then sit back and enjoy.

All this and...

I Hate Conflict.

I know. It doesn't make sense. But then, I never claimed to be logical.

There's a reason I rarely post here about highly-charged and hotly-debated topics. Several times I've started writing posts on topics like breastfeeding, working moms, elections, education...and then I've usually ditched the posts or scaled them waaaaaaaay back.

I was even nervous about writing my post on post-partum depression.

Then yesterday I got all brave and stuff and actually wrote a fairly impassioned post about education budget cuts. And as the pointer hovered over Publish Post, I hesitated. Did I want to go there? Did I want to open myself up to the varied responses I knew I could get? After all, I know I have readers from all over the political spectrum with all sorts of opinions on things like government spending and education.

I gulped and hit the mouse button.

The good news is that I haven't been flamed. I did get an anonymous comment that was kinda sorta bashing public education, but at least it was supportive of teachers. I also have had an interesting email exchange with another reader, but I knew that one was coming and he's respectful in debate, so I've handled it okay.

But the truth is that whenever I get into debate about these kinds of topics, the ones where people feel so strongly and so oppositely, the ones where at this point people have pretty much taken their stance and are very unlikely to be budged, my stomach hurts. This is a sort of conflict with which I do not deal well.

Partly this is because when it's a topic that becomes so personal and which polarizes people so much, I often find myself in the odd and unpleasant position of standing in between the poles. This means I see and agree with aspects of both sides and therefore please neither. Another reason is when I sense the sheer futility of arguing these points when doing so apparently does nothing to change minds and instead just creates hostility--well, I just want to throw up my hands and walk away.

The harsh reality, from where I stand, is that these issues are so complex that there are no easy answers. People on either side must disregard or dismiss or eliminate crucial elements of the situation in order to hold their position to be The Truth.

Breastfeeding vs. Formula? So many women passionately believe that Breast is Best. For the most part I agree. But what about the women who, for whatever reason, cannot produce milk? What about the women who are HIV positive and must avoid breastfeeding? What about the women who, for very personal reasons, choose formula instead? Why must we demonize them and assume their children will, of course, be less healthy, less intelligent, and less advantaged than those who are breastfed? And then how do we deal with breastfeeding in a society that largely views it as obscene and/or sexual and private--certainly not something to do in any public setting?

Working Mother vs. Stay-at-Home Mother? How about making it about the Parent, not just the Mother? What about figuring out what is best for the parent, the children, and the family as a whole? What about situations in which there IS no choice? Why assume that every working parent is neglecting her/his child or doing a poorer job of parenting? Why assume every SAH parent isn't really "working" and is wasting his/her education? Why attack each other at all?

Private vs. Public Education? What about providing options? What about making sure everyone is educated but still have choices about what is right for each family, each student, each individual? What about seeking equity (which is NOT homogeneity) in education?

Conservative vs. Liberal? What about those who lie in between, who perhaps want to see less profligate and irresponsible spending of taxpayers' money, but who still believe strongly in social programs, social justice, and social responsibility? What if we agree with certain points on each side? Why must everything be labeled one or the other?

That's just a taste of my internal conflict. Some may think I'm a fence-walker, unwilling to commit myself to one side or another. I don't see myself that way. But then, there's another area where debate will do little to change anyone's mind.

I guess I'm frustrated. In some ways it would be far easier to be firmly in one camp or another. That's not my reality. I wish I dealt better with this sort of debate, too. I may be strong, independent, and opinionated, but when the topics turn personal, I find myself struggling not to burst into tears. I take comments too personally and struggle to differentiate between debate and confrontation.

There's a reason I often feel it's simpler, safer, to just stick with poetry.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We're Staring at the Headlights and There's No Hero Riding Into Sight


Okay. There's another reason I haven't wanted to write much prose lately.

It's called Stress. Over my everlovin' fund-cuttin' teacher-bashin' student-screwin' state legislature's decisions to cut education funding again and again and again. Halfway through the school year, as is the idiotic illogical normal way things are done around here.

My district, a large district, will lose an estimated $14.5 million as of December 20, 2009.

My building alone will lose almost $600,000.

This is not projected money, money that would be spent Down The Road that simply cannot be spent now. This is money that (because of the way things are done in this state) was already figured into the budget for the year before the state said Oh, sorry, did we say you could have that? Never mind.

This is money that pays for the programs that educate our youth, for the teachers and support staff who make the programs happen, and the facilities in which the programs are run. This is money that is spent to cover costs in a district that has already been paring away at spending and programs and jobs in an effort to absorb all the budget cuts made over the last several years.

So we are in Crisis. Crisis-mode decisions have been made, and the devastating results are already in play.

Last Thursday, after we wasted our time sat through a professional development presentation, four close English teacher friends of mine and I headed to a nearby Coney to eat lunch. I snapped a picture of them, these four young 20-somethings who have become my colleagues, my buddies, my mentees, my confidantes, and sent the picture to Joe via text labelled My peeps. He texted back Hi peeps! And then he and one of my peeps teased each other through me.

The next day three of them were told they will be laid off as of January 25th.

The fourth one is the next on the chopping block. Reality says she will not have a job next year.

The reason? One of the many cuts being made at the semester's end is the position of high school media center specialist (i.e. librarian.) Our libraries media centers used to have one full time MC specialist, one full-time MC paraprofessional, and one full-time MC secretary. And they were Busy. Over the last several years, the media centers first lost the secretaries, then dropped the para-pros to half-time, then lost the para-pros entirely. Our beloved MC specialist is quite possibly the hardest working and most overworked woman in the building, and she saves our asses on a regular basis. I put her on a pedestal along with our IT woman and the administrative secretaries.

Now all four high school MC specialists have lost their positions. Each school will have one para-pro working in the MC half the day.

This will work well.*

As a result, those MC specialists (all of whom were once teachers and are certified) are being moved back into the classroom. Even the one who only taught for a couple of years and hasn't been in a classroom for twenty-five. They have the seniority, they have the certification, so they will go into the classroom and the low people on the totem pole are gone.

Thus, my peeps.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want the specialists to lose their jobs either and I believe (knowing the kind of people they are) that they will work their butts off to do well as teachers. That's not the issue.

What is an issue, besides my friends losing their jobs, is that all these cuts (and there are more than these, believe you me) will Not Be Enough. More are coming our way--if not during this year, certainly within the next couple. Our in-school custodians are losing their jobs as the district switches to a cheaper (and much less effective) outsourced company. Some secretarial positions are being cut, others put to half-time. Bussing may have to be cut. Elective and Fine Arts programs may disappear. Sports programs may even be cut--freshman and junior varsity teams are already on the list of possibilities.

Class sizes will very likely rise (we're already at 35). The middle school program may be changed drastically, leaving about fifty teachers either laid off or transferred to high school, which means lay-offs there. Our contract is up for negotiation this summer, and I have every expectation that we will be forced to take dramatic salary cuts and benefit changes/losses. More people will lose jobs. MAYBE even some administrators (and believe me, that's a true sign of a crisis).

I understand, to a certain extent, why this is happening. Michigan is in crisis too. The state does not have money and is cutting all sorts of programs. Education is not alone. Police and fire departments are being drastically slashed. Other programs are being cut entirely or severely underfunded.

And I know that not just state employees are suffering. Almost all of Michigan is suffering. I know many people who have been laid off and cannot find jobs. Believe me, I'm grateful that I have one.

In fact, yesterday I found myself counting up the number of English teachers in the district who stand between me and a layoff. It may be human nature, but I recoiled at my cold-blooded approach to reality: how many bodies (so to speak) must fall before I do? And how bad would things be that I, who have approximately 14 people buffering me from unemployment, would be on the chopping block?

The reality is grim. It has been for some time, but now I'm catching a glimpse of the Reaper in my peripheral vision.

However, I have to wonder: at what long-term price are we making these short-term decisions? How will overcrowded classrooms, lack of bussing, lack of enrichment and Fine Arts and sports programs, and (yes, I'm going there) underpaid and overstressed teachers create an educational environment that will draw crucial people and funds to this state? What are we sacrificing for the present crisis that will contribute to the long-term one? The experts waffle on when we will start emerging from this recession, but I can say this: unless positive decisions are made rather than negative ones, that journey will be a very long one. And at this rate, I believe we may drop down into a full depression rather than the "milder" recession sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I'm glad the legislators are able to sleep at night.* Apparently they're so relaxed about the oncoming train of the December budget cuts that today they declared a hiatus from sessions and decided to take a two-week vacation.

Unfortunately, they left a lot of people stranded on the tracks.

*In case you can't tell, this is being said with Deep Deep Sarcasm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


my mind is stuck in poetry mode
can't help it
fragments and flavors of words
stream through my mind
and scream at me to write them down
trace them across the page
so they can live

even ordinary things
like how will i make that cake
for DramaBoy this weekend
he wants a four wheeler
white on white
i think he'll get white on chocolate
because that's yummier
but do i make it 3-d or do i
create the outline like the truck cake
i made last year
(he likes vehicles my boy does)
3-d would be more interesting
but also more difficult
so i don't know

weighing my options
my brain spits out the words
in non-prose waves
rejecting conventional paragraph
sentence structure
--though i'm not quite cummings there--
and trickles on to

how unmotivated i am
so much to do and a meeting too
and all i want
is to string words together
in stream of consciousness
but not conscientiousness
because i should be doing
what needs some doing

it's grey outside
and winter beckons us onward
toward whitened fields and icy roads
i thought this month might be as grey
and though it has not been technicolor
still it has shot moments of vivid
through the uncertainty
muting the shades of my mind

perhaps that's why
poetry seems more becoming
prose needs constant color
vivid verbs and sinuous syntax
my words can trace themselves
across the lines of free verse
with greater freedom
weaving their way through stagnant thoughts
grasping at moments of clarity and

so if you hate poetry
(or just my poetry)
and hope my prose will return
please be patient
i'm sure it will come
in time
when lines no longer dictate endings
before the final thoughts

and perhaps
you could leave a comment or two
just because
even if you hate my poetry

perhaps you still love me

Scrooge Had a Point

OK, America.

I'm putting you on notice.

For the next week and a half, every time I walk into a store and hear Christmas carols, I will turn around and Walk Out That Door. Even if all I need is a half gallon of milk.

For the next week and a half, every time I walk into a store and see Christmas displays, I will avoid that aisle and/or area like the plague. Even if it contains exactly what I need.

For the next week and a half, every time I'm scanning through the radio stations and hear Christmas carols, I will delete that station from my memory list. If it's not on my memory list, I will temporarily put it on my memory list and then delete it, just on principle.

For the next week and a half, every time I'm flipping through the TV channels and see a commercial/movie/show that deals with Christmas or holiday themes, I will continue on my way and Will Not Return to that channel until after Thanksgiving. I'll write the channel number down as a reminder if I have to.

For the next week and a half, every time I see, hear, or feel the slightest bit of Christmas and/or holiday cheer ANYWHERE, I will be Elsewhere.

Thanksgiving isn't even over, people!

Besides, Christmas is a scary Unknown Entity this year, and I'd rather not think about it if I don't have to, thankyouverymuch. I'll be hiding Over There.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

one night over coffee

you werent the only one
she said
and gazed out the window at the sun
dying in crimson glory on the horizon

i knew there was a reason i was drawn to you
a similarity of pain
our scars are sisters in formation
her mouth twisted a moment and then

her face was blank
no one looking at us would know
we spoke of secrets held for decades
not forgotten

never forgotten

but stuffed beneath our breasts
in pockets of poisoned past
lives we lived in another space and time

perhaps her eye glistened a moment
as did mine
but there was no breaking down
in tears or gasping sobs
that too lay in the years gone before
shut away by minds well trained
no breaches of security
for public curiosity

i cried in the shower the other day
i said
my lips moving in subdued confession
it just happened
i found myself on the floor
with water beating on my back
and tears streaming down my face
and didnt know how i got there

she nodded
ive done that too
but not in a while
it catches me by surprise sometimes

did you ever tell
i asked
and knew the answer before she spoke

i tried
but the only ones who believed
were the other ones they did it to
our parents didnt want to hear
didnt want to believe
because of who they were

im lucky
i said
my parents didnt know
but at least they believed me
and they are mourning now

i looked over her shoulder
at the older man sitting behind us
his eyes kept flickering to my face
to her back
and i wondered if he could hear
the murmured words

his eyes were avid
almost hungry
for what i wondered
salacious stories
of ancient pain
and modern wounds
or confirmation that
he too was not the only one

or had he been one of those
who had torn and ripped away
someones innocence
in the long or not so long ago

too many stories
too many sides
too many scars
and ours will not be the last

Monday, November 16, 2009


the rocks loomed in jagged peaks
mounded no doubt by
yellow beasts with tractor wheels
as large as the monster truck
we ogled earlier

i clutched the padding
that clung in dusty insufficiency
around the bones of our jeep
wishing for one of those bracing hand grips
they put on rollercoaster cars

no track to keep our wheels in place
we ground our way onto the first boulders
jouncing through forward and reverse
feeling our way over edges and into pits
between and through and on

he got out thrice to spot the way
i kept my eye on the right edge
two feet away i said
more toward your side i said
then clenched my jaw as

we bounced forward jamming down
and into the opposite slope
(if you could call it a slope)
with flatter rocks and steeper descents
down and to the side and

off the edge clanging as the undercarriage
scraped the final stony step
we turned and grinned and laughed
at the insanity of what we'd done
that's the first time i've done that he said

my heart pounded and then
he turned toward the bog
where we had already been
and would go again
looking back at what we'd dared

i've built this more for mud
but that was fun and maybe
he grinned again at the thought
i'll need to build a new toy
that can take on those other climbs

i would have liked to hold his hand
but it was needed for gripping
the wheel instead of me
and so i held on again and braced
as we plunged down another trail

and into the dusk of the dying day

Friday, November 13, 2009

They're Awesome. I'm Brain Dead.

Because I think it's mostly gone due to the mind-numbing energy sink that is a combination Professional Development and Parent Teacher Conferences day. (That was yesterday. In case you were wondering. That's why I was only online for a split second. In case you were wondering about that too. Though you probably weren't. Whatever.)

Therefore I will take care of a couple of housekeeping chores today before I go stare at a friendly wall. Since that's about as much as I can handle today.

So. Earlier this week my dear long-ago-long-time friend Kathleen at Treasured Chapters awarded me a lovely award, because she's generous like that, and it is the Superior Scribbler Award, which makes me want to squee. Except I never squee. It's a matter of principle. Instead I will bow gravely with all the self-absorbed gracious pompousness of academia in her general direction.

Thank you very much, Kathleen! That means a great deal to me. 'STruth.

As usual, these awards come with bloggy strings attached. In this case, the strings are:
1. Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving bloggy friends.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog.
4. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Eek. Um. Okay. Let's see. Kathleen awarded this to her English teacher(ish) bloggy friends, and I don't dare copy her. That would be so NON-TEACHERY. (That's a word, right? No? Crap.) I also would like to award this to some people who might actually acknowledge and post the award and pass it on (You hear me, Heidi?!?! Yeah, I'm lookin' at you! Well, virtually speaking.)

So I am awarding this Superior Scribbler Award to some bloggers who consistently delight me with their writing. They may or may not have been/be teachers. I'm not going to try anything cute like Kathleen. (Yet.) And they are (dunh dunh dunh):

1. Julia at Julia {here be hippogriffs}
2. DeeDee at Fiddledeedee
3. Beck at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends
4. Mom Zombie at Mom Zombie
5. Marinka at Motherhood in NYC

These five wonderful writers are proof that writing with style Matters.

And now a new reader of mine (Heyla, Hyla! Welcome to my cuuurrrazy little world!) gave me a rather humbling award (Really? I deserve this? Okay, now I really am almost feeling a squee emerge and that would mean that my soul would wither a little. Must. Control. Voice.) called the Best Blog Award. Wow. Okay. Really? Wow. THANK YOU!!!

What makes me gulp even more than that scary word "BEST" are the rules, however, and suddenly I think I might have to cheat. (I know. My reputation as a teacher is becoming seriously tarnished.)

Apparently in order to accept the award, I must:
...post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers you've awarded to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

ACK. 15 blogs? That I've recently discovered? Crap crap crap.

You see, while I follow a million and half blogs (not all of them are currently listed on that blogroll over at the side), I have NOT added a whopping fifteen to my follow list in recent times. I have added some, but not fifteen. This is because I know that reading blogs is an addiction. I could easily spend the majority of my day simply reading blog after blog after blog if I allowed myself to do so. As a result, I approach blog discovery much in the way that I approach my addiction to shoes and books. I limit my access. I do not enter a shoe or book store lightly.

Otherwise my bookshelves and closets would be even more out-of-control than they already are.

So I am going to have to cheat a bit (Did I mention that last night I actually encouraged DraftQueen a friend to play hooky from class and go have fun with a girlfriend instead? And that she then texted back about the irony of a teacher incouraging truancy? No? Um, forget I wrote that.) and reduce that Very Scary Number to, oh, let's say five (5) (cinq) (cinco). That I can handle.

Recently I've been branching out from MommyBloggers to reading DaddyBloggers. My follow list is slowly swelling with the brilliance of these men. You should read them too. And since I'm just that confusing, I will round it out with a very non-male but still very worth reading MommyBlogger. Because I just cannot bring myself to only list four when five is so much more RIGHT.* I'm OCD awesome like that.

And you know what's fun about that? If they follow the rules, they'll have shiny little hearts on their blogs! (mwahahahahaha *giggle*)

So I am awarding the Best (Somewhat Recently Discovered and Apparently Mostly-Daddy-Blogger Oriented) Blog Award to:

1. Jason Mayo at Out-Numbered
2. Sedg311 at Why Is Daddy Crying?
3. Mike Adamick at Cry It Out: Memoirs of a Stay-at-Home Dad
4. Mocha Dad at Mocha Dad
5. MaryMac at Pajamas & Coffee (Here's a clue: she's the one without a penis.)

Go forth and read. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll suddenly realize that men (and women too--don't worry, Mary! I got your back, Gurl!) are Crazy. Good times.

I apologize for any brain aneurisms confusion this ridiculously scattered somewhat rambling post may have caused you.

Now you know how I feel.

*I could include Arby here as the fifth, because he is also a brilliant DaddyBlogger, but I've been following him for much longer and he already refused to post an award I gave him because of the froofy hearts issue. So he's not getting it. So there. Nyah.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Do What I Say, Not What I Do

They're just awful.

The presentation is going on and they just sit there chatting to each other, doing other work, reading books, rolling their eyes, texting friends.

They're given an assignment and they doodle on the pages instead of following instructions.

They're instructed to discuss the topic at hand and they talk about their plans for the afternoon and what is happening this weekend and Oh my gawd did you hear what Julie said the other day?!?

They're told to send group representatives to mark their discussion results on the activity board and the few who were actually paying attention jump up to the front while the rest chatter away, oblivious.

They're given a short break and they continue to chatter to each other when the lights are flickered once, twice, three times to bring them back to attention. And again. And again.

They're finally released and they walk away muttering about how much that woman is getting paid for teaching them about something they already know and why can't they just leave us alone?

I don't know why anyone bothers with them, really.



They're absolutely impossible to teach.

(I was the one sitting in the next-to-the-back row making snarky comments to my counselor friend beside me, laughing with the Psychology teacher behind me, and re-reading The Trojan War.

If I was my student I'd kick my ass.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Red is for Remembrance

Today is Veterans' Day.

This is one of the holidays that pretty much passed me right by growing up. I think this was largely due to growing up overseas, where it wasn't a holiday for us. I don't think I was actually aware of Veteran's Day until I was in college. Maybe.

Even now it's hard for me to pay much attention to it. I know it's happening. People are blogging about it. And yet somehow it doesn't seem very real to me. Maybe that's partly because for most of us it's a Business As Usual sort of day.

My students, of course, are complaining bitterly that we even have school. I have a sneaking suspicion that this has more to do with the current CODMW2 virus sweeping through the male population than a true desire to honor those who have served our country in the military. I suppose the military nature of that game counts for something.


(I don't think so either.)

When I read Arby's post today, however, it suddenly occured to me that it's kind of odd that Veterans' Day and Memorial Day don't have more significance for me than they do. After all, there are three veterans in my close extended family. My maternal grandfather served in the Merchant Marines during WWII. My father's almost-Irish-twin older brother served in military Intelligence during Vietnam. My father's second sister's husband also served in Vietnam.

I don't remember ever hearing any stories.



And I don't quite know why.

Well, I'll take that back, partially. My uncle-by-marriage is a quiet man and one with whom I haven't spent much time in my life. It isn't particularly surprising that I haven't heard his stories, if he tells any. My uncle-by-blood...well, I know he doesn't tell those stories. First, he was in Intelligence. He isn't allowed to tell many stories. Second, I've been told he came back from Vietnam....changed. He was not the same man who left. Whatever it is he did, whatever it is he saw, whatever it is he knew and still knows, it haunted him. It may very well haunt him to this day. He came back a man with ghosts, a man who no longer seemed to believe in a loving God--or possibly a God at all.

I only see the laughing uncle who tells crazy stories about childhood, the ones that my dad claims he can't remember because all his older brothers and sisters scarred him for life. You know, by talking him into picking up rats by the tails out by the corncribs so they could take turns whaling away with bats (on the rats.) I think he just doesn't want to admit he was that stupid gullible.

Who my uncle is right now? I don't really know.

What makes me wonder is why I haven't heard stories from my grandfather. He is, after all, the grandfather with whom I grew up. He was as much a part of my childhood as were my parents, really. He's referenced it upon occasion, but I know very, very little about what he did or even for how long. In fact, I very easily forget that he was even part of the MM at all. I know all sorts of other stories from his life. Just not those years.

And now...now I am mostly aware of Veterans' Day because I have former students in the military. I have a former student, one of My Boys, who died in Iraq. I have a former student in the Air Force who just dropped by to see me on Monday, because he wanted to introduce me to his fiancee, a lovely girl who also wants to be an English teacher. I have various others as well, some still in contact, others of whom I am vaguely aware.

I am, for the most part, a pacifist. I do not believe that war is a solution. I do not think we should be at war in Iraq. I am conflicted over the war in Afghanistan. I believe that the vast majority of wars are started for horrific reasons and result in horror rather than true peace. However, I am a practical pacifist in that I understand that there are times when war cannot be avoided or can be a necessity.

That being said, I DO believe in supporting our troops. I do not see the warriors as evil: I see war as evil. Does that make sense?

Maybe not. But then, I have never been good at making people very happy with my political views (or religious or social or...) I'm a girl who sees mostly in shades of Grey. I've never been good at the whole Black/White thing.

So maybe, today, I should stick to Red.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm Not Sure Why I'm Even Posting This, and Some of You May Never Be Able to Look at Me in the Eyes Again. Sorry, Grandma.

 How do they always know?

They'll be happily ensconced on the couch, watching The Backyardigans. Or playing with trains in their room. Or eating a yummy snack. They should be content. They should stay put.

And then, invariably, just as I'm nice and nekkid, they walk in.

It doesn't seem to matter WHY I'm clothing-free at the time. I'll be in the shower, or just getting in, or just getting out. I'll be getting dressed in the walk-in. I'll be, Mr. Hanky help me, settling down for a nice leisurely--er, um, session--on the toilet.

It's all quite innocent on my part, you see. It's not like I'm running the place like it's Hedonism II (Hey, never been--just honeymooned down the beach a ways. Stop looking at me like that!) I'm just doing the ordinary everyday things that people do in their homes, generally in the area of the bathroom. And my little nosey parkers always manage to choose that particular time to locate me, because, apparently, that is exactly when The Widget suddenly needs a hug or DramaBoy has a pressing question that Cannot Wait, Mommy!

This was all very well and good when they were small beings who could barely remember how to put one foot in front of the other without rediscovering gravity. Time passed, and I kept convincing myself they wouldn't remember much of what they saw, and it was all natural and all, right? Even when the inevitable questions started regarding the differences between my body and theirs (after all, I'm the odd female out around here), I just answered them and figured it was all a good anatomy lesson.

(I'm still not sure DramaBoy understands how my body can possibly operate with such different plumbing. He gets worried about whether or not I can actually pee without a penis. I just explain I am built differently and can indeed accomplish this important task. I decline to show him the details.)

But...DramaBoy is turning four in just over two weeks, and he has become very much Boy lately. And I cannot continue to pretend he will not remember things, because that child has a mind and memory like a steel trap (well, for the things he wants to remember.) I'm starting to wonder just how much I really want him to remember about me in all my Botticelli glory.

Especially when it involves the toilet.

I've been trying to teach them about the need for privacy, but so far that seems to result in More Privacy For Them and no discernible difference in the level of Privacy For Me. I mean, by all means I am happy not to have to wipe DramaBoy's behind all the time, but doing laundry can be a bit disconcerting these days.

The other day I decided enough was enough and dared to (gasp) lock the doors to the bathroom.

I know.

Those hypersensitive ears of theirs must have heard the tiny clicks, because within nanoseconds there was a knocking on the door.

Mama? I need to come in!

No, DramaBoy. Mama needs some privacy!

Why is the door LOCKED, Mama?

Because I want some privacy, DramaBoy!!

But MAMA, I need to go POTTY!

Go downstairs. There's a perfectly good potty down there.

But I WANT to go potty in THERE!

No, DramaBoy!

But MAMA!!! I NEED to come IN!!!!

NO, DramaBoy!!!!

And then, of course, the wailing and gnashing of teeth began. Which was then magnified tenfold by The Widget, who was attracted to the scene of the crime and went into full blown Panicked Mama's Boy mode when he realized a wooden door was thwarting him from attaching himself to my nearest body part.

(Which is disconcerting when you're trying to--ahem--process things. Just sayin'.)

So tonight when I tucked DramaBoy into my bed because he has a touch of croup and I'll need to keep an ear out for his breathing, I denied his request to sleep nekkid, as is his wont. After all, I'll be next to him all night. There are lines, people.

Truth be told, he gets that from me. I just don't sleep clothing-optional much these days.

Not sure why I even care that much about these minor points of propriety. Because at this point their future therapists are already going to have a field day.

Am I the only one who experiences all this? Because if I am, I think I might take up showering in my bathing suit.

At least that way I won't keep bashing my delicate parts with various toiletries in my desperate attempts to maintain the dignity my progeny stole from me years ago.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Friday Evening: The Bad, The Good, and the Potentially Scary

Bad Thing: Brother's car breaking down on the highway. His cell phone has also been broken for some time.

Good Thing: A friendly driver pulling over to help when Brother finishes his nap and gets out for the long walk to the nearest gas station.

Bad Thing: Having to drive through rush hour AND construction traffic to pick up Brother and then go to his car, with two kidlets in the back trying to be patient.

Good Thing: Having a boyfriend who is an auto mechanic and is willing to diagnose the probable issue over the phone, therefore determining that it is in fact worth trying to save Brother's P.O.S. car rather than calling the nearest junkyard.

Bad Thing: Mechanic boyfriend is on the way up north to go dirt biking with some buddies. The car is stranded Very Far from anyone's house, including my boyfriend's.

Good Thing: My boyfriend is willing to call in a major favor and get a buddy with a tow-truck to come get Brother's car and tow it all the way to my boyfriend's house for less than half the price it would normally cost.

Bad Thing: Brother now will have to pay to fix the same car that already cost him a pretty penny in various fees and fines for other problems--ironically, he was on his way to court to work some of this out when the car broke down.

Good Thing: Brother happens to have the cash on hand and will get a Much Better Price from my boyfriend than he would going to a regular shop. This would be true even if he wasn't my brother, please note (though I have a feeling the towing favor would not have happened had he not been my relative.)

Potentially Scary Thing: I now owe my boyfriend Big Time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sometimes Honesty is Not the Best Policy

So here I was, wondering what post I could write today that wouldn't be all depressing and mopey and all caught up in the drama of this stupid frickin' month, and lo! the lovely and marvelous Fraught Mummy of Brits in Bosnia posted a highly amusing bit about the difference between what you say and what you mean. I was inspired. So here goes my own "Lost in Translation" piece de resistance:

To my children as they crawl into my bed ten minutes before the alarm goes off: Good morning, babies. I have to get up soon, okay? = You couldn't have waited ten more minutes? I mean, I love your cuddles and all, but I could really have used that addition to what little sleep I get these days. Ack! Get your cold little feet out of my lady bits!

To the secretaries: Good morning! = Crap, another morning. And even though I got a little more sleep last night because I popped some Nyquil tablets, I still feel like something the cat dragged in and every time I talk for more than three minutes I start coughing and my head starts aching because apparently some Throat Troll decided to drag its nasty little claws all over my throat last week and leave me in this condition for what looks like the entire next month. I like you ladies, but I really would rather be looking at the undersides of my eyelids right now.

To the student who just shaved his head: Wow! You shaved your head. = You look like a misshaped cueball. I hope you did that for charitable reasons.

To the student eating some yoghurt: What are you eating? = You better have brought something for me to stuff into my mouth too, girl. 

To the student who always asks when her grades will be turned in: They will make it onto the marking period. = Seriously, stop asking me every other second. I know you have OCD and anxiety issues, but you're making my anxiety shoot through the roof. I have all but two of your grades in at this point and girl, I do have a life and girl, I do have my own share of stress and if you keep looking at me with that half-crazed thisclosetoapanicattack look on your face I will simply throw. them. away. THEN you'll have something to panic about.

To the same student: I'll tell you about the homework when I tell everyone else. = Holy crap. Seriously, it's not enough that you have to panic about your grades (which at least has some little measure of justification), you also have to come in every morning and ask about the homework ahead of time so you can get ahead even more and then screw me up because I get confused and tell you the wrong information? Which then further aggravates your anxiety and gives me a massive load of guilt? Also, we'll actually be doing something in class today so it's kind of pointless to go over this with you when you might as well just wait until I go over it with everyone. Again, I know you have OCD and anxiety issues, and I really want to like you and admire your work ethic, but you are Driving. Me. Insane.

To my students: It would be wise to take notes. = Staring off into space will NOT be condusive to a good grade on, oh, say the QUIZ you have to take the next time I see you. Not to mention actually KNOWING anything in this life. Do you really think I'm talking just to hear myself? Do you really think I'm risking a Coughing Fit from Hell to fill your ears with meaningless noise? I'm trying to cram some INFORMATION into your ungrateful, atrophied, empty little brains here! Get a frickin' CLUE!

To my students: There are still quizzes out. = Shut your mouths, you noisy little buggers. Seriously, all I ask is that you actually remain silent until every quiz is turned in. It's a simple thing. Really. You want to see what happens if you keep this up?

To my students, again: Remain SILENT. There are still quizzes out. = Holy crap! Are you frickin' KIDDING me with this? You see this pen? You see your papers? Do you want to see the points vanish?!?!? And then would you like to see where your crispy remains will be stored when the Flaming Glare of Death is turned upon your whispering, giggling, noise-making, rude-as-all-get-out bodies?!?!?! Don't think I'm not capable! I'll show you capable!!!!!!!

To my students, finally: Have a great weekend! = Thank the little gods and graces that you're getting out of my sight, because I was thisclose to grabbing those stupid earbuds you wear around your necks like some sort of futuristic necktie and stuffing them down your throats so they will get tangled in your tonsils. Two days without seeing your rolling eyes and hearing your smart mouths MIGHT just make it possible for me to avoid Going Educational (TM) on your asses.

Maybe it's a good thing I have a filter between my brain and my mouth. Although it's getting awfully clogged these days...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the Waiting Line

By mutual agreement and mostly because I am the one with the most time on weekday afternoons to actually get Official Things Done, I was the one who filed for divorce. By a strange concatenation of events, I filed yesterday, on the fourtheenth anniversary of when our relationship began. As if that were not ironic enough, I filed divorce papers approximately five yards from the counter where almost exactly eight years ago I filed the paperwork for our legal marriage ceremony, which took place eight years ago two days from now.

It felt surreal.

I don't quite know how else to explain it. I wasn't quite depressed. I wasn't joyful, either. I was mostly shaky, because now the wheels are set in motion. I watched the clerk stamp the papers and saw that already, just like that, we have been assigned dates for the two major hearings we must attend before the decree can be handed down in six months. I could see the great machinery of government grinding its gears, catching us up in its deceptively ponderous motion. The potential energy of our divorce turned kinetic in a matter of fifteen minutes.

I walked out the door, shaky and a little stunned, and sent a text to about a dozen people. I just walked out of the court house. I have officially filed for divorce, I said, the words stark on the electronic screen. Within moments, the texts started rolling in. A few were congratulatory; most were concerned.

Are you ok?
How do you feel?
Wow. (((hugs)))

I went back to the house and collapsed on the bed after lugging all my stuff inside--it was another "toggle"* day. I talked to a few people on the phone. I tweeted and Facebooked about how weird I felt, and how I had no idea what to make for dinner because I had no money and no energy and no desire to cook. I shored myself up, gradually feeling my head straighten out and my mood lighten.

Then I went and picked up my two little boys, who were very happy to see me and amazingly well-behaved and so polite about asking if they could eat food from "Old MacDonald's" that I succumbed after two seconds and agreed. So we swung through the drive-through to pick up a ten-piece McNugget meal. The boys devoured the chicken and some of the fries; I ate the rest of the fries and drank the Coke. It was a proud mommying moment. It was a very real single-mommying moment. And we snuggled on the couch watching the Backyardigans, which stretched from one episode to two before we went upstairs to get the boys to bed.

I did no grading last night.

This morning the boys were so cooperative that we got out the door only fifty minutes after I woke up. When I arrived at work, my darling mentee S. walked into my room with a bag of mini biscuit pizza makings for the boys and another of fancy pasta makings and French bread for me. Supper is set for tonight. I have friends already working on plans to get together for GNOs in the next few weeks. The love is rolling in.

It still feels surreal. A part of me is grieving the loss of something that was and always will be an enormous part of my life. We will always be tied together by that time and by our children. Another part of me is simply impatient to Get Through It All and Get On With Things. The largest part of me is simply lying quiet, watching warily from a corner, unsure of this new and uncertain future that looms in front of me.

Yeah. November sucks.


Any instruction that works first one way and then the other; it turns something on the first time it is used and then turns it off the next time
Classified under:
Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
Hypernyms ("toggle" is a kind of...):
command; instruction; program line; statement ((computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program)

Use in this context: 
A day in which custody and residence switches between the two parents

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

beginning and end

look away
hide under blankets
let it wash past in a haze of gone
small grey hours lost
not mourned

years passed
nearly half my life
no way to tell what could have
been if they were
not mine

years past
but 3 days hence
words were said and papers
signed that said
we would

for all
time and instead
here we are and now papers
again are signed
that say

shake it
off and face it
no more hiding from these
hours and days
time to

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It'll Make You Go OOOOOOH

They're HEEEEEEERRRRRRE!!!! The fabulous, absolutely wonderful Claire took her camera and went clicky clicky clicky last week, and the results are amazing. (If you live in the Metro Detroit area and would like a great photographer for a good fee, she has a portfolio and is willing to talk! Just contact me and I'll put you in touch with her.)

We went out to Kensington Metro Park and had a wonderful time romping through the leaves.DramaBoy initially had a meltdown over something ridiculous, but once Claire came along and started doing her animal charming, he perked up. And then we had fun.

So here are my favorites:












Monday, November 2, 2009

The Waiting Land

(with apologies to T.S. Eliot)

November is the cruelest month, stripping
Gnarled limbs of autumn's final glory, blending
Festivities and failure, haunting
Memories with what was and is no more.
Autumn brought new delights, shimmering
Forth in blazing array, feeding
Souls with harvest plenty.
Summer surprised us, soothing wounds
Thought too deep to mend; we learned
Life does not stop when one phase ends
And friendship may blossom best in times of pain.
November slices scars half-healed.
I slog through mud and frozen mire under
Sullen skies, and mourn the loss
Of what I thought I had: peace, security--
They fled and in their place are new
And frightening vistas of change.
I clutch my children's hands and face
Days of risk, uncertainty, fear; nights
Of loneliness, sleeplessness, worry.
I shiver in the damp cold of another
Sunless day, and bend my mind
Toward distant possibilities.


I know quite a few people who have months that are their bete noirs, the space of time in which they hunker down and try to pretend the world doesn't actually exist for a space of thirty days. DraftQueen's is October. Joe's is May. A few other people have told me theirs, but I've forgotten them for the moment. These are months in which, for these people, Bad Things Happen and/or Bad Memories Haunt. Thus far in my life, I can't really point to a specific month. Years, yes, (I'm so glad 2008 is over--2009 is a mixed bag, let me tell you) but not so much a generic month.

I'm nervous about November this year. It may decide to turn on me.

November, in Michigan, is a grey month when the leaves have left the trees and the Indian Summer days are very rare and the sky tends toward slate rather than robin's egg blue. Cold rain falls leaving cold mud that occasionally frosts over at night, creating treacherous footing. Leaves lie soggy and forlorn upon the grass, demanding that SOMETHING be done for appearance's sake, but no longer offering ease of raking or mowing.

Yet somehow November has been fairly good to me in the past. November was full of events, good ones, fun ones, brightening the gloomy days. Unfortunately, it is these selfsame events that weigh heavy with me now.

November 4th and 7th were, respectively, my Dating and Legal Marriage anniversaries. Since I'm about to file for divorce, these anniversaries become...problematic. I'm planning on ducking my head and plowing through those days and cuddling my boys at night.

November 25th is DramaBoy's 4th birthday. While I'm excited for him, the birthday now gets mixed in with the whole How Are We Celebrating This? thing that comes along with divorce. One saving grace is that We are getting along quite well and should probably be able to do a birthday party all together as a family. Probably on Sunday...

November 26th is Thanksgiving. This is where things get dicey. I don't know where I will be, who I will see, and how We are going to divide this holiday in terms of the boys. Are We going to try to split the day? One take Thursday and the other Friday? Set up an every-other-year arrangement? I'm just grateful it doesn't fall on DramaBoy's birthday itself this year.

That day is also a certain Special Someone's 40th birthday, and I WON'T be able to see or spend it it with him. Considering this will come at the end of a month where things are looking like I won't get to see him much at all, I find this especially depressing. He's also rather gloomy about turning Forty, and despite my reassurances that he is Not Old, keeps calling himself an Old Man. Sigh. And I won't be around much to shake him out of it. Double sigh.

Oh, and let's not forget the whole end-of-marking-period and Parent Teacher Conferences thing, which is taking up the space between those two groups of dates. I'm already getting Attitude.

I'm trying to buck up and keep a smile on my face, but it's tough going.

Maybe I should take up hibernation. I hear it's quite good for the figure.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wait! Where Are You Going?

Wait! Where Are You Going?
Clicky Web Analytics