Friday, May 16, 2008

We're All In This Thing Together

I spent a much-needed evening with my girlfriends last night, playing Bunco, laughing, talking, eating delicious food, and drinking rum punch.

I got a little of that patchwork mothering and gave some myself. Today, I feel as if a reset button has been punched and all is right with the world. At least my tiny piece of it. Sadly, that much can't be said of the world at large. I am saddened about what a tragic week or two it has been in the world at large.

Here, though, on this tiny plot of earth, for this moment at least, I feel safe, happy, loved, and loving.

I'm done acting like a spoiled brat.

All the kids who got into that class deserve to be there. Maybe especially the more challenging ones like E., the jumping-bean of a boy who can't sit still.

I thought a lot about the fact that just a few months ago I didn't even want to apply because I was worried that it would harm Brendan socially because he'd have the same classmates for the next six years. I thought about the fact that his best friend, Kush, also didn't get in and I hope they'll get to be in the same class next year.

Like I said, we all end up where we're meant to be. Somehow.

Brendan's teacher reaffirmed this belief this morning when she said that no matter what class he's in he will succeed and do well. It made me very proud and happy to hear the confidence in her voice when she said that. And looking across the room at E., as he climbed into the middle of the table where his classmates were trying to draw, I hoped that he, too, would thrive and find success where he lands.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Brick in the Wall

Brendan did not get into the magnet Kindergarten class. I'm somewhat surprised by how disappointed I was over this. Twenty-three students from our district applied for 10 spots, while 63 students from outside our district applied for the additional 10 spots.

Of the kids currently in Brendan's pre-K class, only four got in.

When I saw the list, the worst base aspects of my personality rose up. I couldn't help but notice that two of the three boys whose moms have an exclusive little clique going on got in. And the worst kid in the class. The one who by all observation should be in a special needs class because he literally cannot sit still for five minutes. The one who climbed over and under and around and behind every table, desk, cabinet, filing cabinet, and play structure in the classroom while another mom and I tried to conduct story time. The one that I had to carry out of the boys' bathroom the day I volunteered as a lunch monitor because he refused to come back to class. Yeah. He'll really get a lot out of five day a week French lessons and extra math and science.

Then, I took a deep breath and decided that this was for the best. Somehow, we all end up right where we are meant to be.

Now, I just hope Brendan gets one of the two remaining good Kindergarten teachers and not the one with a reputation for sticking the kids in front of a video when she doesn't feel like teaching. I don't think anyone is actually meant to end up there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Motherless Child

I just stumbled on an extremely powerful and moving article over on CNN. It actually complements the post I wrote for Jen over at SemiCharmed Wife rather nicely.

It's about how to create a new mother for yourself if you feel like you haven't received the mothering you need. The article originally appeared in O Magazine. Author Martha Beck starts off by saying to change the way you think about the word mother so that you see it as a verb rather than a noun. Solid advice, I think.

Ultimately she goes on to suggest four lines of thought to determine if and where you still need mothering. I've listed her thought provoking statements below and follow each with my own initial reaction:

1) I feel useless, unlovable, and disgusting when ...
I lose my temper with my children and when I lose control over my domestic duties.

2) I feel empty and needy when ...
I am tired and sleep-deprived and feel like I have more to do than I can accomplish.

3) I feel stupid and ignorant when ....
I am late for appointments or forget events.

4) I feel helpless and incapable when ...
I have to ask for help completing a task that is my responsibility.

Basically, says Beck, if you had an immediate response for each of those, you need your mommy. Or at least the verisimilitude of a mother in your life. She suggests a patchwork mother.

It seems I already have a patchwork mommy, an amalgam of friends, family, and people I've never even met. Over the last month, I have received and am grateful for the mothering I received from certain friends ....

Stacey metaphorically held my hand via e-mail two weeks ago when I had freak out as a result of coming off the Zoloft I've been taking for the last year.

Courtney, my best friend for the last 14 years or so, gave me wonderful and sound advice about child psychology.

Fran and Jen both expressed belief in me and my writing skills.

Scott has helped me more with the house and kids the last couple of weeks and has been extremely encouraging of me as a writer and as a promoter of his music.

A.,Leila, Aleta, Just Me, and Jeremy all had good advice about our food battles.

And suddenly, I feel so loved and connected and at peace. For all my bitching and moaning about feeling alone and like a motherless child, I have been getting all the mothering I need.

Oh! What a Beautiful Morning

I was just sitting down to blog when Beckett awoke. So, it's off to get him out of bed and dressed, then we're off to Decatur to run some errands and go to the Blue Sky Concert on the square. Hopefully, the weather holds.

And hopefully, I will be able to write more later. I want to tell you all about my garden!

Happy day, y'all!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just Got Lucky

I just received a phone call from my brother-in-law and had to take a break from working out to take the call and now blog about it because I am so grateful about the news I received I'm teary-eyed.

My mother-in-law had an arteriogram this morning to check for blockages in her heart. She had been having some palpitations and other issues and a stress test was inconclusive.

The doctors found no blockages in her heart and said the heart looks healthy. This, in my opinion, is nothing less than a miracle.

Both of her brothers (one older, one younger) have had by-pass surgeries in the last four years. Her mother died following open heart surgery two years ago. Compounding the issue is the fact that my mother-in-law is extremely overweight. When Scott and I began dating 12 years ago, she was only slightly overweight and really did a good job taking care of herself. Then she quit smoking and became focused on her grandchildren and stopped caring about herself it seemed. We've all talked to her and tried to encourage her. I've given her so many different diet and healthy living books it's not funny. Nothing has worked.

I pray that this is the wake up call, the second chance, that gets her to start taking care of herself. I love her like my own mother. And my boy adores her.

I want her to be around for him to have a relationship with. I want her to see all the milestones in his life. I don't want her to die.

I just wish she felt the same and would start making the changes that will keep her here a while longer.