Friday, October 19, 2007

H, I'm sorry

I’ve been missing my mom a lot lately. I know I have said this off and on for the past 22 months, but this past month it seems to be intensifying. When I miss her at particular moments, I’ll wear something of hers to feel closer to her.

When I interviewed for my new school district last year, I wore one of her blazers, her wedding ring on my right hand and her “just for fun” ring on my left hand with my wedding rings. I throw on her pearls when appropriate. I have many of her sweaters, jackets and tops – I wear them in streaks. Sometimes I think they are too “old-ladyish” and wouldn’t dream of wearing them. Other times they seem extremely elegant and I wear several of them. About two weeks ago, I looked down and one of the diamonds from her ring had fallen out while I was at work. I haven’t worn it since and feel lost without it. I know I can get it replaced – it was very tiny – but I still feel like I was careless and lost something very valuable. As if I’m her little kid still if that makes sense.

The beginning of this school year has been the easiest for my kids, but one of the hardest for me professionally. I have been challenged in many different ways and haven’t always handled it the best. I have to make new acquaintances and friends, in a new building, for the millioneth time and really don’t feel like doing it this time. Usually I’m one for change, but this time I’m sick of it. It’s a lot of work to get to know people. I have enough relating to do in my work. I don’t really have the energy left to bond with my colleagues.

I know this sounds a bit cynical and sad, but I think that my mother’s death might have something to do with it. 

In the past, when big things were going on in my life, I always turned to my mother. She would listen for as long as I needed her to. My dad can’t be her. He can’t even begin to replace this part of her. Not only that – he doesn’t really want to try. I understand, but can’t seem to fill this void. My husband isn’t my mom. I don’t want him to be, but I wish I had someone else. No…I wish she was still here.

One of my students lost her dad last June. She was the one who found him. His death was completely unexpected and he was only 50 years old. She struggles with it daily and has come to talk with me several times this fall. Today she was having a bad day. I had a couple of big issues going on- parents in the building - interventions going on – but this girl was having a bad day. She saw me between families and asked if I had time to talk. I had to put her off. She came back and I had to put her off again. In between her visits, I had about 15 minutes free, but decided to eat my lunch at my desk and read the newspaper instead of calling her down to my office. I knew that I probably wouldn’t have time to see her at any other time. It didn’t hit me, until she smiled and told me that it could wait until Monday, that I was avoiding her. I didn’t want to counsel her. I didn’t want to comfort her. I couldn’t alleviate her grief. I can’t bring back her dad. I can’t say anything that will make it better.
It had everything to do with my own grief and that really bothers me.

Now I have a dear friend who is grieving and I fear that I may be doing the same thing to her that I did to that sweet girl this afternoon. I haven’t gone to see her since she told me that she miscarried last weekend. I haven’t brought her a casserole – or better yet a bottle of scotch. I haven’t hugged her. I haven’t called. Until today, I thought it was me just getting caught up in the week…too much homework for Harrison, too many Costco runs or soccer practices, but that’s not the case. I haven’t reached out to her because death really pisses me off right now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another post without a photo

I wait patiently for Chris to come home from work so I can read blogs and surf the net. Usually I don't get on till past 9 PM. Then I'm too tired to sit here long. His new laptop is just a grander version of the last, but he's protective and has new rules. One of the hardest is that he won't let me download photos onto it. I could download them and then transfer them to a CD before deletion, but that just seems like a lot of work. I loved using Picasa and then picking daily what I wanted to post or just peruse.

I now have 274 pictures on my card. Tomorrow I have been asked to take pictures at a ground breaking . For a company. That's breaking ground. I'm not getting paid, but I there is another "job" on the horizon in about 4 weeks that I'm also scheduled for. If I do well, maybe this could turn into pay which would mean I could hire an electrician to finish my bathroom. Or I could hire a carpenter to finish my deck. Or I could buy a railing that would complete my front porch. Sure I want shoes and a new winter coat, but I REALLY want a second bathroom.

Tonight I bought a second card because I still don't know the best way to store my photos. I know I probably need to buy an extra hard drive thingy, but I'm just not that savvy about this stuff.

Cross your fingers that I can do this tomorrow. It shouldn't be hard. I just have to ask about 12 guys with shovels to stand close together and smile. We'll be up on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. If I don't get the shot - I'm hoping it won't be the end of the world. I guess I just have to pretend that they're cute kids - instead of construction execs and developers - I'm better at taking photos of kids.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


When I woke up yesterday, I was really tired. The kind of tired that made me question what day of the week it was - I ascertained that it must have been Friday, but NO it was Tuesday. Getting up in the dark is getting old. I usually wake up about 5 AM. Not to exercise - just to have time to shower and get to work on time.

I'm feeling better this morning even though I was at work last night until 8:30 PM. That's almost a 14 hour day. Surprisingly I feel better this morning. I am empowered!

For three days this week, I am coordinating a team of self-defense experts to teach all the female students in our school skills that will save their life. I've had to sit in on a couple of the three-hour workshops in case someone becomes uncomfortable due to flashbacks/memories/etc. So far it's gone extremely smoothly. We've educated about 300 girls so far and the buzz around the school is great. The girls have loved it.

Last night we offered a workshop to the community - geared towards our students' moms, mainly. One of the instructors approached me and asked me if I wanted to participate this time. I reluctantly agreed. I knew it would be "good" for me to have experienced something that I was asking others to do. The reason I was hesitant is because the class is very hands-on.

At the end of the workshop, one of the teachers dons a military protective suit and helmet (with a face cage) so that we can all take turns attacking him. Actually, he attacks us and we practice what we learn.

It was one of the best things I've done. I was the last "victim" and he did not take it easy on me. He came at me for only ten seconds, but it seemed much longer. All the other participants cheer and clap to encourage you, but all I could think about was getting him off of me. It was great!

I got home too late to kiss the kids good night. Due to my schedule, I have not seen my kids awake since Monday night. All I want to do is grab both of them and squeeze them tight - then I'll teach them the skills appropriate for their age level and risk. I sometimes think if I teach them - then they'll become fearful, but I doubt it. Life is risky. They need to know, as I now do, that they can protect themselves.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Stating the obvious

I've been without the ability to access anything worthwhile on the internet for days until now. Chris has finally returned from his jet-setting (literally) business trip. It is so good to have him home.

Single parenting is for the birds. I do not know how people do it. Children are a lot of work. Work is a lot of work. Running a household is a lot of work.

Anyway, he's back. I'll be fine eventually. The kids didn't fair much better. Harrison started having "behavioral issues" during after-care this afternoon and Ella just had a crying jag that lasted about 20 minutes. (Did you know that a bloody nose will not stop if you're crying?)

Routine is a funny thing. When you lose it, it upsets some to the core. Three different morning routines this week and my two collapse. Now I know.

Chris - if you're reading this - no more travel.