Friday, August 26, 2011

First Day Blues

So the first day of school came and went for my third grader.  It was long, he was exhausted, and a little ticked that they had to hear the rules AGAIN, and did not get to do math, but he was alright.

The first day for my Kindergartner, not so much.  I knew it was going to be hairy when we tried to go to a dance class the night before and he wrapped himself around me like a rhesus monkey and refused to do anything.  I sat on the floor through the entire class choking for air while he said, "I am not doing this!"

In my head, I was already formulating how to combat these issue the next morning.  We got ready for bed, laid out his clothes, and I explained what would happen the next day, twice! I also explained there would be no time for fits, tantrums, or screaming.  Then we said prayers, his brother talked about all the fun stuff you get to do in Kindergarten, and I read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn without crying.  I was feeling pretty good.

Side note - I even remembered to prep his brother before he woke up that he might be nervous and throw a fit, or not get on the bus and all of that was OK.  We needed to show him love and kindness and help him through it just like mommy did for him on the airplane when he was really really scared.

Then the moment of truth arrived and he ended up barely eating, throwing down with me about what clothes to wear, and screaming for twenty minutes that he was NOT GOING TO KINDERGARTEN!!!  One step at a time.  I finally got him dressed, but he wasn't getting on the bus.  Then I got him outside but he wouldn't carry his backpack.  We got to the bus stop, but he wasn't going to school.  We got home and he had to do three things before we could leave.  And he did exactly three things.  He went and put glue in his back pack, he had to throw the whistle ball, and then he had to play PIG with dad.

So we got in the van and I start to drive to school not knowing whether I should talk about something else, talk about school, or just shut-up.  I turned on the radio, asked if he was cool enough, and then waited for him to talk.  We were not going anywhere fast as we live pretty close to school and were behind three buses.  He spotted the buses and just knew his brother was on one and we should race it to school.  SO we did!! At all of 18 miles and hour, I think, hot on it's tail.

Dad met us at school, so did the principal. (who I slipped inside to call when he wouldn't get on the bus asking for back-up at his classroom)  He gave her a high five, walked down to his classroom and got in line with the teacher.  I started to back away immediately not knowing what to expect.  Would he lunge tackle me screaming, "Don't leave me! I'm not staying here!"

I'm pretty sure what saved us was the child that did have to be extracted from his mother and carried into the classroom by a teacher and the guidance counselor.  So we wouldn't be the first - they had a system (and a very large woman) in place to handle child extractions. Excellent!

He looked so small, and scared, and I...I thought I was going to throw up.  I have not felt so sick to my stomach since my first day of Kindergarten.  When he was crying this morning, he said he would not go unless his "whole famiwee can come wif me."  Oh buddy, I want nothing more than to go wif you.  I wish I could sit in the corner and do Kindergarten all over again....but I can't.

I've cried so hard and so long, I did throw up.  Then I cried so more.  Gee, I hope next week gets better.  Maybe there is a large woman that can carry me home?

Friday, August 19, 2011

without words

Good, bad, wrong or right...words have always been a huge part of my life.  Talking, writing, singing, words have helped me through every joy and sorrow.

Why is it when I hear the word cancer, all words seem to escape me.  The first time that word came into my life was also when my Great Aunt Leona came into my life.  She was fighting a tumor that had taken her lung and was wrapped around her heart.  She was amazing, courageous, wise, and wonderful.  But I only saw a part of it.

Both of my father's parents battled cancer.  Papa was diagnosed and died within a month or so.  Mama was diagnosed and it seemed to giver her a courage and purpose like we had never seen in her 70 odd years.  She was ready to fight, and she did for three whole years.  I still only saw part of it.

My Uncle George fought a long hard horrible battle with brain cancer.  He showed strength and faith that still leaves me in awe.  My friends mother fought humorously against stage 4 breast cancer.  They taught me things that I will treasure not only about how to live but how to die.

We have had two friends our age diagnosed last year with cancer.  They have young children.  Their cancer's are very different and so are their struggles.  Two children we know have been diagnosed with Leukemia.  It's overwhelming and still I only know part of it.

A friend who had breast cancer several years ago found out that it is back in her lymph nods.  She is hopeful, courageous and still wicked funny.  She is also scared, vulnerable, and anxious.  And I have no words.  What do I say? I feel helpless and dumb and wordless.  This is the part isn't it? The part that is missing when you are not the spouse or caregiver.

Courage is a muscle you must exercise.  I think there could not be anything more courageous then facing death everyday.  Waking up knowing that there is a war raging inside of you, ready to take you down.  But is that want someone living with this diagnosis wants to hear - I'm awe struck by your courage, keep fighting. I'll keep praying. 

My friends mother went into her mastectomy with a t-shirt that said STOP THE WAR IN MY RACK.
Our friend with Colo-Rectal Cancer said if women can have Save the TaTa's he wanted brown t-shirts that read SAVE THE ASSHOLES.  If humor is the key, my friend has more years then she can count and plenty of Bunko left in her.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

it's all relative

I started out thinking I was going to write about turning 39, hense the title "it's all relative", but after watching an episode of the Jersey Housewives while I folded three loads of laundry that has taken on a whole new meaning in my head.

Aren't those housewives all related? And not just with the mob, I am the marriage kind of related?  It's funny to watch them interact with each other on camera; one arm hug, pecks on the cheek, plastered smiles then all the one uping, snide remarks, more fake smiling (and boobs) and then they turn around and say to a camera man - LIKE NO ONES GOING TO HEAR - "She is such a b!tch.  She thinks she can sing and sh!t and she's all fake..."

Hello?  and then people are surprised when these women throw down at a wedding in six inch heels and floor length gowns.  Who knew?

Ok, time to come up with a letter title for my rant about age??

Sunday, August 7, 2011

do over

I want a do over! she calls from box one
box two and three shrug and look down
but the girl in box four says No Way!
and she is the ultimate one

why doesn't democracy rule
on the playground you follow a code
there are kids in charge and most are not
and that's just the way in schools

but box one insists she has the right
she looks to her friends for help
but they are too scared of the one in charge
they will not get in on this fight

I want a do over! she says with a stomp
hands on her hips like her mom
she tries to look big, as big as a house
as she trembles with fear of a romp

for just one moment the world seems to stop
as she stands in the crackling air
defiance is hard and it makes her feel weak
until box four shrugs and head drops