what makes me a PTA reject

Yes, I am that mom. I am a PTA reject.

Why are you even remotely surprised?

Now it’s not that I didn’t try. Back when Hollie was a bright-eyed little kindergartener, I did sign on to join and I enthusiastically planned to attend all the meetings and take on all the projects. Then I attended my first meeting…

Oh you work?

I’m not sure why this seemed to be such a bad thing but it was. Still I pressed on determined to support my daughter by supporting her school. They needed me, no matter what anyone who regards moms who work outside the home as bad people might think. But attending meetings and participating seemed like, well, it seemed like junior high where ugly, awkward, pimply-faced me just wanted to be friends and fit in with the graceful, pretty, clear-skinned popular girls.

It seemed that this is where the pretty, clear-skinned popular girls landed…in the PTA.

UGH! This feels a lot like Moms’ Bible Study!

Whatever!

I stopped attending the meetings. I definitely did not sign on to any committees or special projects…except for that one year I was on the school yearbook committee because Yearbook Mom told me the year before that there was no way that Zoë’s name could appear in the yearbook with the umlaut above the “e”. Well, it did when she was in second grade because her mommy participated in the yearbook committee and with a Sharpie pen put two dots above the “e”. Yearbook Mom at first was not amused, but every year after there were two dots above the ‘e’ because I showed her how it could be done. But other than that I was pretty comfortable with paying the annual PTA dues and buying the crappy wrapping paper, the stinky candles, the chocolate candies and all the walkathons because it was for my kids’ school. The school got the money, my kids got the class credit and ice cream party for kids whose parents were members, the PTA moms didn’t have to deal with the awkward of me wanting to fit in and for them to tell me that I couldn’t…and they could get back to their whispering about the moms who worked outside the home…especially the one who looked like she just rolled out of bed in rumpled scrubs at the afternoon pickup…yes, me. It was good for us all.

Added bonus is the free ice cream for me!

Frankly, I find myself wondering why we can’t just adopt this approach to school support and fundraising?

Sign.

Me.

Up.

All kidding and snarkiness aside, I still support my kids’ schools….Dolphins and Timberwolves and now Sun Devils all the way!!! Just let me write you a check and you all who eat, sleep and breathe PTA while hovering closely over our kids’ schools can continue to do the awesome that you do. Smile and thank me…then get back to the whispering about my just rolled out of bed look…or the other moms who just don’t seem to fit in.

Like my daughter.

We’re totally okay with that.

And then when I’m feeling oh so smug as I write this the phone rings…

Mom…

What’s up Daniel?

Today was a minimum day. Are you going to come get me?

Yes. I did that.

shifted revolutions

Late one August night in 2001, I had an emotional crisis which my darling husband had to talk me down from and hug it out. My then youngest child, my sunshine-y, happy baby girl who was slumbering peacefully in the room next door was going to be starting kindergarten the next morning. No doubt she was having happy, sweet, sunshine-y dreams about her very first day of kindergarten because that was all that she chirped about as I bathed her, brushed her golden hair and tucked her into bed with kisses and hugs. She could not wait.

But me? I had resolved that she wouldn’t be starting kindergarten after all. That’s right. It was settled, I told my darling husband. Jodie would not be going to school.

But…Bill countered…she has to go to school.

No. No she does not. School will ruin her. Look what it has done to our 14 year old first born…a perfectly normal adolescent who would rather chew ground glass than hang out with mom and dad because

Oh my gawd! Mom! Dad! No!!

She used to love and adore us like the sun and the moon that rose and set for her every day. The she went to school.. It’s too late for her and Zoë and Abby but we can save this one. No school for her. I am the center of her universe. She is Mommy’s baby girl. She even still calls me Mommy. School willI ruin it all. No school for her.

I told you it was a crisis.

Bill obviously talked me out of it because Jodie did happily skip off to Miss Smith’s bright classroom the next morning. Our then teenager continued to put us through the paces but we all survived…as we have survived three more teenagers. And yes, the center of Jodie’s universe did shift as it did with all of my children.

Dammit school!

So now I start to adjust to the fact that my third circus clown has left The Big Top…and her empty room…and the even quieter circus tent…and remembering not to set a place for her at the table…and on and on… I’m going to be okay…I think…and then Laurie shares I was the sun, and the kids were my planets and…

Dammit!

:::SOB!!!:::

I’m a mess all over again because Beverly Beckham is right. When Hollie left the first time and then left the second time with Hazel and when Zoë left and now Jodie it has been the end.

I was the sun and they were the planets. And there was life on those planets, whirling, nonstop plans and parties and friends coming and going, and ideas and dreams and the phone ringing and doors slamming.

And I got to beam down on them. To watch. To glow.

And then they were gone, one after the other.

Yes, they do come back but it is never the same, noisy, chaotic, busy circus that was life under The Big Top when I was the sun and they were my planets.

kids, here are 10 things I may or may not have told you

You made me cry…a lot

Hollie and me – 1987. No apologies for the hair and glasses because 1987.

I wanted that last piece of pie…cake…cookie

Hollie, Zoë and me, 1992. Yes, those are matching Christmas sweaters. A gift. Funny how my darling husband didn’t receive one.

It hurt.

Hollie, Zoë, Abby and me, 1994. One child might never forgive me for this picture.

I was always afraid…still am…don’t judge, especially if you are not my child.

Hollie, Zoë, Abby, Jodie and us, 1996. Apparently we didn’t realize just how busy we were then as people told us ALL THE TIME that “we must be busy.

I know that I am not perfect.

And the Family Circus is completed, 2002. Also the year where any doubts of me being a perfect Mother were solidly squashed. Have a teenager and you will understand.

I watched you as you slept…still do.

Hollie, 1990

I carried you a lot longer than nine months.

Zoë, 1998

It broke my heart every time you cried.

Abby, 1997

I put you first.

Jodie, 1999

I would do it all over again…times five…to the infinity power.

Daniel, 2008

Kids, I can’t begin to express my gratitude that I get to be your Mother, Mommy, Mom, times five…to infinity and beyond.

I thank you all for calling me Mama, Mommy, Mom, Mommy Dearest, OMG-Mom, Mother; and, thank you , for needing me, teaching me, forgiving me, loving me, accepting me, modeling me and, most of all, amazing me because I get to say that I am Mom to these five remarkable people.

BONUS!! I have to say that I must be a pretty okay mom because these two perfectly, exquisite children  call me Mima…and give the best hugs.

 

for the love of the shrimp lover

Because his endocrinologist says he’s not gaining enough weight. Because nothing ruins a delicious meal more than having to say eat your chicken…eat your rice…eat your vegetables…yada, yada, yada, through the entire course of the meal. Because nothing provokes a day filled with anxiety for him than when mom pulls chicken out of the freezer to thaw in the morning. Because this child truly, truly, truly takes the term picky eater to a level that pretty much every other parent ever could never understand…remember when I first started this blog and we were just trying him to get food INTO HIS MOUTH and hopefully chew it and swallow it? Because this child has caused me to break every rule or belief I have had about feeding my family and my family will never, ever let me forget that….EVER!

And because he tells me that he is a shrimp lover as he eats a plate full of shrimp, I keep a big bag of frozen shrimp on hand and have no problem sauteeing a pan full with garlic, butter, lemon and red chili flakes just for him. I just got him to literally inhale more than 100 calories there. He then asks for seconds which I will happily oblige…AFTER he eats his vegetable please.

they break your hearts

Those beautiful, perfect, darling babies you adore? They do. Just accept it now young parents who are literally awe struck by every yawn, fart, sneeze, poopy diaper and sweet cuddly, perfect moment your perfect child shares with you while they are cute and cuddly and perfect.

It seems like it was yesterday that this golden, blonde child of mine was in preschool and brought her baby doll, Bonnie, for picture day. She and I together just yesterday recalled this moment and laughed as she described  how she, as a 4 year old, took the time that morning to dress Bonnie in that perfect, pink dress because it was picture day.  Oh my goodness! This golden, blonde baby girl of mine!

Broke my heart growing up, she did; and then she made me drive for nearly 12 hours to visit ASU for next few days where she will be going to school in the Fall as a Business Major, Dance Minor. Did I tell you that she created her own GoFundMe account to help pay the $$$$ for her college education?

She did.

She also has been working three jobs during her deferral year this year to save $$$$ for her college education.

She never had a graduation party to shamelessly solicit gifts and $$$ most high school grads do so feel free to gift her now at her GoFundMe account.

I’m still mad that she grew up even if she is incredibly smart, hard-working, bossy, talented, beautiful and the perfect 4th daughter any mother could ever ask and pray for.

::::wiping the emotional tears away::::

Time to tour the campus and the W.P. Carey School of Business.

A personal tour of the ASU Tempe campus?

Well, yeah. It’s who you know. This guy, her friend, Michael, is a pretty great tour guide.

Grateful Jodie has a couple friends here already to help her navigate starving student college life away from home because she is my baby girl. But I am still a little…perhaps a lot mad because that sweet, blonde preschooler who took her baby doll, Bonnie, to school broke my heart and grew up.

Bonnie is staying home with me!