my 100% track record


So far…yes, this.

Won’t lie, of late it has been wretchedly hard to maintain that 100% track record of mine. Thank goodness for the kind of people who do more than just offer the trite “let me know if I can help” bullshit then avoid you like the plague because that’s what happens with people in your circles when shit happens. It’s okay. I understand. I promise you that I’m not contagious.

Meanwhile, thank you Kari, Mike, Tori, Grace, Craig, Kim, Erika, Jenn and Brenda for little messages and reminders to hang in there. Thank you.

Thank you also my darling husband for just being patient and kind because more than anything that is what I need right now. Wait, I need hugs. I need lots of hugs. Thank you and thank goodness for Daniel and for Hollie sending Hazel and Fallon with hugs. Yeah, I know Hazel might be using these opportunities to get out of homework because 1st grade life is hard and Fallon is absolutely using the opportunity to get out of naps but those are mighty fine hugs and something to look forward to the next day, tomorrow, because yeah today is almost done.

inclusion, exclusion, privacy, the 1st day of school and, sigh, picking the battles


Here under The Big Top we are officially BACK TO SCHOOL!

Can I hear a YEAH, BABY!!!??

OH, YEAH BABY!!!

And for the first time since 1997 I only have one child of mine heading back to school which means…

yeah, I know it means this is my last baby and all my babies are growing up…

More importantly, this means that I only had ONE ream of repetitive back to school paperwork to fill out, also known as “Mom-work” in Daniel’s classroom this year. For the record, I got my Mom-work done.

Leading up to the first day of school was so much excitement and nervous energy…totally normal I assure Daniel. Hazel excitedly shared the day before how she couldn’t wait to go to her school and see her name posted under the name of her assigned first grade teacher. Who would it be? She was so excited with the anticipation of it all as were pretty much every other K-8 child in this town. It’s part of the Back to School tradition.

Daniel wanted to be a part of that too. Last year we went to his school the day before the first day to view the class lists and…nothing. We downplayed it reminding him that we had the letter from the district telling him what school he would be going to and he wiped away the tears but not the worry…what if his name wasn’t there for a reason? But the next morning the principal assured him that yes he was at her school and in Mrs. B’s 4-6 SDC class. It’s privacy concerns she tells me when I ask why his class list wasn’t posted.

Privacy?

Privacy. People might KNOW that he is in the SDC class, she explains with a warm smile.

Um, okay. They already know.

So this year I decide to call the school and ask do I bother to drive over to the school. Do I put my child through that feeling of exclusion again?

You don’t need to come, I am told. Daniel will be in Mrs. B’s 4-6 SDC class.

Okay.

YES! Daniel is thrilled. Daniel is also kind of disappointed.

Disappointed? The principal wonders why.

Well, he doesn’t get to participate in that annual ritual of going to the school the day before the first day and looking for his name…and then the names of his friends.

I’m reminded again of the importance to respect his privacy which is why the SDC classes are never made public…at least at this particular campus in the MUSD district.

I think the principal heard my head thud on my desk because she then commented that I might not like that policy.

I don’t. Daniel (and his classmates in Mrs. B’s 4-6 class) are known on campus. All of them spend some length of time every day in mainstream classrooms. They participate in all activities on that campus. Everyone knows them.

Respecting their privacy?

I don’t get that.

My son, and his classmates might be differently abled. Perhaps they learn at a different pace or in a different way. Still they are included in classroom settings with their also “normal” abled peers…and the benefits abound. We’ve seen it in interactions through the years with Daniel’s teachers, with his classmates and with their families. And we have seen our son, and his SDC peers thrive…thrive in the least restrictive environment for them, for their classmates (normal and different), for their teachers and support staff and for the families. Yes, some families and even a few teachers struggle with this, but overall the results are positive all around on campus and I imagine, wish, hope and pray will continue to grow and flourish as my son becomes a young man.

No, I don’t get it. I respectfully disagree with respecting their privacy, I explain to the principal. I’m glad that I called the school first, I tell her. I’d hate for Daniel to again feel excluded from this back to school tradition.

She never thought of it that way, she tells me.

I know.

I could fight. I could argue with her. But I don’t. You pick your battles. This isn’t even an argument I decide.

We need to focus on this.

6th grade life, people!!!

And let us not forget, 1st grade! Hazel Faye is now a 1st grader!!!

when robots come knocking on your front door


There was a loud knock on the door of The Big Top this afternoon. I peeked through the peephole and I saw a box…a large box. But I didn’t order anything that would come in such a big box…

I opened the door anyway and found a robot!

A blue-eyed robot!

And where there is one little robot, there is sure to be another one showing up.

See.

Hugh Jackman once said that he would love to have a robot at home. Dude, I’ve got two…blue-eyed robots!

and how I know she’s her mother’s daughter


You know, other than the fact that I was there the day that she was born and cut the cord that attached her to her mother; or the fact that she looks like her mother and my other daughters, as does her sister because ginger genes rule…

I‘m Harriet the Spy, Mima.

Really?

Yeah.

Who are you spying on?

Fallon.

As sisters do to sisters because they are your sisters. Extra bonus points if they are your younger sisters and you catch them doing something you believe to be wrong.

These two facts indeed confirm that she is definitely her mother’s daughter which is good because I was beginning to wonder when she declared that Full House is dumb.

when I find myself in times of trouble


Sometimes life is just not much fun which I explain to my young adult children is why it sucks to be a grownup. I told them when they were younger too but they never listened then as children anxious to be grown up never do.

Today was one of those days where life pressed down a little too hard…a migraine…the eye twitchy thing…worrying about work (or lack of) and finances and a broke-ass car that we can’t afford to replace but replace we must and my kids (as their mom I always do worry every damn day because I’m their mom, dammit!)…dealing with my brother’s texts full of lectures and fears about Mommy Dearest’s colonoscopy because routine is never a reality for them which only served to amp up the eye twitchy thing into hyper-drive…and a scary-assed, WTF-is-happening-around-us, near miss driving from Stockton with my son in the car this afternoon. Quite frankly I just wanted to curl up into a ball and weep and wait for sleep or relief from any of what was pressing down upon me too hard to come.

And then the neighbors came over.

This kind of helps.

Actually it helps a lot.