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.

no place I’d rather be

Traveling to Washington for my sister’s wedding means driving from the 209 to Yakima, Washington – 11+ hours of driving according to Google maps – with 8 stops along the way.

Yes, eight stops.

Traveling with this crazy. Now can you imagine why 8 stops a long the way? Add the crazy Oregon drivers traveling along Interstate 97 at the break neck speed of 50 mph and the road closure at 5:30 PM with literally one lane of a highway open for one mile with NOTHING GOING ON but a mile of road cones, and it ended up being a 16 hour adventure.

But you know what? It was a day spent with my favorite, crazy Hazey-Face, her mama and darling daughter #3. A day with great music, new and old…um, Hanson?

Yes, Hanson.

An attack grasshopper.

No, really.

Abby will never invite a grasshopper along for the ride ever again. Ever.

It was an adventure. But like the poet Rihanna sings, when I am with you there’s no place I’d rather be. Truly.

photo dump: triple digits edition

Dear East Coast, I’m sorry you are dealing with all that annoying wet stuff falling from the sky and saturating your neck of the woods. What is it that you call it? Oh, yeah, rain. I think I heard of rain before. I might have even seen it…then again, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps it’s just what I seen on the evening news. Meanwhile we are hot here in the Central Valley and pretty much everywhere on the West Coast. Very hot. Very dry, miserable hot with sticky clouds up above that only offer dry lightning strikes in the mountains because what’s one more raging wild fire right now?

Whatever!

We’re going over to Casa de Scarborough-Jacques because they have a pool and it’s hot…freaking, broiling hot.

Yeah, this will work. This will work out just fine.

At the end of the day the added bonus for Hollie and Ben…

…sleepy water babies.

summer break look

First week of summer break begins but first let’s take care of some business: dentist, pediatrician, summer tutoring assessments, and, most important, a new summer look.

Because the disco party-rave-bedhead-hot mess ‘do is just all kinds of wrong. The first and foremost wrong is that mom kept procrastinating to make the appointment to get a wa-ay overdue haircut. Daniel would like you all to know about that epic mom-fail.

They know now, Daniel.

Happy?

The challenge this past year has been finding someone to cut Daniel’s hair with respect to his sensory issues and NOT USE THE CLIPPERS because when his mom tells you to not use clippers when giving him his requested neat sweep look with a hat tip to David Beckham, Justin Timberlake and Liam Payne because he. just. can. not. handle. that. buzzing. sensation. Hollie COULD do it but then we stir in that whole bossy big sister, uncooperative little brother dynamic and then I have two cranky kids to deal with. Both pretty much told me yeah, no. Then came the one session in a local barber’s chair where after listening carefully to what Daniel wanted and my request to not use clippers and why, the barber nodded her head yes and used the clippers anyway while Daniel did his very best to keep his shit together until the very end as two, big, fat tears rolled down his paled cheeks. After that, Hollie put a call out to her people as to where could Daniel get the look that he wanted without clippers because Hollie assured me that it could be done.

Enter Raquel.

I missed Daniel’s first time in her chair as his sister, Hollie, took him. Daniel was thrilled. And finally, literally three months later, mom made another appointment and here he was, back in Raquel’s chair…happy. Raquel got to work quickly while the two of them caught up like old friends. She was quick with her scissors cutting off so much hair…three months growth all over the floor…and clippers were never picked up. Added bonus, she is absolutely gorgeous.

Yeah, I can see why Daniel likes her!

NOW, we’re ready for summer break!