too much growing up


To be filed under the “isn’t it ironic” files there was just too much growing up happening here under The Big Top today.

I came home from work this morning…YES!…I worked last night which is indeed some kind of record for 2014 where I worked the last three consecutive scheduled nights rather than be cut or placed on call. It’s a good thing. We’ll just ignore the health stuff going on because I’m working on it as best as I can right now and a paycheck is better than no paycheck as that has been a real reality of late. Not that any of this has anything to do with too much growing up going on.

Back on topic, I came home from work this morning to find this handsome young man…

yes, this handsome guy dressed and ready for school eating his breakfast.

I made my breakfast, Mom. Abby and Jodie are STILL sleeping.

yes, he did roll his eyes. For the record, it was 7:30 AM and both were soon up because of school and work. Meanwhile, this boy of mine made his own breakfast…a simple breakfast, but a good breakfast to start his day with.

Impressed I was!

This kid is growing up!

And just when I was feeling pretty okay with this, he hands me this flyer at the end of the day.

Yes, yes my sweet little boy is old enough to attend those monthly Middle School Dances sponsored by the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission with security provided by the Manteca Police Department (?!). The ones his sisters would BEG me to let them go to and as I would drop them and their friends off, I swear to god it took all that was in me to not jump out of the mom-car and pull them back in for so many reasons…reasons which were definitely confirmed today when I shared this flyer with them.

YIKES!

OMG, NO!

Nope, he’s not allowed to. I forbid it.

Well this could be fun if he wanted to go. I mean IF he wanted to go.

“Did you see this, Daniel?”

“Yes. I don’t want to go.”

Thank goodness!

That’s enough growing up for today.

 

 

 

last week and four years ago today


So last week my son in law was kind of a very big deal…

Because attending night school and then graduating with honors while working a full time job and, with your lovely bride, raising and caring for your 2 year old and 6 year old daughters is absolutely, positively a very big deal.

And this picture perfect family moment would not have happened last week were it not for this picture perfect moment that happened four years ago today.

Happy Anniversary Hollie and Ben!

And because I for one never, ever tire of the magic of that wonderful wedding…and I am a giver…

word search Wednesdays


What kind of mother would let their kid do his word search spelling/vocabulary homework without offering help?

This kid’s mama!

Some people can look at the jumble of letters in a word search puzzle and see all the words.

:::waving:::

And some people just see nothing but a jumble of letters all mashed together.

Daniel, wave hello.

It’s okay. Except the boy hates Word Search Wednesday. He hates it especially when no one else is around to help like any of his sisters or his dad or even Zelda because he is then forcedforced, I tell you, to check line by line, letter by letter to find the ten words that he is searching for.

Madness! Absolute madness!

It’s unbelievable how long it takes him to complete this homework assignment every Wednesday.

And then his dad walks into The Big Top coming home from work, hugs the boy hello and points at his paper at the very last word that Daniel has been painfully searching for for the last seven minutes.

Well at least he found the other nine all on his own.

 

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!!!

mortifying siblings


We love our brothers and sisters. We truly do. Still sometimes nothing embarrasses us more making us want to crawl into a hole pulling the dirt up over us sometimes as our siblings do…because, oh gawd, because they do. Especially at school. Especially when EVERYONE at school KNOWS they are your sister or brother.

Um, sis, did you NOT wash your face this morning?

OMG! Why are you dressed like me? Can you just not stand next to me?

Oh, hey. Hi.

I don’t know how you can possibly be my sister. Really. Can you just walk away? Now? Please? I swear to gawd, I’m gonna tell mom if you don’t.

Her? My sister? I have no idea who she is.

Would you believe that this is the first time since 1997 where I have only ONE child in school? School starts next week and honestly I do believe that I am going to need at least a week, if not more, to come to terms with that reality.