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!


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?




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…


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…



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.

focus on the kind because sometimes you just have to

You know those days where you just want to punch it in the face?

Yes, those days!

Well on those days I like to focus on the kind and the good rather than the exhausting suckage. So today, right now, I will focus on this right here.

Last week, Zoë’s beach cruiser that she has had for more than five years was stolen. For Zoë this sucked. This sucked a lot because the last couple years she has been trying hard to be an adult even when it was hard to be an adult. The easy way would have been to ask mommy and daddy to help her out but she hasn’t. I know it has been hard, very hard for her but I am proud of her for being the grownup especially when it has been hard.

Come back to the Valley, her family and friends told her. You can start over, they told her. So she did and she has…as hard as it has been…but at least she has people here. It’s so much better to adult when you have people because adult is a lot harder than kids can imagine.

But having her bike stolen was a tipping point. It is currently her only form of transportation to work and, in the Fall, school. In her words, it like her independence had been taken away. But with the determination of her enterprising big sister so as to restore Zoë’s faith in human kindness, a few generous, kind people – family, friends, strangers – did just that raising more than enough funds to replace her red beach cruiser with something shiny and pink to get around the 209!

yay new bicycle! 💕
Thank you all so much. I was so incredibly upset when my bike was stolen, but you guys restored my faith in humanity. There are some really shitty people out there, but there are so many more kind and generous people. I love you all!

Hurray for kindness winning!

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?


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.

not wasted

Nothing brings me more pleasure that the the sweet, unaffected laughter of any of my circus clowns. It’s so bright and so pure. Something so perfect I sometimes want to catch and keep forever with me; which is why I am always so very happy when I capture a moment like this.

In spite of the heat and the dry, dusty wind that has caused my allergies to flare up in such a way that is nothing but miserable, it still was a wonderful weekend because through swollen, red, itchy, tear-filled eyes I enjoyed the laughter shared with my family and their friends.

As for today, I have Benadryl and Motrin and so much laughter in the images that I collected.

I’m good.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin