play it again: sorting and searching

Originally published October 12, 2008

While many are panicking as they pull their money out of banks and the stock market, my darling daughter #4, Jodie, is ready to put her little stash in the bank. Yes-sirree! The faith of one 12 year old is going to restore everyone’s confidence and end this financial clusterfuck for us all, gosh darn it all to heck! Jodie earned a little over $60 tap dancing her little heart out on a street corner at the Manteca Pumpkin Fair and rather than attempt to blow it all in one place, she decided that perhaps she should SAVE it.

Is this really my child?

Seriously, I was glad to see that she was listening to my words of wisdom rather than my years and years of poor financial action or perhaps she was making this decision based on the pile of bad money management in my personal history. Either way, I couldn’t help but be proud of her decision. She does have savings that we established when she was still a little carpet crawler but it is safely and quietly growing in a credit union account in the Bay Area. One of these days, I tell myself, I will move it closer to home but there is always something else to juggle. In the meantime, Jodie wants to open up her own personal savings account at a bank just down the street. In her perky, golden-blonde goodness she imagines her stopping there after school to add even more money to it when she gets it so she can save, save, save and watch her money grow, grow, grow.

See? I told you she will restore America’s financial confidence.

After a little discussion, I agree this is a good idea for the money she earned and suggest that we go together to the bank and open up her own personal savings account. All I need to do is get her social security card and off we can go.

Easy-peasy.

Not so easy-peasy.

I have the three youngest children’s social security cards filed safely away. The only problem is I can’t exactly remember where they are filed safely away. The obvious, logical place would be my filing cabinet where I have filed “important” paperwork like past income tax forms, my continuing education certificates, the kids’ birth certificates, Daniel’s adoption papers and medical records, insurance policies and other stuff like that. But I am not necessarily a logical, obvious kind of person. Still I am stubbornly certain that those cards HAVE to be in there so there I was this past week, sorting through my files piece by piece trying to find those cards.

During my process I come across one important document that I kind of forgot about…but actually I haven’t. A four-page Traffic Collision Report # 01-054-0734 of the incident that occurred February 23, 2001 at 1615 hours on Camden Avenue just 51.6 feet north of Merrill Loop. Party #1 had no driver’s license number, was 4 ft 5 in tall and was perceived (incorrectly) to be 80 pounds. The report also states that she was 9 years old which was also incorrect. She was 8. She was traveling east on Camden Avenue (it runs north to south) at an undetermined speed. Party #2 did have a driver’s license, was a foot and a half taller and twice the recorded weight of party #1. He was also more than 50 years older. He was traveling north on Camden at an estimated 35 mph. the report goes on for three more pages with detailed illustrations of the point of impact and the 95 feet of tire skid marks up to the point of impact on Camden Avenue. The three witnesses’ accounts completely support the evidence in the street: the skid marks, the stopped flatbed truck with the one ton trench digger secured on the flatbed, the crumpled, battered and bloodied body of the 80 pound 50 pound, 4 ft 5 in tall, 8 year old body of my daughter Zoë and the banged up razor scooter lying curbside.

The sorting and searching of my files stop as I slowly re-read and re-live every detail of that horrible, horrible afternoon. I feel my breath catching and my heart pounding as I scan each and every line of Officer # 3495’s carefully printed and typed report. More than 8 years, 12 inches and approximately 60 pounds later I still haven’t forgotten. I will never forget. How could I possibly forget? I just have it filed away very neatly in my file cabinet…and in my heart and in my mind.

I never did find the social security cards. I stopped searching. After my little afternoon of recollection, my heart just wasn’t in it, I guess. I know they are somewhere, safely filed away and they will turn up right around the time I receive the replacement cards I requested.

spoiling the favorite

Here under The Big Top, it is no secret that we play favorites. “Experts” agree and opine all the time that parents, whether they want to admit it or not, do play favorites. Some parents write about it and become viral media sensations. There’s even a freaking how-to guide for us more indecisive parents. And of course growing up with four siblings, each one of my kids are always trying to figure out who is my favorite child…right now.

Well this week “the current favorite” received a little something from me.

Not because she wanted it…because they ALL wanted it. Not because I had the disposable income to buy it for her because I don’t and if I did that money would be going to stuff like bills that need to be paid. I won this sweet little iPad mini. Boys and girls sometimes you do win those social media contests that you must like or retweet or repost or share or whatever.

The more you know!

But I have an iPad. Gifted to me by my Dad…probably on a day where I was the favorite. My iPad is great.

Cue the sucking up and presentations from my circus act of why each individual clown should have an iPad from me.

Actually my clowns surprised me and did not do so much sucking up…or at least not as much as I expected which could have been a little bit disappointing kids. I’m just saying. No actually because I really didn’t talk too much about winning the iPad to them, or anyone else…well, except for my darling husband because I knew each and everyone of my darling clowns would LOVE for me to gift them with an iPad and OMG the dilemma of choosing…people the struggle is really real.

No!

Really!

It is real.

After much thought, consideration and discussion with my darling husband, the father of these clowns, the decision was made.

They all could use it.They all WANTED it. They all (in their minds) needed it. They all definitely deserved such a gift because, frankly, Bill and I have FIVE pretty damn awesome kids. Still, we both decided that the one who needed it the most RIGHT NOW should have it…the one who finds herself with no working computer. The one who has a phone that no longer connects to the Internet too. The one who recently moved from one part of Cali to another and needs to get settled back to work and (soon I hope) back to school. The one who is our favorite…today…this week.

This playing favorites thing as parents is hard! Still we are rewarded….with hugs, lots of hugs and thanks….

and iPad selfies of their gorgeous, happy smiles.

This week’s favorite child appropriately spoiled…check. Next week will likely be Daniel because Back to School and all that.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the Nursing Handbook app on my iPad. Thank you Wolters Kluwer Health.

 

 

 

my plus 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5

Do you remember your first?

Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about politics. Do you remember your first political experience? How about the first time you voted? And the best personal political experience in your lifetime ever? This weekend I had the opportunity to hear some pretty amazing, smart women, women who when they speak politicians listen, share some of their first and best experiences as we gathered together to talk politics…naturally…and women…and women in politics…and healthcare and politics…and elections…and the upcoming midterm elections…and why a dear friend sitting next to me needs to someday soon put herself out there to run.

I remember my first political experience. I was 13 years old. Mommy Dearest dragged me to a political protest against then Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter because of his non-stance on abortion at that point in his campaign; which was kind of awkward and strange all around since Mom was a life-long Democrat and a self-proclaimed feminist because it was the 70s and because she scarcely could talk to me about periods at that time much less the mechanics of where babies came from. Yet there I was, standing next to her holding a sign declaring that God was at war against abortion. I was thirteen years old. My picture appeared on the front page of the Pittsburgh Press holding that damn sign as Mr. Carter walked by smiling and waving. Mom was standing next to me smiling and waving too. Oh gawd, I was mortified!!! I was thirteen.

My best political experience was the 1988 General Elections. I was in college working towards my nursing degree and taking care of prereqs like Political Science. Since we were just four months away from the General Election, our professor deigned to focus on taking us through the California ballot for that year studying each and every candidate and initiative on the ballot that year so that each of us would be able to go to the polls truly informed and voting as such. I aced the course and yes, I entered the voting booth for the very first time as a truly informed, confident voter. I brought my +1 too before it was even cool to bring a +1. Of course we wore our matchy-matchy acid wash jeans and big 80’s hair because 80’s.

I am so sorry Hollie! Truly.

But I will never apologize for taking you and Zoë and Abby and Jodie and Daniel to the polls.

Then again, perhaps my best political experience were the days Hollie, Zoë, Abby and Jodie all voted for the first time. When our government mucks up things that affect these ladies I love to remind them that my kids care and my kids vote. Yeah, my greatest political accomplishment is my kids vote…my kids think and my kids vote. Okay, fine. Four out of five of my kids vote…for now. Then again, 2020 will come soon enough.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to, laugh with and share with some extraordinary women who are committed to encouraging and training women to be leaders in their communities. Breaking bread with some of them we discussed healthcare and politics and what I believe to be a poorly written, tugging at your aching-breaking heart proposition that will appear on the California November ballot.

The biggest takeaways from political suite talks I engaged in this weekend? Politics is indeed personal because politics affects us all… we women…our access to healthcare…our children…our community. We can indeed be part of the change and we can make a difference with our words and our actions. We must. Anything we say or do, no matter how big or how small.we might imagine it to be can and will and does make a difference. Discussing what I learned this weekend with my +1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 I know I am because 4 of them vote.

In 100 days is our U.S. General Election. Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself arguing, it’s imperative you are part of the process — along with your +1. In fact, your +1 may vote entirely opposite from you but what matters is you are both at the polls on election day.

 

family meeting

There is quite possibly nothing more stressful than introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family.

Am I right?

Playing Cards Against Humanity has to be probably the best way to break the ice. Yes, I do believe this is the best way to meet one another. I did enjoy meeting Zoë’s new boyfriend and getting to know my sister, Ange’s just a little bit better. Thank goodness Ange and Matt travel with their own set of Cards Against Humanity.

Anyone needing gift ideas for Christmas or my birthday, I want this game for my very own. Remember, I have a lot of kids who just might be bringing home significant others to meet the family someday. I have to be ready.

it’s in the dna

That absolutely glorious moment when your Auntie Zoë helps you with your super hero cape as she tells you how she knows all about super heroes and their capes because when she was a little girl she was known as Super Zoë

So fantastically amazing it is!

It must be a pale, blue-eyed, ginger girl kind of thing.

Just don’t crash while you are flying and break your nose, Super Fallon. Yeah, that happened a few times to Super Zoë.