Sunday, May 30, 2010

An oxymoron

The term holiday weekend has become an oxymoron for me. Now that I am a family's camp counselor, transportation coordinator, chamber maid and "she-who-shall-not-be-named all around bad guy" I rarely find holidays or vacations of any kind restful.

I woke up and thought - let me take the dog for a run before it gets hot. I fell back asleep for about half an hour and was less motivated to run. Still motivated to get something done, I woke C and brought her with me to Wegmans for an early morning trip. At about 12:30 I realized no one had taken the dog for a proper walk, so I put on my New Balance and off we ran around the block. I came home drenched with sweat and had to shower. Meanwhile people were just beginning to think about what we needed to bring to the beach - our destination for the day. At the store I bought SPF 70 (!!!) sunblock for my fair husband's face only to be told "I just read that any SPF over 15 is bullshit and not worth buying." One of thooose days I see......

We pack the car with the bare essentials (1 towel per person, 4 chairs, 1 soda per person, sunscreen, a few books, extra clothes) and off we went... but first, we had to stop for slurpees at 7-Eleven. Oh, and by the way, there's a 30 mile stretch of the Parkway that's bumper to bumper traffic.... so we take Route 18 - with lights every few feet... but we get to Seven Presidents park in about 1 hour 15 minutes. Not tooooo bad.

It only took us half an hour longer than it should have to make our destination.

Once there it was first too hot, then too cold for my Dad. Yes, I should be much more empathetic for my heat-sensitive 85 year old Dad. I just couldn't find the love today. My husband wasn't much help either "I can't carry this, it's bad for my back" he said about the drinks. The kids were disappointed that the ocean was too cold for swimming. All I wanted was a cocktail, since I was driving, I couldn't have one.

It took us 30 minutes to drive 3 miles on the way home from the shore, so I navigated backroads (what would we have done before a GPS? Oh, I would have read the map!). Patience was wearing even thinner. My husband snapped at me for asking him how to find the temperature on his car. "There's only ONE button on the dashboard" (but on the navigation system there are a ton) and I just wanted to get home.

About 10 minutes south of Bridgewater we see smoke rising from the side of the road. A traffic sign hanging from a tree. Then we saw what caused it: a car ran down a huge pole. It's in flames. The ambulance and first cop get there only seconds before we drive by.

And I remember, since I'm here to write about it - completely unscathed - then I have to admit it was a good day. Moody men, road-raged Mom, grumpy grandpa and all. We got to our destination safely and we got home safely. Maybe holidays aren't restful for moms, but I guess in the big picture calling a day at beach trip on Memorial Day Weekend a holiday isn't an oxymoron after all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

always saying the wrong thing...

Earlier today I started to comment on facebook. Her status was "Stay-cation - pro or con"? I wrote something like staycation sucks for a stay-at-home Mom because it means more work. This friend writes the ambivalent womb blog.  I deleted it and changed it to a more appropriate comment about wanting more stamps in my passport (also true) - but for people who can't afford expensive vacations it would also be inappropriate.

I had lunch with a friend of mine who is not well. She said that the medicine she is on is causing weight loss... and just as my inappropriate mouth tends to do I said the wrong thing. I made a comment about how I wished I could lose weight... WTF is wrong with me.

My father outdid me. After lunch was over and we were in the parking lot, my friends were talking about how lots of people are praying for her. My father said, "Well, I believe in medicine!" (Followed by something supportive about chemotherapy).

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At least when seek help for this affliction I can blame my parents... and will take the blame when my kids learn it too.

If only I could delete and edit in real life just like I can in Facebook! There's a lot of things I don't like about FB - but this is something I really like!!! On the other hand, as my FB comment would indicate - you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time!

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Jersey's rudest town???

(Written Sunday)

Yesterday morning (Saturday) I was ready to crown Bridgewater as New Jersey's rudest town.

Two people I know just scowled at my when I saw them on my street, smiled and waved hello to them yesterday morning.

On the way to a soccer game, I stopped at Panera for bagels for C and me. On the way out of the parking lot I did what can be referred to as a "California rolling stop". There wasn't much traffic, but the guy coming towards me in the opposite lane rolls down his window and says (nasty "big man" voice).


I was so shocked that all I could was gawk. I wanted to say something like a multitude of four-letter words. I was impotent! I don't think I've ever been silenced before by a man! I felt attacked - minor violence against women, but I could feel the hate!

But then with a little time and some time spent with some of my favorite Bridgewater residents (on the soccer sidelines and later on Country Club drive) I was reminded that there is kindness and warmth right here in 08807.

Or maybe I was changed my thoughts to this: we don't have a monopoly on rudeness. After my daughter's game in Sparta the coach of the opposing team refused to shake our coach's hand after the game! In front of the girls! All our coach (N) could do was raise his hands in the air and ask him "are you kidding me?!" Typical NJ moment? Or is the US just getting more rude?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

need to write a 2nd blog

We were JUST talking about this yesterday, but I'd never heard of Eliza Dolittle Day.

Long live grammar!

Long live people who want their kids to speak English well. I will correct any kid I hear saying, "Me and my friends like this."

Long live those who endeavor to use correct grammar in their own speech!

Thanks Mom and Dad for correcting me throughout my life. Even today I get a reminder if I speak incorrectly.

Soccer Mom's presumption

Last night our Soccer Centers trainer called a parents' meeting. I got there on time but there was no parking ANYWHERE. I met up with the other parents at 8:32. Just as the trainer finished.

I blurted out to one of our coaches, "Didn't you say it was STARTING at 8:30?" I was more mad than I should have been, because showing up for this meeting really wasn't a big deal (besides missing my date with SM for Idol).

I was stressed because I had assumed that the trainer called us to complain how chit-chatty the girls are. I assumed that he'd say something like "if they want to compete at this level they have to get serious about soccer"... and what everyone knows but no one really says in public... "their behavior is a poor reflection of their parents and you should be ashamed of yourselves".

I was completely wrong! He had praised the girls for doing a great job. Oh, and by the way, they are running a summer camp....

Should I have more faith in my daughter and team? Or maybe I should have faith in the power of capitalism?!

Nonetheless I still lectured my daughter about how disappointed I am in her behavior of late - otherwise why would I make assumptions? Indeed her behavior really isn't that bad - she likes to chat with her friends when she should be practicing. Now I'm making her favorite thing for breakfast. Even if I can't exactly bring myself to say mea culpa, hopefully she can taste it. When I've seen improvement I'll praise her audibly, but without ending with a sales pitch.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Enrichment for the masses

One of the biggest complaints about the district is the lack of enrichment. AI enriches the IQ-elite. Our district also has targeted enrichment for those with various types of needs - it's required by law. Lack of appropriate
enrichment for the bright but not quite AI-bright has been one of the pet peeves of many a parent. Lack of enrichment for the masses is even worse!

The best enrichment I have ever seen was when C took part in a grade-wide international exchange program (no, not the kind where you get on a plane) called Friends and Flags. Our 2nd graders were teamed up with a school in Cyprus, Greece. Our kids made all sorts of things to demonstrate to the school what life was like in the US in general and Bridgewater specifically. They took pictures of the library, made brochures of various tourist places in the US (like Disney, Washington DC, Mount Rushmore), made a scrapbook of Bridgewater and our school. Our girl scout troop also contributed to the project making a "brownie vest" out of felt and including videos of the girls. The school received a similar package in return. It let kids, regardless of their educational ability, take part in a very large, unforgettable project.

Today's Invention Convention gave a similar feeling. The kids were clearly proud of what they created and accomplished. N was very proud of how popular his invention was with the other kids. Everyone crowded around him today when he was demonstrating. (Although his project is cool, it didn't hurt that it revolved around snacks). He claimed that he didn't care if he won an award or not - he just wanted the kids like it.... by the time he got home, he was disappointed that his project wasn't picked. N is rarely picked in these types of things. I hope he remembers how happy he was showing his invention to his peers. I took lots of pictures today - to remind him that it was a hit!

I'm glad to hear that 90 kids took part in the program - even if not all 90 ultimately made an invention. Sometimes it is hard to follow through with the original plan (I know from all my unfinished knitting).

I know it is a challenge for teachers to come up with these kinds of projects on their own that they can tweak for classroom use (Friends and Flags came from a classroom teacher and it was funded through a grant). I hope this inspires the school's teachers to continue on this path, even beyond the Enrichment teacher's realm (if her job hasn't been axed in the new budget - I can't remember).

And I hope my son stays inspired to create new things!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lucky Monday

When I grew up there was an ice-cream parlor that was a throwback from the 1920s called Lovells. The whole area around it is now rundown and the parlor has been out of business since at least 1984, but it had a beautiful Sunday called the "lucky Monday". I remember it was delish...

Today I feel lucky for no particular reason. I am sitting here with the freedom and quiet to read my book (think I can finish 300 pages of Cutting For Stone before book club tonight) while sipping a nice cup of coffee. My Dad is here, the dog has stopped barking since the Chimney Sweep left. (I still have "Chim chiminy chim chim chiree" chirping in my head). And the news was good. When my dear husband nearly burned down the house a few years ago he left no damage to the chimney/fireplace/flu etc. Another of life's bullets dodged.

At 1pm I'm meeting MR to continue the struggle of woman versus food. At the gym. Hopefully my thighs have forgiven me for Friday's torture followed by a Saturday evening run. :-)

And a shout out to my friend ML. I'm lucky that the bear whom she encountered while running on Meadow Road yesterday didn't eat her up! I guess I should rephrase that: SHE'S lucky... but we're lucky to still have her unscathed!

Back to reading. Can't reach my goal if I don't try.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On being one of "those" kinds of Moms

We all know them and we all hate them. "Those kinds of Moms". Sometimes I think the majority of Moms sometime fall under that category. I certainly know several that I can name pretty quickly!

Tonight I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered "et tu Soccer Mom?". But I shrugged and said "nah". Here are two examples:

Yesterday I actually called a coach and complained that my daughter hadn't played enough in the last two games (and it pained me to do so because I love the coaches). Well.. those weren't my exact words. In fact I was calling to find out if my daughter had been misbehaving and if THAT was why she played so little. I was ready to discipline her if necessary. Perhaps she wasn't playing well enough in their eyes to warrant time on the field? Sometimes she just doesn't hustle and she isn't very aggressive for being a black belt! But I think the message ended up being "can ya play my kid more" when the message really was "what did she do wrong now?" He didn't tell me to Fuck Off so I feel a bit better.

Today I blew off C's soccer game to help N with his "invention convention" project. For this I was accused (by more than one of my friends) of doing the project for him. A text message came from the field by a very concerned parent wondering if I thought I'd get an A.

For the record - of course I probably did more than I should have. But since N can't drive, I had to take him to the store to get certain materials. Then since N couldn't (or wouldn't pay for said materials) out came a credit card - in this case it was Grandpa's - but you get the point. T sacrificed some tools, but otherwise we had to buy a few supplies - under $10 total... the tool was probably $20 when T purchased it several years ago, but I am sure T is happy to replace it with a newer, cooler, better model or he wouldn't have made such a choice.

I decided to blatantly copy my friend's idea. No, not the invention (her son made a pancake cutter, N made a snack mixer - hence the $10 was for goodies) but that she made a poster of how EJ made his project. This required a parent's help. I took the pictures downloaded them and printed them. And it would take him 7 hours to type everything - so he dictated, I typed. If C were here she could have helped with this part, but she was at soccer, as I said before. And Mom types the fastest of everyone in the house (texting speed goes to C, of course!)

Then in making the poster I did offer several pointers - like don't glue the pictures until it is all laid out (something he was "reminded of" a number of times)... and I suggested that he needed to explain the order of events.

And in the end, I did separate the snacks into baggies so he could manage them tomorrow. And I did the clean up! But dinner was burning so I needed the table ASAP.

The idea wasn't mine. I did guide him along. Several of my ideas got outright vetoed (like mixing cereal instead of snacks especially since I bought a ton of cereal hoping he would change his mind)

He's only going to go to a college where I can rent an apartment just off campus. He'll go to class and I'll do the research for his papers and type them for him. I'll bone up on bibliography styles and the latest in footnotes. I'm going helicopter shopping next weekend.


PS - You can juxtapose this to Saturday night when it almost felt like 1979. In the 70s and 80s our neighbors would gather on warm nights and play Ghost in the Graveyard, Neighborhood Hide and Go Seek, kickball and other games. We called it night games. We figured it out on our own - and everyone LOVED it.

Last night I offered to let the kids invite all the neighbors over. And when they didn't get along, I let them figure it out on their own, while praying no one would sue us if anyone got hurt. It's still 2010!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

4 links


Here are two links for your pleasure...

What happened at the Town Council joint meeting last night?

What is my gut reaction?

I knew they'd cut. "A vote is a vote" they continually stated at last week's meeting. The budget was defeated - they stated that even if it were only by 30 votes- it was a defeated budget and they felt they had to cut. So for me personally, only a $1 million cut is a great scenario - and if they are able to make up half of it through breakage, I'm thrilled. After all, they've already cut nearly $8 million before we even voted!

As a linguist do I like that they suggest cutting foreign language? No, but I didn't think my elementary-aged kids learned Spanish effectively. After 4 years of Spanish C can't understand simple questions, like "how are you?" Did they listen to my plea to keep the cuts out of the classroom? No! But when does a governing body listen to little me?!?!

Time to make NJASK breakfast... pancakes today. Spreading sunshine today...

Oh, and finally for MIL - Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday coffee thoughts

Quickie this morning:

1) Tonight is the night when the Town Councils announce how much they will cut from the district budget. It is the last chance for public input. I have heard that the dye is cast and my comments would be useless. Besides, as one of the Board of Ed members said to me last week, "yeah, we know what you are going to say". I don't think that I have any stunning new information to present. Nor any political collateral. Hopefully the e-mail (that I received something like 8 times yesterday) requesting me to go, went to enough other people. It's their turn now.

2) Our UK guest has left. It was lovely to have her and get to know our new "cousin" (isn't that what some people call the kids of their parents' friends?).  She lives in a completely different world - a bohemian world - and it was really interesting to see her life (from afar). I realize I live in a very materialistic world compared to her who buys most of her things 2nd hand - and finds some real gems. 

3) If they really do cut $3 Million dollars from the budget do I need to send the kids to private school?? Anyone hiring - I might need a job that pays about $100K with somewhat flexible hours. Doesn't exist?! ARGH!

4) Last night I spent the evening with a lot of young people - college freshmen and sophomores. It was intoxicating to be around people who have their whole lives ahead of them! They are talking about where they want to transfer (4 year institution from community colleges) and what they want to do with their lives. Oh, to be in my early 20s again. I am really disappointed that the professor is heading out of state to a 4 year school. :-(

5) NJ ASK hump day. N seems less stressed now that it has started. Language Arts testing is over, 2 days of Math and one of Science are left.

6) What's that prayer on all those Irish shawls? "God give me the patience to... " In this case, I need it not to kill my Dad. It's not easy living with a hypochondriac! 

Monday, May 10, 2010



I love to host people. I enjoy having friends stop by. I don't mind running our B&B. But tonight, on the last night of our friend's visit, what I really want to do is go to bed early. Is it rude to politely excuse myself and get to bed at 9:30? Everyone is going to watch 24 in a little while. I just want to curl up with my book under my covers and sleep.

I promise I'll have the starbucks brewing before 7:30 and if need be will hit Wegmans by 9am if we are missing something that we desperately need.

The plight of being a morning person in a 24-hour lifestyle!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More than mother's day...

Today was Mother's Day. I am not sure my family noticed because today focused on celebrating my Dad. It's his 85th birthday.

While it would have been nice to get a little recognition, I am a firm believer in it's better to give than to receive. Since I got very little and I spent the day giving, it worked out. I played hostess to my Dad, his best friend from college's daughter, my sister and her kids (plus my own family). In many ways it was just another day - complete with a Wegmans run, much ado in the kitchen and a soccer game.

But I'm glad to have spent the day celebrating him. I honor him. He's a wonderful person with a beautiful disposition and brings happiness to everyone around him. I am so grateful that he is an integral part of my life. I've been fortunate to have such a smart and compassionate person as my role model for all these years.

I remember a few times in my childhood when Mother's Day coincided with his birthday. My Mom didn't always like sharing her day. While it would have been nice to have had a little fuss made about me, I am happy that I got to spend the day thinking of others, especially Dad. Actually when we celebrated his 80th birthday we also had a brunch for him on Mother's day as well.

Among the only gifts I got today (N gave me plants that I gave him money to buy at school on Thursday, C gave me a rose from her soccer team, basta) wasn't from my children, but a picture my friend posted on Facebook. It was taken 9 years ago, just a week or two before my mother died. We are all smiling.

My Dad's favorite gift was the picture that his friend brought from London. It's a nice coincidence. It's of him and my mother. They are very happy with one of those smiles that convey a special moment.

Thanks Dad for being a wonderful Daddy! You have brought so much richness to my life. I hope that as a Mom I'm bringing equal riches to my children. But how could I? You broke the mold!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's not easy being green...

I'm supposed to be cleaning. It's 10:18 pm and I still haven't got all the crap off the guest bed so that I can wash the bedding for tomorrow. The counter tops are literally full of stuff in the kitchen. I haven't cleaned any of the bathrooms yet, but I have time to check out facebook? What is wrong with my time management skills? Prioritizing? WTH!

Like it or not, envy is a theme in my life (let's face it, it's probably an issue in yours too!). Tall blond women with silky soft hair are often the object of mine. And, of course, people who live in paradise with unlimited spending... Tonight at dinner T and I talked about how we would like to live near the ocean. "Hawaii," I said. "I want to move THERE someday!"

"Milk costs like $10 per gallon!" he retorted and I knew that if I am ever going to live there, it would only be after a painful divorce. I guess I am also jealous of people who have husbands who don't think in terms of what everything costs! If I lived in Hawaii, I could manage without milk - even in my coffee! Hell, I'd give up coffee all together to live there!!!

So when the object of 20 years of my jealousy posted that she is heading to Maui, all I could do was sigh. (This school year alone she has spent several months in central America "teaching her kids Spanish", followed by the entire winter at a posh ski resort. She went off to a spa for a week of R&R, and now she is heading to islands in the middle of the Pacific?!) I don't even think Jennifer Aniston herself has it that good!

What comes around, goes around. Curls and all, there may just be people who want who I have in my life. Just last week someone told me how much meeting my Dad made her miss hers. I am constantly told how beautiful C is. I see how the neanderthals act in my son's class and know that parents might envy the fact that I've never had a single call (knock on wood) about my son being mean. My husband has a good job, in a company that he likes with both freedom and perks. We live a life of privileged in a lovely (although not particularly neat) home and are lucky enough to travel regularly - we've even been to Hawaii twice! I have leisure time and good friends with whom I spend it. All these things are easily enviable.

So why do I always fall into the same trap? Why do snide remarks pop into my head instead of the "how lovely for her" I should feel?

The best thing about my life is that I've had so many wonderful people come into it and make it so much richer. Even L (the aforementioned blond) has made me all the richer.

One thing she must have - is a lot of domestic help...... and at 10:39 at night, when I should be out with friends or in bed with a book, I am turning off the computer so I can continue to clean up the guest room. Deal with it, Poppet! Remember, you're cleaning it because tomorrow someone new is coming into your life and she deserves a nice, clean bed! And what do you get in return? A new friend! That's enviable!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Following the footsteps...

Today my cousin's daughter (KC) turns 18. In a few months she will go off to a prestigious liberal arts college - where Liberal is taken quite literally - to study some combination of art and science.  Where will it take her? Far, I'm sure.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I have some unbelievably talented people in my family. KC's parents probably top of the list (well, in a tie with my brother). Her dad designed the glass piece shown above for Steuben Glass (hope it's OK that I'm showing it here, Robbief?!?!). They are all among the smartest AND most creative people I know. In my Mom's generation talent and brains abounded - it has trickled down in mixed forms. All of "the grandchildren" (i.e. my generation) are pretty bright, but some lives turned out more complicated than others - mine included. I guess that is true in all families. KC is part of the next generation. From what I know, members of this generation do pretty well on the breadth of interest and IQ scale (one of my cousin's kids lists her interests on Facebook as "Transcendental Numbers, Caffeination, Synesthesia, Futurism, Algorithms, Raving, Portal, Valve, Havok Physics, Hyperbolic Folding and Industrial Espionage". I don't even know what half this stuff is!) Everyone of this 4th Gen after Poppy and Nonny seem to have (so far) avoided the "recessive genes". Maybe it's that we all shaken up the gene-pool just enough. That gives me hope for my kids too!

KC's 18th birthday reminds me that my kids are really not that far behind! In a blink of an eye, they will also be in working on the yearbook, picking colleges and trying on graduation robes.

I'm not going to rush them out the door. It's always good to have this reminder that childhood goes so fast, and I should savor this time, even when I'm in the midst of daily car pools, endless nagging about picking up clothes thrown on the floor and constantly running late.

Congrats KC on your day! You're a wonderful role model for my kids - even if they only see you once a year for a few hours - and for how their Mom can guide them. I can't say I've always followed in KC's parents' parenting footsteps (one big difference is TV, your family didn't have one for many years, while my kids have TVs in their rooms), but I've certainly been taking notes on what they did right!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hot date night?

Last night's meeting at the new Bridgewater Municipal Building was a hot ticket! As with several other recent meetings it was chuck full of mostly teachers, a hand full of parents and some non-parent, local residents. I was somewhat surprised by how few parents were there! Lots of the "usual suspects" were MIA. Guess they were watching Simon or Sawyer...

Some teachers were furious about this op-ed by the Bridgewater Township President. If I were a teacher I would have been offended too. One teacher from my kid's school was especially angry in her talk. I see what kids say when they claim she can be pretty mean.

Others were nicer to him. It was almost weird - he is so young that many of the teachers said they had him in school, calling him "Matt"!

C's 4th grade teacher - who is one of the best we've ever had the luck to have - spoke about how the Science curriculum calls for projects but that the district can't afford the supplies. Mrs. Teacher spent part of the evening buying plants and supplies at Shoprite out of her own pocket. I sent an e-mail to my son's teachers to please e-mail me if she needs something similar. I doubt she will.

One parent really hit the nail on the head by stating that the vote passed by something like 0.0038% (I'm not exact here - maybe a reader can correct my memory?).  She hoped the township would cut by a similar margin. I agree!!!

And of course there were the non-parent tax payers begging the township to cut deeply. I am sure they will get covered in other blogs, so I'll leave it at that.

The council members all praised teachers - either those of their childhoods or in their lives today, but they assured us they will cut because they saw the vote as a vote, no matter the margin. They are all Republicans in a Republican Town with a completely-Republican council. But I feel that winning by 30 votes in Bridgewater and less than 200 in Raritan shows that they simply SHOULD take the minority viewpoint into account.  They don't have a huge mandate here for broad cuts! I guess it's easy for them.

Most of the council members did reprimand Steve Beatty for not bringing a wage-freeze vote to the entire union. On this point I do agree!

The teacher's comments - at least those who didn't praise the union - moved me! Toward the end I wanted them know I appreciate what they do. Maybe a total freeze isn't the only way? But then I think about the rhetoric of the Union President and I go back to my stand that they should take a freeze.

The Township kept mentioning $2.4 million as the figure they would cut. (which is about what they think the district would save with a freeze). But they see now that the Union won't budge, and cutting $2.4 million means axing the district's programs. So I hope they shave that number much smaller!

The district has already cut over $7 million dollars! That's more than enough. Wrecking the schools in order to make a point to the union is a delving deeper in a short-sighted chicken fight. So, "Matt", when you cut, please remember this!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Today is the day when the Bridgewater and Raritan Townships are meeting in special joint session to decide how much to cut from the school budget. As I write this (before coffee on Tuesday morning) I am planning to attend. But, let's face it, my record shows that sometimes I prefer TV to contentious meetings.

What I would say if I went up to speak? "I am ashamed of how poorly the negotiations have gone. I'm ashamed of New Jersey." The reputation is right: it does get ugly here! It's too late to make any changes - the dye is cast. Maybe I should say what I said the first time I spoke at a budget meeting? "When you make cuts I hope you will protect the academic integrity of our schools."

Or would that sound naive?

Saying it now makes it seem like I don't know anything about the budget or its process. Or have been living under a rock for the past 2 months. In the end, as Jeffrey Brookner was quoted in the Courier, there isn't much to say except "how much ya gonna cut"?

Hope you enjoyed the picture. I commissioned the drawing by artist "Grandpa G" for the occasion.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Every decent news organization worth it's reputation has to print retractions from time to time.

I do not identify myself as a news organization, nor am I a reputable source of information.

That said, it has been called to my attention that one of my recent blogs is full of bull...

Someone brought the following inaccuracies/misunderstandings/big bloopers to my attention:
  •  My claim that the budget wasn't mentioned didn't take into account that the Superintendent's report would cover it. (Duh!)
And quoted from the e-mail that brought this to my attention:
  • Closed Sessions is listed in every Agenda (at the end) because the BOE needs to give adequate public notice that there may be a need for a Closed Session before or after the regular public meeting.  And in the BOE President's remarks, it states the reasons why there may be a  Closed's usually about personnel related items or a court case. 
I guess I should have gone, so that I didn't sound so ignorant in my blog. My friend who brought that to my attention is absolutely correct! I'm still glad I hung out with (other) friends drinking wine and watching Idol instead.

Everyone gets their story wrong sometimes and in the last few weeks of heated debate and misunderstandings, strange interpretations and ill will, it was bound to happen to hot-headed me as well!  No offense intended to the BOE, the Superintendent or anyone in the audience.... Your local soccer mom hereby stands corrected.

What ifs...

One of my dear friends is trying to have a baby. She has been chronicling her experience in her Ambivalent Womb blog, which I faithfully check daily. Yesterday's blog is a bunch of what ifs.

I started to write my own "What if" blog list. It got so depressing that I just deleted it without posting. It was full of 'What if my kids start using drugs, "what if I had a fabulous career and made lots of money?..." type of questions.

There is nothing like an online community to make you create a what-if list when you see what your friends are doing. It brings "suffer by comparison" a new meaning. For example, one of my friends, a professor of history in Hawaii posted earlier this week that she missed lilacs. I felt for her. Today she posted the picture of a tropical flower the size of a textbook with the caption "picked this at lunch today."  My empathy waned.

Another friend has given up a life of carting kids from school to activities for a dream life in an alternate-world from mine where apparently money is no object and they can spend months 'learning Spanish' in Mexico or becoming semi-professional level skiers in Aspen and she homeschools them. (Am NOT jealous of the homeschool bit). The entire family could model for gap commercials, and they are religious about green-living. Jealous of her? ME??? Since the moment I met her... but now only more so since I don't get a glimpse of her real day to day existence - sweaters shrunk in the dryer, arguments with her spouse, kids mouthing back. What if I had taken an organic path instead of the anti-green path we really live.

So I look and say "what if I'd gotten a PhD and moved to Hawaii" or "what if I had LP's charmed existence." Or even, "what if I had the G's pool?" Would I have been happier???

I am not alone in being a jealous person. What if I weren't envious? Would I be able to appreciate my existence - such as it is - the antithesis of glamor as Bridgewater's Blogging Soccer Mom?

Of the cuff - I would give a sarcastic answer.

Then I remember that my dear friend wants kids - ambivalence is a feeling that all potential and current moms feel! She may find my Saturday plans of carting and feeding kids mixed with some time to myself is actually something to envy. While others may look at this plan and yawn.

To appreciate what I have. All day long. That's my goal.