Friday, July 23, 2010

A busy week

I don't have time to write much this week. We have a lot of plans... today alone I met someone for lunch, went for a long walk with C and 2 of her friends and went to a concert after a barbecue.

Yesterday I also started the day with a lunch date and shopping with friends, then seeing other friends. Then C had a couple of friends sleep over...

Tomorrow we are looking forward to a family dinner, and on Sunday we are celebrating my niece's confirmation (belated).

It has been a wonderful few days but not without a dose of bad luck. T & N hit a deer last night (dented car a bit - I haven't seen how badly, but apparently it's fine to drive), they are OK... the deer isn't. :-(

Then C tripped in her flip flops and sliced her big toe. Am hoping it doesn't get infected. Time will show.

Have a nice weekend everyone! I'm taking a few days off from the blog, I think. As they say on FB TTYL!

Monday, July 19, 2010

18.07

It was a great day.

We walked around New York City the entire day, doing just what I wanted. No whining at all! (A present I didn't even think to ask for!)

Then we went to dinner with 2 families whom I love. I ordered just what I wanted to eat and even had dessert.

Now nearly all the kids are spending the night.

It was a great day and when I go to sleep now, it will be after a wonderful evening.

I am lucky to have so many people who love me, as I was reminded by phone calls throughout the day - and many facebook messages too.

40 isn't old!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

39.9999999999999999999999999999999999999...

I am about to turn 40. In general I am very grateful. Grateful to have made it this far, mostly unscathed. Grateful to have my husband, children and my wonderful family. Grateful for my countless friends and for the good fortune I've had to be able to travel all over the world. I have so many material things that I wouldn't know where to start....

But on the eve of my 40th birthday I find myself in a rut in which I am mourning what I don't have or can't have instead of basking in the happiness of my good fortune. I'm actually feeling sorry for myself because the one "gift" I want for my birthday got vetoed. And when we brought up for discussion the "what do you want to do tomorrow on your big day" I brainstormed ideas, while I shrugged my shoulders (inwardly) because second best isn't the same.

I also was crying today because one of the people closest to me in this world did nothing to note that I am turning 40 tomorrow. She had her kids give me a hug, "Hug Poppet - and wish her happy birthday" but this person didn't give me so much as a card. Why should I let this stupid stuff bother me? Then someone defended her, saying she probably forgot. Forgot my ass. She's known July 18th is my birthday since... forever!

So for my 40th, can you say a prayer to whomever you pray to, that whatever God you believe in gives me the good sense to continue my journey toward being grateful for what I have and not to spiral, or to revert, into an even more immature state of myself where I cry over a slight like this!

Everyone craves youth - I guess I do too. But I don't yearn to be youthful in looks at the cost of my near-40 years of wisdom. Give me the ability to see past my own vanity, my own selfishness and forgive me for wanting silly things when really I have soooo much to celebrate.

I want to bring in Middle Age (SHEESH) in style with a big smile of my face. Not with stupid, hot tears. Don't misunderstand - I am a very appreciative person. It's not about the gifts. I don't even really crave recognition. Just this year.....

Start baking, friends. I have a lifelong policy of never-saying-no to birthday cake - especially if I'm the recipient!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My day off

I had a day to do whatever I wanted (N was returned at 7:30 tonight).

I didn't know what to do so I:
  • went for a run with the dog
  • had lunch with my Dad and his best friend at a very snooty club
  • went to a monastery  - bought some goodies from the gift shop (yarn from the monk's sheep, homemade honey, etc.) - this may seem strange, being as I'm not catholic, but my Uncle (an architect) designed it and it has some strong childhood memories - plus it is somewhere I wouldn't bring my kids
  • tried on shoes at Bass while my Dad drank tea
  • went to a winery (tried several wines, I didn't love any of them - a couple were OK)
  • bought sandals at Famous Brand shoes - splurged on a pair that were about twice what I thought I should spend on myself ($40 instead of $20)
  • had dinner with my Dad (Again - splurge: veal marsala, I NEVER have this dish)
  • went grocery shopping (not a splurge)
After my sister came over with her kids and my son, I decided the me-me-me day needed to continue, so I opened a bottle of semi-OK wine from today's winery and watched the Bachelorette.

Ali chose right: dump the guy with the weird family... you have no idea how important in-laws become!

Now I am hoping for a real treat: sleep.

The unimaginable

Yesterday my sister surprised me by taking N for a few days. I was caught completely off-guard. He wanted to stay, they wanted him. He didn't want to come to Grandpa's, and this got him away from his mother's nagging, "TURN THAT DS OFF!"... it was really a no-brainer. I get him back on Tuesday.

Today I dropped C and her friend at summer camp. It was really beautiful - the people seemed friendly, fun and compassionate. I could have stayed there all day, but C was in more of the "don't let the door hit you in the ..." kind of good-bye mood. So my Dad and I left without much more than a goodbye hug.

I am spending 2 days without any kids at my Dad's house. I have almost no idea what to do with myself. Seriously, what do people do who have no kids with all the free time??? I have often imagined what life would be like if I didn't marry or have kids. I sometimes imagine the street I would live on, the kind of job I would have, and even some of the things I would do when I wasn't working. I even tried to write a fictional account of what my life would be like in this alter-ego life. In my fictional account I was such a work-aholic that my boss called me in the middle of the night. I got about fifty pages into it, and the story got so boring that I couldn't even keep myself interested.  I made the creative decision to abandon the project (at least temporarily).

So even though a lifetime of freedom seems unimaginable, I should be able to fill a few days on my own. I always imagine that single people live such interesting lives. They go to concerts, and lots of movies. They read more books. They travel, spend weekends with friends. The buy whatever they want without conferring with their spouse. They have more sex than marrieds. They pursue their professional careers and hobbies. It seems like a fun life, albeit from my perspective, potentially lonely. Grass is always greener on the other side of the subdivision.

I should be able to fill these two days as a single, non-parent with at least a smidgen of interesting activity. What can I do if I only have me to think of? The idea is so decadent that I hardly dare think of an answer. I don't even know where to start.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dark skies today again

Felt like the black cloud is still reigning over my skies. As the work crew continued to dig into my walls, they continued to find more "wrong". Now the hole has moved upward and somehow I am getting a paintjob in the bathroom as well. Oh well. God bless Insurance!

I'm out of the BRRSD loop. I understand that there was a meeting on Tuesday that I should have gone to. Apparently Cheryl Dyer was presenting updates to enrichment in the district now that enrichment has been cut from the budget and wants feedback. Wish I had remembered to go. The next presentation/feedback session is sometime later this month. The first one has passed, but you can read about it and participate. See page two.

Enrichment feels like the most neglected aspect of the curriculum. It is so teacher dependent. Some teachers enrich just by their presentation of otherwise dry information. They make it relate to students AND expand their horizons. A math lesson can include social sciences. A history lesson can include basic statistics. And language arts? Art History? It is really everything: part math, part history, part art, part political science. Subjects that should be intertwined everywhere.

I have two seemingly conflicting goals: enrich every child's scholastic experience. And challenge bright kids who aren't in AI or E or advanced courses. Maybe these goals are mutually exclusive. Perhaps they are one in the same? Either way, I will be enriching my own kids' experiences on the date mentioned, so I can't help Mrs. Dyer by taking part in the focus group.

I could e-mail Mrs. Dyer with my thoughts. Not sure she is concerned about my opinion, since she knows me, but who knows! FirstI have to draft something worth reading. Ideally I'd like to present something that would ENRICH Mrs. Dyer's experience beyond her current views. Ideally every child would be enriched.

What is enrichment? What is the goal for my children - and children in general in Bridgewater?

But for now I'll settle for a good night's sleep. Am publishing without a proper edit. Not good form when discussing BRRSD issues. What can I say? It's summer vacation!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Murphy's law alive and well in Bridgewater

Intermittent phone and internet service...

Drainage issue with new (1 year old) dishwasher...

Major repair of leaky pipe means workers taking over the kitchen all week long...

Not a good time for blogging.

A/C WORKING (wasn't in June).... keep fingers crossed it holds up in the heat.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Simply the best...

I have to admit it - I am not the best volleyball player. I'm not even particularly good. But I like to try. If I were in school I'd get a C in skills, a B in participation (I'm short, so I don't always jump or dive at the right time) and an A in attitude/effort.

At the outset I got D's across the board.

One of the guys who plays volleyball through the Bridgewater rec department organizes free volleyball games on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Duke Island Park. This week he also set up nets on Tuesday evening, too. We are about 20-25 people who play for about 3 hours. I am always a bit sore at the end.

On Tuesday I was more than a little miffed when he divided the courts up, "Men over here, women over there. Later we'll mix it up."

Like a Mormon temple!

Mixing it up later - pulling a few "better players" from the "girls' net" (where there are also several weaker guy players) and putting them on the "men's net", and rotating "the good guys" in with us, a few at a time helps, but it doesn't address the fact that a few of them women (I'm not one of them) are actually better than several of the men. Maybe these women would rather "play up" so to speak, but they don't always get the chance.

The most amazing part is that on the mixed court at the rec department games, the men speak to the women in a very condescending way, and most of us women accept it.

Today I asked to play one round - the final round - with the big boys. I got shot down. The organizer said that he can't let me because they are just too good for me. Ouch! Another guy asked me, "you really wanted to do it, didn't you?" I said it was no big deal, but I should have the right at least to try my meager skills. Yes, they hit harder balls, yes they are more experienced, yes they are mean sometimes. But I feel that if I am courageous enough to put out there that I want to try, I should be given the opportunity.  But when push came to shove I didn't have the balls (ha ha) to push the issue and say to the guy, "I mean it, let me try." If it really meant something to me, why not talk to him about it? I should convince him that I deserve a shot.

It's basically the same complaint I have with Bridgewater schools. Let my kids try something that BRRSD thinks they are just not quite ready for. Someone whose daughter just got into e-math said she thinks it is good that they don't let "just anyone in" so that the program stays competitive. I think that you don't need to water the academics down just because one or two kids aren't as good.

Sexism - and elitism - comes in many forms. Even on this beautiful July day...