Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up, June 20

Here's the week.  Nothing spectacular.  Just us and general crazies...

Funniest Moment at our Children’s Expense: I get random emails from, a website that helps market magazines to specific target audiences, based on the professions of the readers. Occasionally, they’ll throw a free subscription at you for something totally not related to your job… Like me as an English teacher with an offer for a year of Auto World or Opera Today.  Or Maxim. On a whim, I agreed to the most recent Maxim sales pitch, thinking Hubby might like it. When it arrived, he was a little perplexed and said, “Do you really want me reading this?” I said, well, if you don’t like it, Danae might.” He stopped, looked puzzled, had an AHA! Moment, and laughed. “Sometimes I forget that whole ‘she’s gay’ thing.” I related the conversation to Danae later, and she laughed, saying, “I’m glad me coming out has freed up so many jokes for you and Dad.”

New Favorite Website: Have you see this? I laughed until I cried, and then laughed some more. Some of them depress me a little, but to think that A. People do that stuff, B. They tell other people they do that stuff C. Then they post it to share with others, is just astonishing. It’s like watching a bad break up argument at the mall—you want to stop watching, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it.

Boot Camp Mom Update: Leigh is still not happy with her new life this summer. She has to read everyday, do her chores and keep her room clean or she gets no freedom. We tried to make a bargain with her last week, putting off a chore on the promise she’d do it as soon as we got home. It’s still undone as we speak, and she’s still pouting about having to do it with a sunburn.

But sweetie, I explained, you managed to do work detail yesterday with a sunburn.

Her: I had to, or I’d go to jail.

Me: Hmmmm, maybe I’ll talk to PO about that Monday, to see if we can add chores to that list.

Leigh was not happy.

Catching up with old friends… I talked to two of my best friends from my youth—my best friend from HS and my best friend from college, all in the same night this week. I guess Karma decided since I was feeling all sentimental and emotional (see graduation discussion next), that it was time to reconnect with some of my youth. NK, my bestie from HS, has a beautiful three-year old daughter, and a full head of hair after battling cancer for the last two years. She has the sweetest, most gentle spirit of anyone I have ever known, and I remember being irate and pissed and furious when I heard that she had cancer. This is a woman who has battled the odds her whole life, and just when she’s finally getting what she deserves in life—a good marriage, a daughter (she’d been told it would be unlikely that she’d be able to have a child), cancer showed up. That just flat drove me nuts. But then my own craziness interfered, and I wasn’t able to “be there” for her at all during her fight. But, NK, if you’re reading this, I thought of you every day, and prayed for you and your family. You amaze me.

JS, my bestie from college is doing what he always wanted to do: decorate and play piano. He has a partner and an amazing home and is just fabulous.

I miss both of them. Especially after…

Graduation of the Class of 2010     Of the 243 young adults we graduated, I taught 147 of them. Some of them are astonishing simply because of their tenacity. I’m going to tell you some of their stories.
  • DP lived in a car with his dad for three years after his mom took off with her crack dealer.
  • CJ lost her dad and grandma when she was 12, and her mom two weeks before prom. Her brother, now her guardian, is deployed in Afghanistan.  
  • KL has never met her dad, and her mom died her tenth grade year in an industrial explosion.
  • CB and AB, two of a set of triplets walked with their dad, mom and two other brothers, from Central America when they were about 7. Walked. Say what you will about illegal immigration, but how do you turn your back on that. Plus, AB is legally deaf.
  • AW, profoundly deaf since birth, is on her way to art school.

My school has about five public housing project that feed into it, so we're overcoming all kinds of socioeconomic issues to get these kids through HS. 
Of that 143, I can only count about ten that I know for sure have been raised by both mom and dad in their home.

Of that 143, I know two who have had abortions, and three who have children.

Of that 143, most have worked part time, and lots have done so to help parents pay bills.

Most don’t read on grade level, but they have managed to survive high school and all the drama that goes with it, along with personal obstacles I can’t even begin to fathom.

Parenting Question of the Week: Is it wrong to have different expectations for our kids? How do you get the RAD kid, and the mostly normal kid, to understand that they have to meet different expectations because of their differing levels of sanity? Is this wrong? How is should be? Should we give up on dealing with the RAD and just normal her to death? Ugh. I hate existential conversations when I’m supposed to be on vacation.

Weight loss—YAY ME!!! The capris I bought yesterday were two sizes smaller than the ones I bought at the beginning of the school year.

Last Minute Planning Grump Why is it that even when I try to plan ahead, no one is with me, but when I don’t try, everyone else has?? Hubby and I have been planning a 2000 mile road trip since January, scheduled to depart July 8. We still don’t know if his vacation time has been approved. I’m starting to get a bit pissy about that. And, I want to hang with my blog buddy while she’s traveling this summer, but I can’t find a place to stay near her for less than $100 that still has hot water and AC. Ugh.

Snarky Me Moment:  I emailed my dad a Happy Father's Day wish. I haven't spoken to him since August, at his dad's funeral (my favorite grandpa.) Prior to that, it had been almost two years.  I enclosed updated pics of the two daughters he's met, and picks of the four he hasn't, including the babies, who have a much, much better tans than I do.  I didn't warn him that his newest grandchildren are black.  I wish I could see his face when he sees the pictures, but I'll just have to imagine it, which might be more fun...
Recess!! It’s officially summer, and the smut reading and spring cleaning has begun! If you know a teacher, you know that as the year drags on, the cleanliness and organization of the house slowly tanks, and that the first few weeks of summer, everything gets caught up on and done. That starts Monday!

And in honor of summer, I am now reading total brain candy: Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Cruisie.

The coming week:  WIC, foster care paper work AGAIN (they lost several months' worth of invoices during all the caseworker shuffles), eye doc and dentist. Finalizing summer travel plans.



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If you are an adoptive parent or have one in your family somewhere, talk to me. I could use some insanity that does NOT call me mom!!