Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shit Just Got Real

Middle School meet and greet today. (Who thinks *that* sounds even less fun than the "Buy 1 get 1 root-canal and colonoscopy with your Mother in Law" special at the Jiffy Lube?)

There were Lots of 6th graders.  Lots of their moms and dads.  Lots of sibs.  The girls were mostly shrieking and hugging each other.  The boys looked either totally cool or like deer in the headlights.  Or both, depending on the moment.

It was...

Overwhelming.  Awkward.  Stressful.  Overwhelmingly awkward and uber-stressful.

Let me pull something from the A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words file to illustrate my point.  Here's what the inside of my head looked like:

My internal monologue went something like this:

"Oh, this is great!  Look how bright and clean it all is! That teacher seems so nice, but of course he's nice cause all the parents are standing right here.  When it's just him and the kids he'll probably call them names and throw chalk.  Holy Hell what have I done?  My kid will get eaten alive in here!  Must save child.  We'll head for the woods behind the school and subsist on leaf mold and water we filter through my sweater.   That's it!  We'll...oh look!  They have a new auditorium!  Pretty...."

If we (okay, I) survive this whole "parenting through the least favorite years of my own life" thing, I'm totally taking the "Becoming" out of the title of this blog.  I will have achieved Badassity- or I will have become a valium addict.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


TMOTH talks about VagueBooking as that thing that people do on Facebook where they update their status with cryptic messages referencing doom, gloom, mayhem and general crankiness.  This is VagueBlogging- a cousin of VagueBooking, marked by the same crypticness but with a serious extra does of the cranky pants.


Here we go.

Hello?  People who work with kids? You know, those of you who volunteer (paid or unpaid) to work with kids as they develop new ideas, interests, hobbies and passions?  You might want to keep in mind that kids are, you know, KIDS, not just cogs in your machine.  Thinking of their whole selves-  their hearts and minds, not just their hands and feet- would seem to be the bare minimum requirement for doing your job.

So Do. Your. Fucking. Job. All of it.  Not just the part where you have the best of the best in your group.


(PS- I know that there are many, many wonderful folks out their who do their best for all kinds of kids everyday.  Thank you and blessings on you for your hard work.  I wish we could clone you and install those copies in every playground, studio, field and gym worldwide.  You're absolute gems.)


Saturday, August 25, 2012


I dare you to come up with something more terrifying than the task I have ahead of me today. Daunting, difficult, guaranteed to draw on every reserve strength and tenacity I have within me- this task is not for the faint of heart.

Today, I take an 11-year-old boy to buy pants.

Back-to-school shopping is always a thing, but this year it's tougher. Because there isn't anything that an 11-year-old boy wants to do less than buy. Pants. But I'm not letting go to school in his underwear. So I'm going to take this lovely Saturday, I'm going to put him in the car with his sister and his cousin, I'm going to drive an hour away to Pants Palace (aka Target) and we're not leaving until we. Buy. Pants.

And if that doesn't mean I'm totally badass, I don't know what does.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Climbing Trees

I took my daughter to an amusement park this week.  Not a Six Flags/ Disney/ MegaWorld park, a smaller, local amusement park that she's loved since she was little.  The target audience is the under-7 set, but she begged and begged and I ultimately caved because we had unfinished business up there- specifically, a big old talking tree that we needed to visit.

See, last time we were there (about 2 years ago), we rushed her out of the park at the end of the day for some reason that I can't recall at this point- probably something very adult like Traffic or Bedtime or Mama's just had enough of this place.  Whatever.  In our rushing out, though, it never occurred to us that she really wanted to visit with Grandfather Tree, one of those animatronic trees that tells jokes and stories and says "I love you" and "I'm so glad to see you."  She wanted to see it one more time before we left and honestly, it would have taken 5 additional minutes but I just didn't listen.  I didn't get it until we were gone and she was upset and it hit me:

She's only going to be little for awhile. She's only going to want to see that tree for a little while longer. Soon she'll think it's stupid and lame and she'll want to go to Disney or Six Flags or (for the love of God) the American Girl Doll store.  Why not give her one last chance to stand in front of a talking tree while it says "I'm so glad to see you!  Will you climb up my branches today?"  She can see adolescence from where she's standing and it doesn't look good to her, so who am I to begrudge her a few more minutes of little-kid-hood?

We went.  We rode every single ride.  We ate junk and we took our time and we snuggled and giggled for 8 hours.  And at the end, just as she was noticing that the park wasn't as amazing as she remembered, we spent our last 30 minutes with Grandfather Tree.

It was a really good day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fighting weight

As we head into back to school, I can't help but feel like I'm getting ready for a battle. Like I need to set up an army of backpacks, composition books, sharpened pencils, and glue sticks in preparation for the war ahead. It's a never ending struggle between work, homework, activities, and housework. Luckily every year so far we've managed to battle to a stalemate, sliding into summer in a gasping exhausted collapse, leaving the both sides six weeks for recovery. But now – now– it's almost time to head back into the fray. I wish I had a St. Crispin's day speech to share with you, but I don't. Instead, I'm heading back to the gym. I've gotten soft and lazy this summer, on a diet of corn on the cob, tomatoes, ice cream, and beer. Time to get back to my fighting weight. The back-to-school battle is won by those who are most prepared. And this year? I shall prevail.