The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and my level of engagement is getting lower and lower as June gets closer and closer. Gone is the mom who used to check the backpack every day, ready to look over homework and stay on top of permission slips and reading logs. If I can rouse myself to check it weekly, I feel like I deserve a medal or a cookie. Tonight is the school’s annual carnival. Unfortunately, I think everyone’s reached the end of their willingness to participate. They’re begging for volunteers, but, to be honest, I can barely muster the will to wander around and watch my kid play the stupid games. I’ve done my time, back when Nan was younger. Hit up the lower grade parents, AKA the suckers.
When the flier came home, I eventually fished it out of her backpack and sighed. I asked Nan, with ridiculous unfounded optimism, “Do you REALLY want to go this year?” She responded, “Uh, YEAH.” Like, how have I managed to live this long when I am so dumb? I’m taking the bullet for this one—my teacher husband is burned out, and he’s spent the whole day at school, shepherding his students through their annual fine arts festival. Twelve more school days. We got this. Unless my kid comes home with some kind of insane end-of-year project that she “forgot” about… if that happens, I’m barricading myself in the bedroom with food and drink and Netflix. It’s time she learned to figure this stuff out herself. (I kid. Mostly.)
Guys, today’s the primary in Indiana. For once, I feel like our state will play a role in determining the candidates. Usually, we’re voting so late in the game, they’re pretty much in the bag. As I stood in line, I thought about how lucky I am. I vote without fear for my safety, and I can express my opinion freely. I was filled with pride–-I was performing my civic duty! And then, I realized, mid-vote, that my fly was down. My vote still counts, right? RIGHT? (Also– nobody told me! Not even the guy at the table when I checked in! He was eye-level with my zipper! C’mon!)
As I say in my bio, I’m a mom. I have a 10-year-old daughter, N. She is the light of my life, sunshine on a cloudy day, and all that jazz, but MAN. We are fully immersed into the tween years. She’s constantly in her room, I rarely see her full eyeballs– they’re typically rolled up into the back of her head because I’m ridiculous– and she is engaging in a form of “parallel play” I haven’t seen since she was a toddler. She will call a friend, and they will basically breathe at each other while they do an activity; watch TV, draw, read. It’s madness. (To be fair, I have memories of doing the same thing, but I was tying up our only phone line at the time.) It makes me grateful that we have unlimited talk on our phone plan. That’s another thing– we don’t have a landline in our house, and she is home for a short period of time after school, so we decided to get her a cell phone, for safety purposes. This has exacerbated the tweeny behavior. If she’s not actually physically hanging out with her friends, she’s FaceTiming them. We always have another kid in the house, literally or virtually. I get that this is a part of her development, but sometimes I have to put my foot down and take the phone out of her hand or gently escort the neighbor children out of my house. It’s time for us to hang out as a family. She’d never admit it, but I think N is secretly glad for this time. When it’s just us, my girl will curl up next to me. I get hugs and kisses freely. It’s a relief for all of us.
Here I go. This is my first post on my professional blog, and MAN is it exciting/nerve wracking/ terrifying. I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t really take myself seriously for a long, long time. That’s changing. I started writing press releases for a small self-publishing company about ten years ago, and that’s what made me think I could possibly do this on a full-time basis. I loved the challenge of finding the best in a book and creating a release that would make people want to read it. (Sometimes this was VERY challenging. Like, find-the-pony-in-a-stable-full-of-manure challenging.) Recently, I’ve started creating content for a marketing company, and I really enjoy the research aspect of this. I’m given a topic, a rough guideline, and some acronyms, and they set me loose. With help from Google and the occasional SOS to my contact there, I write posts I’m truly proud to call mine. (Even if they’re published under another name.) This is an adventure, and I’m setting off without a map. I love it.