Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pack all you Want

At a countdown of T-10 hours the task was complete. Boy was packed and ready to go off to Seacamp. I had followed the what to bring directions to the letter. Everything from jeans to underwear had been labeled with his name along with the noted sunscreen and bug repellent. Disposable underwater camera and snacks were placed in the backpack  while it was searched for contraband electronics

By T-7 hours (8pm) everything sat in a neat pile beside the front door. Except the bathroom bag.

Open and ready for a deposit of toothbrush and deodorant, that bag sat waiting on the bathroom counter.

At 4am I was jolted awake by the alarm and considered myself endlessly lucky that Hubby would be doing the 4:30am drop-off. I did consider climbing out of bed to watch the proceedings, but fell asleep thinking I would pop-up and give a quick kiss in a few minutes as they left. I did wake-up. Regretfully, it was as Hubby was backing out of the driveway. Oh-well. Back to sleep for another hour or so before everyone else needed to be hustled through the morning routine. 

Amidst the typical morning rush I happened to notice that the counter held a toothbrush which suspiciously resembled Boy's. A second glance told me there was no toiletries bag, but his deodorant kept the stray toothbrush company. Hmmm. I consoled myself that deodorant at just-12 isn't a necessity especially since 3/4 of the time would be spent in the water of the Florida Keys, and he had money enough to buy a new toothbrush as well as a souvenir.

Fast-forward with not a single phone call or any word to Friday evening. A fully-animated Boy recounted his adventures specifically describing events aimed to wow, dissecting squids, swimming with sharks, and getting stung by jelly fish. After his energetic sharing I asked him if he got any good pictures. Nope. Not one. I am not sure the camera even exited the backpack. 

"Jeez you're looking pretty salty, better head in for a shower," I tell him. At which point he explains that he and his friend were on a quest to save freshwater for the trip. So they did not shower once. With pride clearly welling in his voice he told us how he and his friend were congratulated for saving water at their final lunch. 

"What about your teeth?" I asked "Did you have your toothbrush?" A lopsided grin lit his face as he shrugged unsure of his answer....Okay. I'll take that as a no.

"I don't know, I only looked in the the bag once to grab the sunscreen." With a head shake I hustled him into the bathroom to rectify his hygiene issues and considered myself lucky that at least he wasn't sunburned.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Home, at long last. Juggling a mere three children is a reprieve after a long day spent listening, laughing, and cajoling ninety plus personalities to learn all day. Greeted by a stack of laundry, the need to rush through homework agendas, plus make dinner and squeeze in some laughter at home is the warm embrace of home. After crazy evening routines and rituals, I have earned the right to sit on the couch, watch fiction, and enjoy my creative outlet - lesson planning.

Yes, work. Embracing lesson-scrapping and revamping, altering, adding, and changing is who I am. This is honestly how my creativity works best. I love my job. I do not complain  though sometimes it is because I am burried under 90+ essays and can't breathe let alone talk   Because I enjoy it. Yet, yesterday I found myself near tears while talking about work with Hubby.

Why? Because I have never in my life had so many people judge me and seem to hate me, without even knowing I exist - EVER. The animosity that is pouring forth from any and every one towards my profession is staggering. Suddenly parents, who dread the mere idea of spending another snow day trapped in the house with 1-3 kids looking for any way to keep them busy for a measly afternoon, are proclaiming that not only do teachers make too much money, they aren't doing it right either. Everyone seems to know exactly what we do and how we SHOULD be doing it - for free. 

Let me tell you a secret, I have been to the hospital a time or two in my life. I've watched blood draws and IV inserts, heck I've even seen stitches put in and babies birthed. Does that make me equipped to tell the nurses and doctors how to do their jobs? 

Sitting in a classroom for years doesn't make anyone an expert either. We are paid to make it look easy - just like any good magician. Students and parents do not see the frustration that dedicated teachers feel when they feel a student is falling through the cracks or the messes they leave on their own kitchen counters because there is another assignment that needs to be tweaked to reach those hard to reach students. We don't complain. Not because it is a job any one can do, but because we chose to do it. So, please feel free to be pro or anti union. I don't care. But in the mad quest to end organized labor would it be possible to stop scapegoating the teachers? By and large we are a dedicated group that seeks to elevate your children everyday. and it hurts my feelings

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spooky Movie, Strange Lights

Finally, after much maneuvering and demands for the kids to turn off the light in there, with me recovered sufficiently from the flu that has plagued me and pumped full of Nyquil Hubby and I were finally able to sit back and watch a horror movie he brought home last week.

Well into the movie, with more than half my popcorn gone, the creeps were settling nicely across the living room. Hubby and I mentioned numerous times that the family were fools to give-up the one link to spiritual lightness and I was well into my role of criticizing the stupidity of the characters. When Hubby looks into the kitchen and points to something near the sliders. 

Knowing his wiley ways of terror well, I said "It's the cat or something." Just as said feline rubs her rump against my elbow. Intrigued I look up with a question on my lips as Hubby tells me, "It's a flashlight in the backyard."

What? In my fenced backyard? I think even as I am saying "Well go see what it is!" Creepiness has reached a new level here. He heads to the door, while I remain half-standing near the couch reassuring myself that it is probably the neighbors looking for something in their fenced yard. Then I hear Hubby telling someone the dogs are in the house. OK, time to investigate as he and unknown voice talk about the 1/2 empty pool standing in the yard. Insurance agents? Mosquito Patrol? None of the above. It is the police.

Why are the police looking through my backyard, and sure enough as I poke my head out those of my neighbors as well, at well past 10 on a Sunday night? Well, seems my neighbors are missing. MISSING. Grown adults, who have their elderly mother with them are all gone. And they are looking into my pool?? Ugh. Suddenly every shadow may hide a corpse and my mind reels with the question of when she last visited at the fence to talk about the dog or pick grapefruit. Where did they go? Suddenly the movie isn't so appealing and I settle on a DVR'd episode of Parenthood that the flu kept me from last week.

Still no sign of them. Hope everything is ok and they just took a trip and didn't tell anyone...