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Back to School and Other Stuff

back to schoolI’ve been busy lately, going and re-going to the stores for school supplies. How many hand sanitizers does one really need in a classroom? It’s not even healthy to keep pumping alcohol onto kids hands, is it? I mean, just send them over to the little sink and have them wash with soap and water. But, anyway. I’m not completely hip on the whole mammoth-sized amounts of supplies you have to cart into the classroom on the first day, anyway. And, all the notebooks? I don’t have to tell you that buying for five children can get pretty pricey.

I’ve been doing other things lately, too. I’m happy to report I received my first round of edits for WAKING AMY. Did I mention that in my last post? I hope not. Nothing like duplicate information overload. Anyway, I’ve been busy working on them. It’s surreal getting back my manuscript with all the red markings. Well, not that many red markings. Some…very little, in fact:) I’m beginning to see that I use commas a little too freely. Like everywhere I pause breathing. I thought that was the right way. Turns out, I was wrong. So, there’s a lot of taking out of the little cute curls I like to add too much. See, I just did it again!

Back to going back to school. Only a few of my children are ready. The girl to be more specific. Of course the girl is ready. Aren’t all girls? My girl in particular is Extremely organized. I’m not sure how she endured summer at all. I mean there was nothing to organize. No homework, no quizzes to study for… So now she’s happy. Already planned her first outfit for the first day.

The school thought my fourth child had moved and didn’t have him on any roster or in the system. Really? Like he’s the only one of the family that moved? So they quickly pecked something on the computer and presto! Here is your teachers for math, science, and reading. I hope it was tied into some type of learning analysis and not just the teacher with the least amount of students.

I suppose I’ll get back to my edits. Then I’ll go back to the store tomorrow for some more baggies, pens, and 20 more packs of paper. Oh, and five more boxes of tissues I’ll never know if was necessary. You’d think they were going abroad for study…in a hut…without running water…with desperate needs of ziplocks (gallon-sized if you’re a boy) and tons of pronged folders, and sets of headphones with USB sticks.

It’s not like they’ll run out of lead in the first semester and the supply stores will all shut down. Five packs of pencils for each child? Let’s take this year two notebooks at a time. Can we?

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To Tattle or Not to Tattle

tattletailBeing the youngest child, I prided myself in being the family’s tattler. It didn’t make me popular with my siblings by any means, but it got me praised by my parents. “Good job, Julie. Now, tell me if they do it again.”

Of course, when you get into school and pull that stunt, you lose friends pretty quickly. My siblings still had to play with me, by order of my mother, but friends dropped you like yesterday’s cafeteria lunch. And, it was a roll of the dice if the teacher was going to be so appreciative to know that little Katie eats things from her nostrils.

Now that I have children, I’m not sure what message to send. Snitches are bad. The very word makes you think they need to be chastised. But, let’s face it, it’s how we, as parents, gather information. Although, it can be daunting, sometimes, to be told every five minutes a play by play of what the other child is doing mischievously, but it has to be known.

The question is always, how do you stay in the middle of the road? To teach a child not to be too tattle-tale like and not to be too dismissive. We need to know when little Peter is striking a match underneath the blankets at night, but we don’t need to know when Carol is bending the spine of the book funny.

I’m finding that you just let them tattle all they want until it’s age appropriate to apprise them of the difference in narking about drug use and tattling about wall booger wiping. For now, I’m in both stages. My smallest is in the second grade and my oldest is a senior in high school. And, it’s surprising what a big help the older siblings are in letting the smaller ones know the deal. Hey, I guess it was fortunate to have so many children!  🙂

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Time to Move On

imageI received my son’s senior pictures in the mail yesterday. Just writing the words and remembering the sinking in my stomach when I looked at each of them, makes me want to cry. This is the little boy, the same little boy I see when I look at them, who wore Harry Potter glasses, carrying a green bucket of toys around, with a binky in his mouth and one in his other pudgy little hand. The same little boy I could hear ask me why I didn’t hug him as much as his younger brother. Boy, life takes no prisoners. You want to play the game, you must be ready to land on every spot it takes you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the top happy and appreciative that he’s come this far in life. Not only arrived here, but came with flying colors. He’s an ‘A’ student, the most gentle, and kind person I know for his age, he is humble, he knows exactly what he wants to do in life, and he asks for very little of me. And, now this is his last year at home with me as my boy.

After next year he’ll be packed up and ready for college. Let’s face it, they never come back the same. They’ve lived on their own for too long to feel they belong in the gang the way it used to be. My nest will be eternally mangled; roughed up, not resembling the original feathered heap it once was. I’ll look back in my rearview mirror and not see him. Oh, the thought kills me!

Change like this sucks. I don’t do well with it. The other day I’m on the phone with my third boy’s nurse and she’s telling me that once he turns nine he needs a different medicine than what I’ve always given him. I tell her that we’ll cross that bridge when it comes time. She asks, “isn’t he nine?” I retorted back, “he just turned eight. For goodness sakes, I was there. We had a party.” She then tells me that she’s looking at his chart and it says he’s nine. I scoff, telling her that she has a messed up chart. Then, she asks what year he was born. I tell her most confidently, “2006.” She quietly says, “That makes him nine.” I hold on to the counter I’m standing beside and it sinks in, Oh no, he is nine! WTH?

Time waits for no one, my friend. Sure, you’re glad when the dreaded binky isn’t the lifeline to your toddler, your son stops biting random children, and your other one can watch a movie without having the bladder of a peapod. But, when they look at you behind the wheel of a car and wave goodbye, what are you supposed to do then? Sit home and feel like there goes the last eighteen years of your life? Pray the world doesn’t chew him up and spit him out? Hope he doesn’t come home with a nasty girlfriend who suddenly knows his likes and dislikes better than you? Or, doesn’t come home at all because he’s got better plans?

I suppose I’ll just take a deep breath and enjoy this last year, hoping and praying it all turns out that he does make it through; that he does get to go to college; that he begins living his own life. That he gets the chance to live his dreams.

I might need a support group for this:)