Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Team at Patient Worthy asked me to share my thoughts on Thanksgiving. I was happy to share why it's so meaningful... And after today you will know who always gets a text.
"Thanksgiving, A Promise Kept" Follow the link and let me know what you think.
"Thanksgiving, A Promise Kept" Follow the link and let me know what you think.
at 1:39 PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
We had an election in my house this fall... I thought I had moved from the center of all things political. But, no. My Beauties decided to run for Student Council.
Like all parents, we want to prevent pain as much as humanely possible, so you can imagine my shock when Ian rolls in the front door on a Friday afternoon and declares, "I'm running for president!" I laughed and reminded him that he had a few more years till he made it to the legal age as described in the Constitution.
"No, Mom. Student Council President." Before answering, I immediately went looking for alcohol and chocolate. (To be honest it was chocolate and diet coke.) He continued by informing me that all "WE" need to do was sign the parental consent form and that he had already gotten the sign off from not one but two members of the faculty.
"OK, Mom and Dad, I'm off to my room to think strategy, but my goals are simple; ice cream and chocolate milk back on the cafeteria menu." With that we lost our every-growing 6th grader to his bedroom for a strategy meeting with his campaign manger, whose image was reflected in his full size glass mirror closet doors. For the next twenty minutes we heard the campaign speech and tactics rehearsed from inside the "war room" of the bedroom that is home to my beautiful Ian.
Just as soon as I watch one roll out, our other one rolls in the front door. My type A mini-me comes in telling us she is, "considering her option to run."
While Norah continues to chat while eating an organic snack of fruit and nuts. I'm again looking for clear liquid that is kept in the cabinet above the refrigerator. I'm trying to grab the vodka while dangerously standing on a chair with a candy-bar hanging out of my mouth like a smoker dangling a cigarette. I'm listening while Norah eats some version of a ridiculously healthy snack. She continues to explain which offices are open to her as a 4th grader. I continue to stand in the kitchen binge eating motionless, nodding. (OK, so I was on my knees looking for a second bottle of diet coke in the non-alcohol drink cabinet. But, we both know I was dreaming of being on that chair reaching for liquids to pour down my throat to end the pain of my children's double desire to run for office.)
Norah decides she is running for the positions of "Safety Officer." Since the school has no patrols or children who work with the crossing guards; I wondered out loud what the job responsibility included. When I asked her she calmly replies, "No idea, but Mom, I'm super responsible. I'm perfect for the job."
Yes, yes you are... Sounds perfect for you!
Now let's be clear, Jeff and I have never run for anything. We run for NOTHING, we walk purposefully for emergencies, but never run.
I think it's amazing that my children have such confidence that they are willing to put themselves out there. That they have the willingness to do more to help their school and community. BUT, I'm looking for one corner of my life that is easy.
I also am reminded that my Beautiful son has Asperger's and jumping into social circumstances is never easy; and reading the social cues of others is hard work. So I'm doubly worried that his peers may not get it and may harm him--Which makes me crazy. No one tells you as a parent that the hardest thing you will ever do is watch your child fail. It's brutal.
So we begin the election cycle. And are delighted to realize that our most favorite faculty members are in charge of student council and have the election well at hand. We support the design of two posters to be placed on campus and offer assistance on speeches, slogans and when the tears begin over cold feet. I use my extensive middle school abilities to color in bubble letters on poster boards and ignore spelling errors.
This is theirs to do on their own.
With posters up over a long weekend Norah tells me in the car that her poster is, "not good" and that we need to go to school and see the competition. I remind her that this is her first election and she has two more years to run. As we swing into the empty parking lot on an early Saturday morning and walk the campus looking at posters in advance of the election, I tell her this is called sizing up the competition and a key component of running a good campaign-- It's from this election that she will learn and run again.
In the coming days videos are made, elections are held and Jeff and I wait at the front door with large quantities of ice cream, chocolate syrup and whip cream, regardless of the outcome. Our only advice to both Beauties is that they must be good sports and if a winner is in their class, congratulate them and don't cry at school. They can cry in their ice cream at home.
Ian came through the front door first. And from the way he opened the door we knew. He literally jumps into Jeff's arms sobbing. He made it through the whole walk home but seeing us... It wrecked him. Ian lost to the most beautiful and popular girl at school... He was a disaster for 10 minutes. He let go of Jeff and immediately went for the chocolate ice cream with extra syrup and obscene amounts of whip cream. And suddenly, things were almost O.K...
Can I hear an AMEN for IAN!
Norah fresh on his heels walks in DISGUSTED.... Door slams.
"I LOST. I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT."
I immediately offer some ice cream as it has been our planned way to discuss the post election results.
"I need to wash my hands, empty my lunch box, I'm busy."
After the terrified exchange of looks between parents, we sit with Ian. The streaks of tears are leaving tracks jettisoning down his dirty face. Sniffle, sniffle. "I'M NEVER RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE AGAIN."
I immediately agree. Absolutely Ian... "NEVER EVER AGAIN," as I invisibly rock back in forth with an equally invisible liquor bottle in hand. Never ever...
As, Ian demolishes his ice cream, Norah reemerges. When offered ice cream, she again refuses. But is lured to the table with a bowl of fresh organic raspberries and strawberries with a large serving of whipped cream.
Ian explains he needs to be excused for some "alone time" with his electronic devices... which we happily support.
While Norah settles in... and we wait...
And then it comes...
"THE MOST IRRESPONSIBLE BOY IN THE SCHOOL WON THE SAFETY OFFICER POSITION. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!," says Norah, disgusted.
Yes indeed, what is wrong with people...
After the bumpy Friday night, we have a great weekend; but come Monday morning we push both nervous Beauties out the door. I carried them in my heart all day... I drank too much caffeine and when I heard them laughing and running toward the house, I realized that I took my first deep breath of the day.
As they bolted into the house I ask, "How was your day?"
In unison, "It was the best day ever!" Both had been named room representatives for the student council, both were delighted and ecstatic by the turn of events.
And with that, all was right in our world. Jeff and I left at the end of the week for a quick trip up and back to Stanford for a check-up. Which meant that the Beauties had two days and one night with Jeff's parents. We returned to find Norah bouncing up and down in the drive. After hugs and chatting with the grandparents Norah came in beaming...
"Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you."
Then begins this story:
"I was sitting in music class, as you know we are working with our recorders."
(Can I just say it's the musical instrument that tortures all parents. But, I digress.)
"Mom, the class is with all the fourth graders in the school--so there are quite a few of us. And the music teacher is giving all of us VERY simple instructions. We were asked to sit quietly and NOT play with our recorders. MOM that means sit quietly, don't take your recorder apart and don't talk with your friends. AND THEN I LOOK OVER.... and HE is taking the recorder apart, visiting with his friends and NOT SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE AS SAFETY OFFICER!"
Well there you have it, the utter disgust of my rule following perfectionist. Now can I just say that if I was in 4th grade; I would have never been a good safety officer because, I would have been doing exactly this.... I would have been trying to make the recorders all different colors by swamping part my blue one for Katy's green one. Poor Katy would have diligently been trying to keep me/us from getting in trouble. Kates, you are still the best friend a girl could ask for, thank you for always having my back! xo
Norah continues, "Now here is the thing, our class teachers don't stay for all of music class we are in the auditorium so they drop us off and come back. When all of the sudden, the Safety Officer's teacher comes out of nowhere and removes him from the class. I watch and she is out in the courtyard and REALLY talking to him. I'm watching and she is NOT HAPPY. We continue with class. The rest of the day goes by; and I'm grabbing my lunch when Mrs. B you know the Student Council Teacher says my name across the courtyard. She says, "Norah, Hey you should know, Mr. Safety Officer is no longer the officer and you are in." And mom I'm like "What" and she says, "All I know is he couldn't follow the responsibilities of the job so he is out and you are in."
"And just like that, I'm the new Student Council Safety Officer. And guess who was so proud of me?... Ian! He thought it was super awesome. I'm so glad you are home from your trip..."
And with that all was right in the politics of our world... till the next adventure.
May all your politics stay local.
Photo Credit: PilgrimageGal
Thank you for walking with me this week and always. I do use social media to keep in touch. You are welcome to find me on Facebook, Instagram or comment below. I personally answer all my correspondence...and I'm always glad to meet another traveler. xo
at 12:44 AM