Monday, September 28, 2009

Have You Heard The Song...

God Is Great, Beer is Good, People are Crazy?? I think it's a Dierks Bentley song, not sure though as I have only heard mention of it, and haven't actually heard more than the chorus. But my point being, that it is so true! Well, the people are crazy part is anyway. The beer part I don't understand, because I can't drink it, and the God is Great part, well, I get that part.

Just today, I have dealt with the strangest things, making me think the world is falling apart.

1. It's homecoming week here. That means the band is having extra practices for marching in the parade and playing pep band music. These extra practices are early in the morning so as not to interfere with sports practices. Well guess what? Miss 16 has swimming practices in the morning AND the afternoon, so Miss 16 has had to deal with trying to figure out what in the world to do, which does she go to and which teacher/coach does she disappoint? The band practice is for points towards their grade and the swim practice is mandatory if they want to go to the State meet. So she talks to her coach, tells her she has to go to practice. And the coach chews her out (along with the other band students) as if it is their fault they have practice. This only happens for 1 week during all of swim season I think a little leeway is in order here.

2. Miss 16 is in a confirmation class which meets once a week, Wednesday evenings and has meetings on some weekends. For whatever reason the Church has decided to hold a retreat on a TUESDAY during the school day. Did you see that? During the school day... If your child is due to be confirmed this year, which Miss 16 is, they are "expected" to be at this retreat. Are they crazy? They want our kids to skip school for a day to go to this retreat? I and other parents have been calling the correct people at the Church and expressing our negative opinions on this subject. We've had these retreats before, always after school hours, but during school hours? What are they thinking?

3. Our USA swimming club has decided to extend their season. Normally it runs from November to March, and by March my kids are completely burned out. It is swim practice every night during the week for 2 hours each night. It's a long, long tiring season and most of us parents wonder why in the world it has to last so many months. For whatever reason the club has decided to add to this season by having a "pre-season" during October. The kids are to come, pay 100 bucks for this privilege mind you, and swim 3 nights a week from 7 to 9 and then again on Saturday mornings for 2 hours. So that they will be in shape for the regular swim season when it starts. Isn't that what the regular season is for? Am I misunderstanding something here? A pre-season for young kids swim team? What in the world?

I've got more, but for tonight that is going to have to suffice, because those are the only facts I can keep straight right now. I could list the other crazy things, like the fundraisers and party I am helping with for Miss 11's elementary school, and the strange little things going on with those, but for right now, my head hurts, and I need to sort all this out before I can comment any farther.

Just in case you thought that life was smooth sailing: God Is Great, Beer (Rum) is Good and People are CRAZY!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lunatic Fringe

It runs through my family, anxiety. It's something Miss 11 has been struggling with since she was 2 and we could not leave her with a babysitter, no matter who it was, believe me, we tried and tried and tried.

Inside though I know where her anxiety comes from. Once in a while, well, actually more frequently then I would care to admit, it builds up in me. I get to a point where everything makes me nervous or afraid. Typically my stress level has to be pretty high before I really start to feel it. Sometimes it's for no real reason. Sometimes it's for the little things that normal people don't even give a second thought. Most of the time I just let it bubble beneath the surface. I manage it just fine and the only person who ever knows how bad it is is Hubby. (And it drives him crazy, but he tries hard to be kind while letting me know that I am a lunatic!)

Yesterday Miss 11 had a cross country meet. I couldn't drive her there, so she was riding with her coach and 4 other girls. See a problem? Yeah, most people wouldn't, but I did. By noon yesterday I was shaking, I was scared, nervous and on the verge of tears. Miss 11 hadn't even left town yet. I knew, they'd be driving on a two lane road, through lots of rough hills and valleys, with a lot of oil truck traffic. I had just driven the same road last weekend and it was horrific with traffic, truck traffic. So my mind raced with possibilities and none of them were happy possibilities. My nerves were shot and I wondered how I let my mind travel to this place. I texted Hubby, who naturally reassured me, over and over and over again before he finally called. Then admitted he was at a loss to help me and I needed to relax.

Today I'm better, but I'm wired and worried about Miss 16 being on the road, going to a swim meet without being medicated for her heart and without me being there. (It will be the first this season, and only, Sunday we finally get to start her on new meds!) I feel my mind reaching for the same place it was yesterday, that place where all I can think about is the safety of my children, and the fact that I can not protect them and have them with me every second of the day.

I stew daily over Hubby being on the road, 30 minutes each way, to get to work. I worry about his profession and all the dangerous equipment he works with daily. Plus the fact that he insists on pushing himself beyond what most humans can handle.

I worry every day when Miss 16 backs out of the driveway. I worry about her backing into the ugly pick up that is CONSTANTLY parked right behind her car on the opposite side of the street. I worry about Mr 19 sleeping through his alarm at college, and without a room mate, who will wake him for class? I worry about Miss 11 and how difficult it is for her to make new friends. Worry.. worry.. worry...

I wonder where that line is, the one that runs between normal every day worries and the other side of anxious where there is that loss of control. I wonder if I am already on that other side and I just can't see it. Who decides what a normal amount of worry is, and what is worth worrying about? And when did I become this worrywart?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This week I was privileged to get to spend 2 days as the librarian at Miss 11's school. I've taught nearly every type of class there is at an elementary school at one time or another as a substitute teacher. I've been all 7 grades, I've been the PE teacher for an extended time, I've taught music, I've been in the technology room, I was the LD teacher for almost 5 months at one school and 4 months at another, I've even covered the secretaries desk now and then, though not a full day. By far my favorite job is the librarian. I get to see all the kids, I get to read to them, I get to talk to them about what interests them, there aren't too many discipline problems and I get to send them back to their teachers.

This week I had all 6 grades along with 2 classes of kindergarten in 2 days. It was busy, but not too busy and it was fun to see all of the students. My only complaint would be that it has been nearly 90 degrees out both days I taught, and there is no air conditioning in the library. There is a fan, but it's broken. So it was toasty and muggy both days. The worst came when the 5th graders, all 25 of them, came directly to library from PE, where they had been running. Oh, it was a joyous mixture of odors that afternoon.

I was fortunate enough to hear lots of interesting tales and help look for some strange book choices:

- "My mom used to have a shirt like that, but she thought it got really old and ratty so she put it on a rummage sale. Then she bought another one sort of like it, it's blue like yours." Thanks kid, this is a brand new shirt, second time I've worn it.

-"I've seen a snake this big on the road by my house, it was eating a pig or something." While looking at a picture of a reticulated python.

-"I'm pretty sure I could read this." A kindergartner scanning through a chapter book with teeny, tiny print and well over 200 pages.

-"Do you know where my grandma lives?" No honey, I'm afraid I don't. But I'm sure you could tell me in a reaaallllllyyyyyy long story.

-"Mrs. Librarian doesn't do it that way." Lather, rinse, repeat... again, and again, and again.

"Do I look like Mrs. Librarian?" They say no you don't and I tell them, "Then I won't do things exactly like Mrs. Librarian," and they are fine with that, but with the kindergartners, I was a little afraid to say that, because I was scared they would say yes, and the librarian is about 64 years old.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Those Little Things

You know, all those little things... the ones that get your blood boiling, or make you feel overwhelmed. It's the ones that just irritate the begeeberz out of you and make you wish for a vacation somewhere warm, with a butler, and a maid.

Hubby has one of those days going today. He called this morning, half an hour after he left, in a tizzy about something beyond his control, cussed a blue streak, which made me mad, so we argued. Then, when he was finally able to get where he needed to, 2 more major things went wrong. He works alone, on a farm, things going wrong are stressful without someone to help with them, but the worst part is all the physical labor involved, by yourself. With no one to drive if something breaks down, he walks or more than likely runs, with no one to help he shovels bins by himself when augers fail, and with no one to help he does all the little things that keep him from doing what he really needs to be doing this time of year: running the combine.

Despite leaving early, the combine (harvester if your from down south) wasn't running in the field until after 1:30 p.m. and that makes one mad Hubby. There is nothing in his mind that should interfere with the combine being in the field, nothing. He doesn't think any of the extra work he has to do counts for anything if the combine isn't running. It's the same way in the spring when the seeder isn't going when he wants it to be. He works hard, way too hard, and with me needing to be where the kids are, I'm not a lot of help.

So this is my post giving kudos to my husband. He won't read here until after harvest is done, so I'm not trying to weasel my way out of trouble, or get a little extra cash or some other material thing. I just want it to be out here for him to read someday.

Hubby, we know you can't work less, we know you can't stop during certain times of the year and take a break. We all know that despite your desires there are many times you can't make it to a swim meet, an IEP meeting or a concert. You miss out on little day to day things that break your heart, and you miss out on big things and wonder why in the world things are scheduled during harvest or seeding. We chuckle knowing that in your mind you honestly think everyone elses schedules should revolve around seeding and harvest just like yours does.
Your work is thankless and the world often doesn't see just how much of yourself you put into it (literally with all the cuts and head smacks you incur). But here at home we see it, we know how hard you work, we see how much you stress and we wish that there was a way we could help. We know that coming home after we have all gone to bed isn't an escape from us, but a necessity, and we are glad that most of the time we see you for a little while in the mornings. Even though there is little we can do, we want you to know that we appreciate every scrape, cut, head smack and stomping-up-and-down-throwing-your-hat-on-the-ground cussing-a-blue-streak-thing that you do to let the rest of us live the way we do. Try to relax more, try to control your temper, but know, that we love you anyway.