Monday, March 28, 2011

Incredibly Sweet

So my adorably wonderful friend Sara passed this one along to me today, and I'm happy to share it with all two of you who actually read my blog. :-)

This award requires me to list five things about myself and then pass it on to five other blogs I thoroughly enjoy. So here you have it -
  • I adore animals. All kinds. But especially horses and dogs. I never grew out of the little girl's fantasy of owning a pony. Although I'd need one that was bigger than a pony.
  • I love to write but I stop myself too often because I think someone else will think what I write is stupid. Or something. Basically I just worry too much about what other people think.
  • I'm still trying to find a theme for my blog. So far the theme has mostly been "Let's see how much of my inner soul I can bare today." Maybe the theme is actually "Self-serving Boring Drivel." Hmm - a new title, perhaps?
  • My wedding album is almost empty and my kids' baby books basically don't exist. I am HORRIBLE about scrapbooking.
  • I love my husband more than words could possibly express. The man is a gift. Not only does he buy me diamonds, but he accepts all of me, thinks I'm beautiful, is a wonderful father, supports me through all of my crap, and is an incredible kisser. Seriously. I'd offer to let you try him out, but then I'd have to kill you.
And now for five more of my faves...
Amalah A mom with two boys and one on the way.
Dooce Famous in her own right, Heather Armstrong is hilarious, talented, and managed to make this blogging thing into a career.
Cake Wrecks Just for fun.
Mommy Wants Vodka She's funny. And she offers advice. Double whammy.
Moms Need Timeouts Too A mom of twins who just happens to be one of my favorite people in the world.

Fill-in Fun

I borrowed this from a blog I just learned about, twinsplusone. Thanks, Holly!

Here goes...

1) I can’t help it, but every time I see my son blow-drying his hair I smile. He's decided he wants to be Justin Bieber when he grows up. I put my foot down at the $200 hairdryer.

2) Every time I smell Softsoap I am immediately transported back to my childhood. My mom always bought it for our bathrooms and I loved the smell.

3) When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. Seriously - I even went to college for it and everything. Then found out that it wasn't where I belonged - teaching was.

4) If I had to eat only one meal for the rest of my life it would be spaghetti carbonara. I go to the same restaurant on my birthday every year just so I can have that million-calorie deliciousness.

How about you? Join in the fill-in fun!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Finished conferences today. I figured out another reason why I love my job. It's because I get to play shrink. Apparently I'm decent enough at it that most of my parents leave conferences with smiles on their faces, no matter how difficult their kid's academic experience may be.

My favorite conference was the kid who has worked his ass off since the beginning of the year to please his dad, and he has improved his grades immensely, but he's still not 100% with homework completion. Dad immediately latched onto the homework thing and wouldn't let go. After several of my tries to get through to him that his kid has been working his ass off (and being rebuffed with homework-related ultimatums directed at my student) I finally looked him in the eye and said, "You've obviously made education a priority. If very important to Student that he be successful in school. You're doing your job as a parent, and you're doing a great job of it."

He immediately breathed out, like he was holding his breath for the whole conference, and you could see him physically relax. All the tension went out of his shoulders. And for the whole rest of the conference, he actually listened to what I told him. He even admitted that he was proud of his son. You've never seen a prouder kid than Student was as he left my classroom. Dad smiled at me and shook my hand as he left. He was so worried that I would perceive him as a bad parent because of his kid's behavior that he needed some kind of validation. I guess he got it. And so did I, because at the end of that conference not only did I feel good about my student and his relationship with his dad, but I felt like *I* had done something special.

Then at my last conference today, I had an interpreter come to translate for the parents. She has been the interpreter at all of my conferences this year, and I really like her. She's easy to talk to and has a beautiful accent, plus she speaks Spanish clearly enough that I'm beginning to be able to separate the words and understand it better. The conference went long as we were talking about this and that, and afterward I walked her to the office to make a copy. As she was leaving, she smiled at me and said, "You're a really good teacher. All the parents and students are saying that." I could only stammer my thanks as she walked out.

In the seven months that I've been at this school, I've received more validation, both internal and external, of my skills and strengths than I did in the entire eight years at my previous school. I don't know where it comes from for sure, but I think I know a couple of reasons. First of all, my mental health is so much better. I'm able to believe it when people tell me I'm good at something, and instead of automatically saying in my head, "You don't know what you're talking about," I'm starting to see what they're talking about. I don't doubt or hate myself the way I used to.

Secondly, I'm in an environment that is not exposed to constant failure and hopelessness. You immediately start to doubt yourself when you have to work so hard for so little gain. Here, I'm seeing so much more gain. These kids are learning, I'm making a difference, and their behavior changes when I model how to behave. When I teach something, it sticks. These kids WANT to do better - they have the motivation to do so. It makes it so much easier to come to work and WANT to do more for these kids when I get so much more out of them for my efforts.

Another reason - I really think it's that I laugh so much more now. I laugh with my students, I laugh AT my students, I laugh with my fellow teachers, I laugh with my parents (especially one who volunteers at our school - she's frickin' hilarious). I go to work and I'm happy to be there. I wouldn't be so happy if I weren't doing something right.

And the last reason...I adore those kids, more than any class I've ever had. They tell me that I inspire them, they talk to me about things that are bothering them, they tell me that they like the way I teach or that I always teach it so they can understand it. They email me to ask questions about homework or just to say hi. They come in before school starts just to hang out, or stay in at recess so I can play shrink for them. They tell me that I'm the only teacher who has ever liked them, or that they love that I encourage them to catch my mistakes. They invite me to their basketball and softball games. They cry when I tell them how much I believe in them, even though they just hurt someone else with their words - and then, in front of the whole class, they stand up for the student they hurt.

I'm good at what I do not because of me, but because of them. They inspire me, they push me, and they make me want to be better. I just hope I don't ever let them down.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A friend of mine, who taught the Gifted and Talented program at my previous school, suggested that I "like" this one Facebook page all about giftedness. It got me thinking. (Then again, what doesn't?)

I tested into the gifted program when I was in third grade. I got to find out lots about myself, including how right- or left-brained I am (more centralized than anything else but I lean right); what type of learner I am (linguistic); how I would score on the SATs if I took them in seventh grade (above average for a high school student, five years early); and I found an identity.

I was a very tormented kid. I was fat, I wore glasses, I was smart, and I loved to make the teachers happy with me - none of which added up to social acceptance. I never understood why people picked on me when I tried so hard to make them like me. I never understood why people didn't get the connections I made between outwardly un-connected things. I was proud (dammit) of the fact that I could spell virtually any word you threw at me and had to be given 7th grade words in 3rd grade just to get enough for a spelling list each week. I also didn't get it when people told me to stop being so down on myself - because the only time I got people to say nice things about me was when I said bad things about myself.

There's a small part of me that wants to slap young me upside the head, but really, all I want to do is give me a hug. I think the only reason I don't remember instances very well now is because I trained myself to overlook the hard things; the embarrassing things; the sad things. The gut-wrenching things like the time someone told me I looked like I ate shit because my mom took tetracycline antibiotics while she was pregnant and I ended up with spotty teeth. Or the time that boy told me he had a girlfriend but I found out later that he lied so he wouldn't have to tell me he didn't want to go out with me. Or the times that I believed my best friend when she said she didn't say those things, and I found out later that she did.

All those things added up to a lot of confusion. I didn't know what I was supposed to do or be, since it seemed that everything I did ended up being wrong. I always felt out-of-sync, like I didn't fit in, and like I thought too much about everything. So when I was told that I fit in somewhere, I grabbed on to that label and wrapped myself in it. Therefore, and ever since, I was Gifted.

Gifted has it's own strata, of course. Being a teacher, I recognize the different levels and types of giftedness. I recognized it a long time ago too, but then it was only one more bat to hit myself with - I wasn't musically gifted, so I must be worthless. I wasn't athletically gifted, so I must be worthless. I wasn't socially gifted, etc. But dammit, I could spell! I could write! And pretty much anything academic came to me quickly and easily!

Until it started to...well...not. I hit some of the harder sciences and maths in high school and suddenly, my Gifted world started to crumble. Wait, I don't get this the first time the teacher tells me about it? Shit, there must be something wrong with me. You mean I have to actually study? I must not be smart anymore. I identified so hard with Gifted that when things weren't easy anymore, I had no clue what to do, and I went through another stage of loss. I had already lost my self-worth, my body image, my social standing (which I never had to begin with)...and now, the only thing that I felt identified ME - my Giftedness - was in question?

I read a few articles tonight about existential depression and gifted depression - about how gifted students are often prone to depression because the way they look at the world is different from everyone else; they feel things in such a deep and intense way; and they have such a hard time finding a place to belong. I WAS that kid. Still am.

But I'm lucky - I've found my place. I found my belief system. I've found where I belong and I've found acceptance. I don't have to identify myself by the group I hang with, and I don't have to prove to everyone that I am worth spending time with. I'm damned good at what I do for a living - I may not be the best, but I'm willing to give myself time to get there. I'm a good mom - because when it gets hard, I've learned from my past mistakes that I need to study up on how to get better. I don't feel the need to search for the meaning of life in gods or religion - I believe I've found it in the things I do for others, and in teaching my children how to live their lives in the best and most giving way possible.

I have not had an easy life. I could qualify that by saying that others have it much harder than I do, but honestly, I spend a lot of time apologizing for being the way I am, and there are times when I get really fucking sick of that. I do what I can to help others, but dammit, *I* lived this life, and it has not been an easy one.

But now? Now I'm gifted. Lower-case g. I don't have to identify myself with Gifted anymore. Yeah, I have some pretty good deep insight and I'm a good problem-solver, plus I'm analytical and can read motivation, plus predict behavior. These all make me good at my job. These are Gifted traits. But I'm not just Gifted anymore.

I'm gifted because all of those events, all of those experiences, all of those heartbreaking moments that happened to me - every single one of them did not break me. They left indelible marks, yes. Scars, even. But I have proven, even in just the last two years, that I can break the cycle of depression, hurt, anger and dysfunction, and come out on the other side. Come out stronger.

I'm gifted because I have so many things to be thankful for - and I am capable of acknowledging that. I'm gifted because I have been through so much in my 30-plus years that I can now appreciate every single tiny thing that has been gifted to me. My husband, my son, my daughter, my home, my job, my life, my love...

I'm not just smart. I'm not just Gifted. I'm gifted - and I hope that by acknowledging that, I can give back to someone else. Maybe someone just like me, who didn't believe that one day I could be as happy and fulfilled as I am now.

That's who I am now. Me. But a much better me than I ever was before.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


Just curious as to when that's going to happen. My mom served my dad with divorce papers yesterday. I'm not taking it well. I haven't been sleeping, haven't been exercising, haven't been happy, and I've been crying a LOT. I slept for two hours this afternoon after sleeping only 4 last night and the night before. I did work out today, so hopefully that'll help with the sleeping tonight.

This has been an emotional week. I had the most amazing birthday of my life this week, when my students went all out to make it an incredibly special day. I got serenaded by no fewer than 4 kids (at different times); 2 more kids requested that the orchestra teacher come play Happy Birthday on her violin for me; one of my kids bought ladybug stickers and handmade a card plus wrapped two of my favorite candy bars to look like ladybugs; another made a gigantic card with her own (and her dog's!) hand/pawprints in addition to a poem; another brought me a chocolate cupcake that was to-DIE-for; another brought me two kinds of chocolate and a card with a very sweet message about how I inspire her... I was floored, to put it mildly. And all this came AFTER I walked into my classroom first thing that morning to two dozen hand-delivered roses - that Husband had wrangled with his parents to deliver because he was in San Francisco the whole week.

Before this, however, I had to figure out some pretty heavy stuff. My dad had asked if I wanted a weekend at a local water park that he would pay for, for all four of us. This would have been great (and we were already planning it for spring break) but the problem was, I had already asked my mom if she wanted to go with us. I knew she wouldn't want to come along if he was paying for it, so I had to ask her what she thought. She immediately told me that I had to do what I wanted but that I needed to remember how he treated her. My cousin, who has been staying with my mom for awhile (and providing support and relief), jumped in and reminded my mom that what she just said was putting me directly in the middle of a situation that involved my mom and my dad, not me. We had a good talk that night about how my mom needed to leave me out of things and remember that he's still my dad, no matter how hurt she might be.

Then, there was the issue of my birthday dinner. My mom doesn't even want to see my dad right now, but every single year, for the 25+ years that we've lived here, I've gone to the same restaurant with my family on my birthday. It's tradition. But I didn't want it to be awkward or get screwed up. I didn't know what to do. Luckily, I asked my dad what he thought we should do and he suggested that I do my dinner with my mom and Husband's family on my birthday, and the night after, have dinner with him and the kids. I was so thankful that he said that, because I was so worried about how to handle it.

Both dinners went well. My dad and I got to talk and I said a lot of things that I've been wanting to say for a long time. He told me how proud he was of me (something he didn't really say much when I was growing up) and how amazing my husband was (I knew that). He told me he was sorry that this was happening but that he was on the verge of a heart attack because of my mom's health issues (I still don't understand that - I do, because I can see how it can be stressful to support her, but I don't agree with what he did). I cried and told him that I didn't want my kids to NOT know their grandpa, who they love. He told me thank you for seeing him.

I haven't talked about it to anyone but my counselor yet. I'm having a hard time discussing the whole thing. I cry, or at least tear up, every time I think about it. I feel like I'm back to where I was before my medication, although I know that if I just focus on something else, I'll be okay. And I think about the steps I've taken over the past two years to make my life (and my family's lives) better. My counselor said that the cycle of family dysfunction is a tough one to break, and it takes a lot of courage and strength to become aware of it and take the kinds of steps I've taken to break it. That helps a little. My husband helps a lot. He has been so supportive, even with me being so clingy, desperate and weepy lately. If I need quiet time, he gives it to me. If I need him to just hold me, he's there. If I need him to let me gorge myself on sugar and comfort food to drown my sorrows, he says not a single word. He knows that I can get through this but that I need time, and he's willing to give me that time. I wouldn't have survived any of this (or even my life in general) if it weren't for him.

We had a group date night last night, something that Husband and I cooked up to get together with friends that we don't see enough of. Four of us couples got together for a movie and dinner. We had a lot of fun, I had a lot of alcohol, and we found out that another of our friends is pregnant. So now all four of us either have kids or have them on the way. It's funny to look at all of us and see how far we've come.

I'll get through this. Our friends and my husband and my kids will keep me strong, and I'll get it back together. I just need time. They say it heals all wounds, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More hours, please

As if there weren't already too few hours in a day, Daylight Savings has to go and take another one away from me. I'm still all kerfuffled.

So my day today. It's 9:20 and I'm waiting for a load of laundry to dry so I can get in the shower. How is it that when the husband is gone, things seem to go more smoothly, but I still seem to have less time?

What I did today:
5:50 a.m. - Get up, get dressed, get kids up, get kids dressed, get everyone snacked, let dog out and in, do hair, grab stuff, get out the door.

6:20 - Leave the house, drive kids to school

7:00 - Drop kids off, hugs, kisses, leave for work

7:15 - Get to work, grade papers, teach teach teach, grade more papers, plan, copy, teach teach teach, power outage, teach, grade more papers, copy, read for planning

3:45 - Rush out the door to get the kids and drive home to pick up the video camera and let the dog out

4:45 - Pick up my mom, head to Boy's hip-hop class

5:00 - Record videos of Boy booty-shaking and head bobbing, entertain Baby Girl while Boy dances with stories and puzzles

6:00 - Pick up McDonald's on the way to Tae Kwon Do, eat (feeding Baby Girl one apple slice, then one chicken nugget at a time since she likes to play with her food and take FOREVER to eat it)

6:45 - Drop off Mom and Boy at Tae Kwon Do, run to Walgreens to drop off Mom's Redbox video and pick up some cough drops for her, laugh at Baby Girl as she refuses to follow me as I leave an aisle because she has to "find where this sippy goes!" (she's just as anal as her mommy), head back to Tae Kwon Do

7:00 - Get back to Tae Kwon Do, let Mom watch Baby Girl as I do some more reading for school, take Baby Girl to the potty, get coats on kids, gather everybody together to get back in the car

7:45 - Drop off Mom, get home, let dog out, brush teeth, get pajamas on, read Baby Girl stories, put Baby Girl in bed, have Boy read his book (he's reading to his class at some point this month and has to practice a story of his choice), have Boy practice his sight words flash cards, read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, put Boy in bed, kisses, tucks, close door, take a breath.

But wait, we're not done.

8:15 - Get load of laundry out of dryer, put load into dryer, put load into washer

8:30 - Start folding laundry, phone rings, talk to sister-in-law about crappy parental situation (while folding laundry), hang up the phone, try to watch Desperate Housewives while folding, get bored, turn off TV, put some laundry away

9:00 - Phone rings, tell Husband that I haven't even gotten in the shower yet and I've got laundry to do, hang up, do some more laundry, throw up my hands and say fuck it, sit down at computer and start reading my blogs and checking email (including work email)

9:20 - Finish an email to a parent, start blogging.

I'm still not done for the day. I've got more reading to do for work, more laundry to do, and a shower to take, all before 11 when I'll finally collapse into bed.

It's now 9:39. Tick tock. What did you do all day today?

Monday, March 14, 2011


Didn't sleep much last night. Hubby was gone. Snuggled with the puppy - not at all a decent substitute. Although she is very soft.

Kids were snots yesterday. Much better today. Did my good deed today by teaching the Boy about compassion for others. Girl sang "Wo wo" adorably wrong.

As if I don't have enough to do, I signed up for a book study for work. Now I'm blogging instead of reading. I should be in bed.

Hip hop class tomorrow. Can't decide when I want to call it quits when it comes to letting Boy experience all these activities and such. Since we joined the Y he fell in love with swimming and gymnastics, plus he does tae kwon do and hip hop now. He loves all of them. I guess we'll quit when it gets to be too much for me, Girl starts doing stuff, or Boy says he likes one or more better than the others. Right now he loves it all.

Bedtime. More tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All by myself...

I wanna be...all by myself...

You love incorrectly-quoted Celine Dion songs, right? You're welcome.

Actually, the hubby left for a business trip today and I am by myself, except for the kids, the dog and my own angst. I can't decide what to do with myself. I'm getting over a cold so I could just be lazy all day, but the house is a mess so I should do some work. The kids want to take Maya to the dog park, but it's raining so we can't walk without getting soaked. I really would love to have some alone time, but I feel guilty every time I do that. I'd like to go shopping and do my leisurely, stare at everything as long as I want, relaxed kind of trip, but I can't do that with the kids (Baby Girl never stops chatting and Lex starts asking to move on from one area after about a minute). Lex wants to work on our choreography to Justin Bieber's Never Say Never. I can't come up with a good reason NOT to do that.

I'm thinking after that we'll all go out to the garage so they can watch High School Musical while I work out. At least I'll feel somewhat accomplished even if they're just being lazy. But what I really want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep for 10 hours.

Lex started hip hop class this past week. He adores it - the instructors are both guys who liked him immediately, and he's the youngest and the only boy. But man, can he freestyle. The kid is so confident in front of other people. It reminds me of me when I was his age - I loved to perform, dance, sing, spell (I won a couple of spelling bees) and I had a lot of confidence in front of people. Makes sense considering I'm a teacher now - teachers are nothing if not performers.

I went to the counselor about my parents' divorce yesterday. When I was done, after talking and bawling for an hour, I was exhausted. No earth-shattering revelations or anything, and really, nothing that I hadn't already figured out myself, but she was easy to talk to and it's probably good to have someone who gets paid to listen to me whine. Everyone else is getting pretty sick of me. :-)

Baby Girl just ran in and announced that she shared her pretzel with Big Brother because he asked nicely. I should go - pretzels and hip-hop choreography fun will ensue.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Busy busy busy

I'm exhausted.

Seriously. I mean, yeah, I get that there are a lot of people out there who have lives that are much more stressful than mine, with many more challenges than me (mainly because I taught many of their children) but still. I'm freaking TIRED.

This week has been ridiculous. Three days in a row I didn't get in the door until after 8 p.m., after leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. One of those days was a 12 hour day at work. After weeks like this I really like to have a lazy weekend in which I have the option to not get dressed or leave the house all weekend. However, today I had my mom's purse party, my friend's baby shower, and the husband's grandma's birthday dinner. Lots of fun and not at all mentally stimulating, right? I actually passed out on my in-laws' couch after dinner tonight and slept through my kids breakdancing right in front of me.

Anyway, life has been crazy. Maya graduated puppy class this week and we signed up for intermediate class in April. She's doing great - I haven't been as consistent as I'd like with her training but she's catching on pretty well. Intermediate class works mostly on distractions, which is her biggest challenge, so hopefully that will help. I'm determined that this dog will be our best dog ever, and dammit, I'm going to put in the work to get her that way.

The kids are amazing. Lex decided he wants to grow his hair out to look like Justin Bieber, so there's that. I decided not to fight it. The more you fight your kids on these things the more they'll fight back to get what they want. Pick your battles, I say. I also told him I'd take him to the Bieber movie. Secretly, there's a little part of me that wants to see it (if only to figure out what kind of crack this kid is selling to the 12 year old girls). I think Lex just wants to learn more hip-hop moves.

He also got his report card a few weeks back and blew me away. The grading system is standards-based now, with 1-2-3-4 grades, 4 being above grade level. He went from mostly 2s in second quarter to all 3s this quarter, with six 4s in some basic concepts (knowing letters, recognizing his name, colors, etc.). He had a major maturity growth spurt in the last few months and he is just such an amazing little man. I'm so proud of him and the person he's becoming - he's so kind, helpful, caring and lovable. And responsible too - he reminds me of things that I'm constantly forgetting. Such a good kid.

The Baby Girl is hitting a growth spurt - she basically skipped size 4t clothes and I now have to buy 5t if I want anything to last the month. She's not even 3 yet. She's totally proportional but has always been at the 75th percentile, so she'll probably be at least my height if not taller. We're getting ready to sign her up for tae kwon do soon, and I'll probably have her take dance classes at the YMCA since she ADORES dancing (she wants to be just like her idol, big brother). I want her to explore other dance classes besides ballet though - too many body image issues come up with ballet.

As for her personality, her teacher told me the other day that she has a very "sweet spirit." She had been telling me about how one of the other kids had thrown a small tantrum but that Baby Girl never did that - she was always so well behaved, sweet and helpful. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful kids who care so much for each other (and other people in general). Lately I've been pretty down about my parents' divorce and she came up to me the other day, out of the blue, and asked, "Are you feeling all right, Mommy?" Then she gave me a hug and said, "You feeling better now." I definitely was. :-)

I fall in love with teaching more every day now. I adore my kids this year, they're all such smartasses and they make me laugh constantly. I'm learning new things - both in the curriculum I'm teaching and the classes I'm taking through the district professional development. I have an incredible teaching partner who is so full of resources that she's probably saved me about 5,000 hours of work in my first year here. It was truly the best decision of my life to leave my previous building, especially after the stories I'm hearing from my friends who still work there. It's wonderful to love what I do again.

That's pretty much it at this point. Life is busy but I get to spend it doing things I love with people I love (like my bestie, when we go for a walk at the waterfront tomorrow morning!). I'm trying not to dwell on my parents' struggles and focus on all the good in my life right now. Because there is a lot of it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wouldn't it be great if...

So a friend of mine posted a blog entry around this topic and since I've been exceedingly angry about things lately, I decided to take it and run with it. Forgive me if it sounds a tad (ton) bitter and pissy, but there are a lot of things that I haven't been able to "my life is so great I have no reason to be upset about this" myself out of. Brace yourself, this is gonna be grrreeat.

Wouldn't it be great if...

-people who have been married for almost 38 years could wake the fuck up and solve their own problems?

-adults could actually talk to each other and possibly discuss things that have been bothering them?

-adult men who have been waited on hand and foot by their doormat housewives for their entire marriage would, in the event that the doormat housewife becomes ill, actually stick around and care for her?

I have so much more to bitch about, but I just can't right now. It's hard enough to get this out. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to help but anytime I get close to helping I get so fucking incensed that I turn into superbitch, and no one wants to be near me. I have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks grasping my husband for dear life because I'm so goddamned lucky to have the man that he is. And I can't talk to anyone about this because my husband doesn't know how to handle me when I get this way, my mom is fucking unhinged and my dad won't talk to anyone. I can't tell my kids what's going on because they won't understand it, and I feel guilty that I haven't taken the kids to see my dad since he left but I don't want to see him. Oh, and there's the fact that none of us know where he is. My mom has been coming to me for advice and I can't handle it anymore. I honestly feel like I'm 10 years old and my parents' divorce is my fault. Except I'm an adult and I'm perfectly aware that it isn't, so I'm not only feeling shitty about their situation but I'm feeling shitty about not wanting to have any part of it. I'm fucking angry. Incensed. Pissed off. At both of them. One of them is doing a great job of making the other seem like the bad guy, but the worst part about it is that I can see how they're both at fault and how they aren't willing to either see that or do anything about it.

I have learned that I'm actually really good at the whole psychological analysis thing. I've learned a lot about myself, my family, and why I am who I am through this. The worst thing is, that despite knowing why, I don't like myself or my family any more for it.

So this is my therapy. For now. I'm just going to vent to the interwebs and put all my vile inner shit out there. Until I figure out a better solution, I guess.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Music to her ears

I love writing, and I love talking about myself, so why do I find it so hard to update my damn blog regularly?

My wonderful son (we'll call him Lex, I like Superman-themed names) is frickin' READING. I've been working with him using BOB books and some phonics books and various other educational tools that I'm lucky to have access to because I'm a teacher. We've been learning letters and sounds and phonemes and digraphs and whatever the hell else you're supposed to teach beginning readers (can you tell I'm not a literacy specialist?). I've been working with Lex for two years on the actual reading thing. Before that it was letter-sound recognition and the stuff they have to know before they can start putting sounds together, but it wasn't until we started the BOB books that he started taking off. However, this year I really took a step back because he kept saying he didn't want to read at home. I took that to mean, "Mom, you're pushing too hard, back the fuck off." Despite the fact that every teacher (and perfectionist gifted student) bone in my body wanted so badly to keep working on it - because dammit, I KNEW he could do better - I also knew that making it an ordeal was not a great recipe for a love of reading.

So I told the hubby that it was his job now. Every night since then, Hubs has read Harry Potter to the kids and occasionally had Lex read a BOB book or two back to him, maybe once a week or so. Tonight, he put the kids on our bed and handed Lex the book "The Frog Prince Continued." Lex proceeded to sound out the first ten pages of the book. He got stuck on a couple of words but managed "happiness" and "princess" all on his own. It was truly magical. The way their little brains work as they begin to figure out how all those letters go together, and then get so excited about it as they realize they can do it - that's incredible.

I did sit down with Lex the other night to have him read me a BOB book and a phonics book. After he read the first two pages pretty fast I said, "YAY! I'm so excited - you're actually READING!" Lex responds,"You used to scream and clap your hands when I finished." I asked, "Do you want me to do that?" Lex: (giggle) "YES!"

I think I deafened the dog that night.