Friday, October 21, 2016

Except Death and Taxes and School Pick Up Problems

Dear you,

Hi there! We haven't met so I thought I would introduce myself.  I am a mom of two, a fifth and a third grader, at the school our kids attend.  You might recognize my car, as you drive by it nearly every day when you pass me (and plenty other parents) 10 minutes before school gets out to park at the very front of the pick up line.

In a spot that is not a spot.

Genius!  I mean why should you get to school early like many of us other parents do and park appropriately in the pick up lane when you can just come nearly at the last minute, go around a line of 30 vehicles, and park in a spot that is not a spot? Why didn't I think of that?

You probably have special circumstances.  I'm sure you think that NOBODY else in the pick up lane,  many of whom have been sitting there waiting for 30-45 minutes have ANYTHING better that they could be doing with their time.

I especially loved the day that you were parked there and ran over to grab your child and then once you were back in your car proceeded to sit there ON YOUR PHONE while the large, correctly parked, SUV behind you  that you partially blocked with your spot that is not a spot had to maneuver intricately in a forward and reverse symphony in order to get out and around you.  That was rad.

Oh, and then there are the days that you or a friend of yours arrives and instead of parking in a spot that is not a spot you park in the teacher parking lot.  In a handicapped space.  There's TWO of those spots at the school.  And guess what, we actually do have people at our school with bona fide permits to use these spaces.  Makes it kind of difficult to do so when you are parking there "really quick".

In your defense I'm sure you just somehow missed reading the detailed drop off and pick up instructions, maybe you didn't get them. I mean they were only included on a paper that went home, numerous weekly email updates from the Pricipal, the school newsletter, a couple of emails sent to classroom families, the school website, and the school Facebook page.  I'm also guessing that the people who have come up to you and asked you directly not to park in those places were probably speaking very very softly. I mean it's noisy outside.  All that air.

Are you the only person who doesn't follow the drop off/pick up instructions?  Heck no!  There's the early droppers, the people who drop their kids off BEFORE they are in the official drop off area -  usually in front of the playground (holds up the line).  There are the huggers, who insist on getting out of their car and walking around to give their child a "quick" squeeze goodbye (holds up the line).  There's the pick up parkers, who park in the pick up lane but GET OUT to go get their kid.  Cars move up but not them because they're not IN THE CAR (holds up the line, pisses people off). It's easy to do - even I have been guilty of some of these trangressions in prior school years.

But I digress, this post is about you and your spot that is not a spot.  What was really awesome was that the other day someone else decided to park there for pick up.  PEOPLE ARE CATCHING ON!  I like to amuse myself by taking pictures of "rogue" pick up cars and posting them on Snapchat.  My mom friends get it but I'm sure my other Snapchat friends (there's like 6 of those) are pretty annoyed with my posts because they haven't yet had the pleasure of dealing with school drop off/pick up yet.  I totally understand, when I saw originally saw Mr. Mom I just thought that lady in charge of directing traffic at the school was just NUTS.  I'm so sorry school traffic lady.  I get it now.

Do I have more important things to worry about besides where you park for pick up? Probably!  And once I get home I will forget all about my annoyance. Until about 2:50 PM the next day.

But hey, don't worry about the rest of us, by all means PLEASE park wherever you like and go get your kid.  We'll wait.


One (of many)

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Eleven years ago today (how can it be that long ago?) you entered this world and taught me that anything I thought I would know or expect about having a child was WRONG WRONG WRONG.

My skills were sketchy to begin with - I was never the one in line to hold babies when I was around them.  I didn't baby sit - except for ONE time when the kid wore cloth diapers and I had NO idea how to change them or rather fasten them back together even remotely the right way. As soon as I picked him back up again - off came the diaper.  Probably more than once. I think I just gave up and apologized a lot to the parents.  And then I NEVER did it again.

Despite my reluctance to engage with babies and small humans I always knew I would want to have my own children some day.

Fast forward many years and I got lucky enough to meet a guy who already had a child and KNEW how to change diapers and rock babies and hold bottles. And then you arrived and I will never say those first few months were easy, I struggled so much to adjust to being a mom and feeling comfortable taking care of you on my own.  But you weren't going anywhere and didn't complain too much and your father helped so much in the beginning (well he still helps, I just REALLY needed it then). Eventually I got the hang of it and life settled down and suddenly it's eleven years later and I can't quite wrap my brain around how fast time zooms by.

You're eleven!

I want you to know how loved you are.  I want you to know that you are unique, and smart, and beautiful.  You feel things so deeply and thoughtfully that sometimes it seems like you are much older than you are.  Then you start arguing with me about (insert just about ANY topic here) and I am reminded that yep, you're still a kid.

And you'll always be my baby.

Happy Birthday.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We met you in May of 2004 at the Humane Society. You were the only dog who could have cared less that there were humans walking around.  While all the other dogs barked and barked at us, you lay on the floor curled up and awake, yet quiet and uninterested.  We almost passed you by but after mentioning you to one of the employees they said you were a good boy and that we should take you out for a walk.  Once outside you perked right up and wanted to sniff everything and explore and didn't seem at all like the dog you were inside.  We were hooked.

We agreed to take you home and took care of the necessary arrangements.  Your name was Champ because the Humane Society had picked you up on the side of the road, very injured in what they assumed was a fight with another dog.  We were told you were maybe two years old at most.  The Humane Society fixed you up and you healed like a, well, like a champ.  We decided to rename you Baxter.

We brought you home.

We quickly realized that you had a ton of energy and a massive amount of fur.  Every season was shedding season.  We would take you for walks and you would literally pull us the entire way.  You had a keen sense of smell and could always find the squirrels and deer way before we could even see them.  You managed to find ways to escape and took advantage of them every single time, leading us to believe you spent a lot of time roaming free before you came home with us.

You always came back.

When our daughter was born and we had just brought her home she cried in my arms very loudly.  You came right up and got into my face curious of what could possibly be making that sound.  I was nervous at first, not sure what you would do with a baby around, but you seemed to figure out that it was going to be all right.  Annoying, but all right.

Our son was born two and a half years later and we moved to a larger house closer to town.  We had a fully fenced back yard and could finally let you out without a leash.  Sometimes if the wind was just right and you smelled something appealing you would get so excited you figured out how to jump over the gate and take off in pursuit. The neighbors started to figure out who you belonged to and would try to grab you for us when you were off on one of your adventures.  If you were gone too long we would really start to worry but as before, you always came back.  Still it wasn't safe for you to take off so we put in a taller gate.

Oh how you could run.

The years passed by quickly, the kids grew older and so did you.  You were slowing down, walking more than running.  Anxious.  Grey.  But happy.  Always happy.  And shedding. Always shedding.

You lost your hearing and got arthritis in your hips.  Your eyes got a little cloudy and you lost a lot of teeth. But you were happy and your tail wagged and you loved your treats and your meals and your walks, even though they were shorter because you just couldn't go very far anymore.

Over the last year or so your arthritis and anxiety got worse.  You developed kidney disease and  started having accidents in the house.  You were on six different medications to help with all of your issues.  We had to help you get up sometimes and you weren't always steady on your feet.  We still walked you, but not very far.  We knew our time with you was growing short.  But we kept trying to keep you comfortable.

We just weren't ready.

Months pass and we are close to fall.  The colors are changing everywhere and the kids are back in school.  You are sleeping more than you are awake.  You are tired.  You are in pain.  We watch you struggle to get up, if you can get up at all.  You seem sad.

Your tail stops wagging.

We know it is time to say goodbye.  One of your humans waits almost two days to call the vet because they just can't get the courage to make the call.  When they do, they sob the entire time and for well afterward.  It's the big ugly cry too.

We have a few days.

Sometimes, we want to cancel the appointment. Maybe you can hold out a little longer. Maybe THIS isn't the right time.  Maybe next week. But we don't cancel and the days go by.  We tell some friends.  We tell the kids.

We love on you hard, the treats are flowing constantly.

We say goodbye to you on a Friday afternoon.  Four of your humans go with you, the other one wishes they could be there.  We bring your bed so you don't have to lay down on the hard floor.  We have to go to a different room because you can't walk all the way to the other room. The staff at the vet are so kind and they bring you a bowl of chicken and a whole entire plate of chocolate glazed donuts.  Real donuts.  You eat all the chicken and two of the donuts.

We say goodbye.

It's over far too quick and we are stunned.  One of the kids lays on you and doesn't want to leave you there alone. We sob.  We kiss you goodbye. The kids gently leave notes for you under your paw.  We kiss you again.  And we leave.

We go home.

We put a funny movie on the TV and everyone sleeps in the same room.  The next few days pass in a flurry of planned activities.  We keep busy.  It is hard to leave the house because leaving means coming home and coming home means we might come in and forget for just a second that you're not there to greet us.  Which we do. More than once.

It's so quiet.

The house gets vacuumed and we realize your fur is not going to be all over the place anymore and we cry.  We come downstairs and think we're going to see you then suddenly remember you are gone and we cry.  We notice the food and water dish are never empty anymore, the other pets don't consume as much as you do and we cry.  We see your pills and realize we don't have to give them to you anymore and we cry.

We miss you and we cry.

One of these days we will gather up your things that remind us daily that you are not here and put them away.  One of these days we will think about you and remember you with laughter and happiness for all that you brought to our life, even the massive amount of fur, instead of sadness.  One of these days we will get used to not having you in our home, we will get used to the quiet.

But not today.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Eli is 7!

Happy 7th Birthday to my favorite little man in the whole wide world.  We love you Eli!
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Happy 9th Birthday to our wonderful, kind, smart, creative, athletic, fun and inspirational child!  

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