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Thickerer

May 9, 2010

The last 24 hours have been filled with news. Some, like my friend L’s new baby, born yesterday just in time for Mother’s Day, was good news. Some, like several health reports of several people who are near and dear to me and my family, were not so good. That on top of all the drama happening with the schools, has left me feeling a little wrung out this evening.

The school stuff is getting nasty and I am smack dab in the middle of it. On Friday, I got called to the mat by both a school board member and also an administrator (separately from one another). I’ve tried very hard to work with these people and be up front with them about what I’m trying to do and also to keep them informed about what’s going on with parents. But each of them accused me of being underhanded. At some point, I have to trust that I’m doing the right thing and that sometimes doing the right thing is going to piss people off. And my general feeling is that these phone calls reinforced something I suspected when I agreed to join the board committee — that they may have invited me in hopes of shutting me up. Sometimes the fact that people are getting pissed off is an indication that you are getting something done. I feel I’ve acted honorably, although not perfectly. I’m no politician and I’ve made my share of mistakes. I will be the first to admit I’m not beyond criticism. But in this case, I think it means we’re getting to the heart of the matter.

But while dealing with the fallout has been stressful — I’m not a particularly confrontational person and I don’t deal well with personal conflict; my skin is thinner than it could be — the outpouring of support from other parents has been overwhelming to the point of embarrassment. So while a few people might be pissed at me, I’ve got a stack of emails from other people thanking me. It doesn’t fix anything, but it bolsters my courage.

But you are probably tired of hearing about all this. And frankly, I’m kind of tired of writing about it. Not to mention thinking about it.

Can we talk about Mother’s Day? Mine was lovely. It dawned cold but sunny, so I opened the curtains and lay in bed with a book while I heard busy noises downstairs. Eventually Mr. Spy and AJ showed up with a bed tray with a cup and carafe of coffee and an Orangina bottle full of lilacs and honeysuckle from the garden. They gave me cards they’d made themselves and took my breakfast order (French toast, duh). For the first time since AJ was 1, there was no secret Mother’s Day project made at school. It made me a little sad, not that I missed another plastic vase of paper flowers or magnet with AJ’s face on it, but because it feels like the end of an era. Things get more serious from here. I can’t believe AJ is nine. NINE!

AJ crawled into bed with me while Mr. Spy went downstairs to make French toast and we watched Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons and then Spongebob. Eventually, I got around to reading the paper and taking a shower and had a little time to putter around the garden. I pulled some weeds and cut some lilacs to fill a vase for Mr. Spy’s mother and then we cleaned ourselves up and headed to her house. Mrs. Spy’s mother, we have just found out, is ill again, probably with cancer, possibly with something else. We won’t know for a couple of weeks what the prognosis is likely to be. I feared it might not be the happiest of visits, but it was lovely. We had a relaxed lunch and a good conversation. We admired her newly repainted house. Mr. Spy and I got to go for a kidless walk in the woods. Mr. Spy’s mom was in very good spirits and looked good. She apologized for there only being one cake (never mind that there were also three kinds of cookies and pudding — for 6 people, or that it was possibly the best cake ever). How could you not love my mother-in-law?

And now we are home (with a plate of Mr. Spy’s mother’s kolachky). AJ is in bed, I have a Mother’s Day glass of pastis and am watching The Simpsons Movie, which I have not yet managed to see and which about suits my intellectual capacity for the evening. Life is good. I’m trying not to think about what happens next.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2010 11:06 pm

    They were trying to intimidate you – they call you underhanded so you’ll lose effectiveness. Stick to the plan.

    Liz had a fantabulous Mother’s Day – the girls and I made blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, gave her 7 cards (including one from Simon, the cat), and then made carrot cake for her dessert at dinner. She also got some dark chocolate Godiva and Tic Tacs. Katie got her the Tic Tacs. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like an 8-year old giving you breath mints.

    Oh, and I did three loads of laundry, mowed the lawn and did a bunch of dishes, too. And we got to church on time!

    Glad you had a good day, too!

  2. freshhell permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:08 am

    Spider pig, spider pig. Does whatever spider pigs do.

    Hang in there and don’t let the negativity get you down. You’re doing the right thing.

    Glad you had a happy MD, though I’m sorry to hear about Mr. Spy’s mom. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about getting old is that everyone else does too, including our parents. Old and sick and….well, it doesn’t bear thinking about right now.

  3. DJ/Diamond permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:29 am

    Calling you underhanded is petty and a low-blow. On the effectiveness side, though, consider: Once someone starts attacking your methodology, you can be pretty well-assured that your goals are above reproach. They’re essentially saying “Yeah, you’re right, but we don’t like it so we’re going to try to make you feel bad about being right.”

    Personally, I’d tell them to go f*ck themselves, but this is why no one lets me on committees. 🙂

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