Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Just Happened? Well, I'll Tell Ya . . .

"I don't even know what just happened." said Jake as we approached his school this morning, with me in a huff and he in confused defiance.

Hmmm.  Well, let's see.  First of all, we are still getting into the grove of the early school risings.  Secondly, you got pissed at me because you wanted to sleep another 30 seconds.  I needed you to either get up now, get dressed, then have your free time or sleep while I shower, then get up, get dressed and have no free time.  Pretty simple.  Not so simple when you don't like the choices, though.  When you understood that I said to get up now, that you didn't have as much time as you'd like to putter around your new Facebook account or play a game, you verbally attacked me and closed the door in my face, leaving me in your hot and  messy room.    After taking a deep breath, I followed you down the hall, where you then closed and locked the bathroom door. 

As this is a one-bathroom house and I am now behind in my shower schedule, plus this is not respectable or acceptable behavior, I knocked lightly with a closed fist (so as to not get dad involved just yet) and demanded that you open it.  Then we spent another five minutes discussing what time we get up and what time we need to leave.  I gave you the choice to stand there and keep talking about it, or get dressed and have free time.  I told you to set your own alarm clock so you  wouldn't be affected by my pushing the snooze button.  I got it out of the bottom cupboard in the bathroom where I keep it until needed (to be my backup alarm on early mornings after late nights).  I told you to take it into your room and that I would help you set it if you needed it.  You left it.  You also left your clothes on the bathroom floor.

Once I showered (and repeated a calm song on my ipod four times), I went in your room and asked you to pick up your clothes from the bathroom floor.  You did so, sighing. You still left the alarm clock in the bathroom.

By then my feelings were hurt and I was mad.  I hate starting the day in a confrontational manner.  I hate feeling like I did you a favor that backfired.

"Brush your hair." I called out as I noticed your messy mop.  "I'm going to wear my beanie."  Like we haven't had this discussion before.  "Brush it anyway."  I retorted.  "And say goodbye to dad."  I was through making breakfast and getting it all into the car.  "Did you sign my papers?" you asked.  "The ones you didn't get out for me yesterday?" was my response.   "Get them out in the car and I'll sign them." 

While sitting in the car, in our driveway, with 20 minutes to get you to school and me to school, which will get me there, but I'll now have to sit in the car line of parents before parking and I wish to avoid, you get out the papers.  One of them is a survey about next year's summer schedule and coinciding it with the high school.  I explain it to you, to get your opinion.  You don't get it.  I explain it again.  You turn off the quiet radio and ask me to explain it again.  By the fourth time, you have an opinion.  It coincides with mine.  I sign it and give it back. 

"Jake, I want us to remember the rule about you showing me all your papers every afternoon before you have free time."  You're not really listening again.  You hear just enough to argue.  You say I'm yelling.  (Really???  You want to hear an example of me yelling?  Keep it up!!!)  I take off up the street in the car, driving just a little aggressively because I'm pissed.  You comment.  I am silent.  Two blocks from home I realize we forgot to pack your snack and water bottle.  This is something else that needs to be done in the afternoons, starting now.  I offer you the backup protein bar in my middle console.  You decline.  I hope the lack of food and the emotionally bumpy morning doesn't cause the rest of the day to suck for you. 

So, you don't know what just happened?  I feel you have been picking and snarking and arguing with me all morning and it's been less than an hour since I gently woke you up with a calm voice and a backrub. 

"I'm going to draw this."  You say as I drop you off.  (Yes, I said that I loved you, and yes, you said it back.)  "You do that."  I say.  I mean it.  You draw awesomely and I support self-expression, especially of frustration and confusion.  (It's the reason I write!!!)  "You're not going to like it."  you say.  "I didn't like this morning, so if you draw about it, it makes sense that I won't like it."  I say.  We both smile a little.  I watch you start up the steps.  I drive off to wait in car line. 

Love you, Bub.  Sorry if I don't make myself clear.  I'll help you set your alarm and you can get up when you want, within reason, of course. Thank you for your apologies.  I accept them. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Changes on My Path

Something new happened to me this morning, I left Barnes and Noble in tears.  No, it wasn't because I was only fantasy shopping and had left my wallet and membership discount card in the car.  It's because I am changing jobs and the reality of it came to the surface as I automatically noted in my head which books my current library needed, which sequels had come out since I last shopped.  Well, I'm not going to be there anymore.

After 4 1/2 wonderful years working in Oceanside, I landed a job that's 5 minutes away from home, in an Elementary school, grades kindergarten through 6th.

Gone is the 45 minute commute one way.  Gone are the podcasts and audiobooks that kept me looking forward to the drive.  Gone is the gorgeous drive along Sleeping Indian Road where, in the mornings I would sometimes need to slow for peacocks and would roll down the windows in the afternoons to catch sniffs of what was growing locally.  (Side story, one time I had my son roll down his window to smell the amazing strawberries that were ripening in the sun.  Sadly, they had just manured . . .)

Gone are my fantastic friends, staff from many campus's, as I had worked at 3 and met with the library tech's monthly.  Gone are the hilarious and sometimes teary conversations with my middle-schoolers.  Gone is my last library, with about 50 tasks still in the process of completion.  (The new library tech is going to pull some hair when she/he reads my "to do" letter.) 

Okay, enough with feeling maudlin about all this.  Friends are friends, whether you see them daily or just play catch-up online, on FB or by phone.  I had opened myself to what was to be the next move for me and was hired at a fantastic school that I can literally walk to. 

I have come full circle, as the reason I thought I might like to be a librarian was to read to the little'uns.  Well, kindergartners, here I come!!! 

I am 5 minutes from our son, so if the school nurse calls me, it won't take me an hour to get him.  I will start recognizing kids on the street and in the stores.  (No more wearing pj's to Albertson's, I guess.)

As for the young adult lit I love so much?  Well, our local library has an awesome selection and I will read it to my heart's content.  Maybe blog a little about it too.

Do they have The Hunger Games or Twilight  in my new library?  (Do I want them to be there? I brought my posters, just in case, along with my READ posters starring Yoda and Darth Vader.)  I will soon find out.  In the meantime, it's time to brush up on my readin' aloud skills and getting caught up on the great books that have come out since our boy graduated from the kiddy section.  I hope I have a good collection of Amelia Bedelia  and Stephen Kellog books . . . .

All is well. 
Thanks for listening.