Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Raisins Can Make You Appreciative

Thank goodness we have hard wood floors!
..... because that's where my children's collection of smushed raisins live.

Open concept first floor home, two working parents with scattered brains and an adhd dog in tow
.... two kids old enough to "help" means that: raisins are obtained from the pantry, "shared" and then "put away" which means that there are rogue raisins on the floor. 

Soon to be hidden in a corner, smushed and then lamented over...

Mostly by me.

Oh I try to pick them up when I think of it.
I even dutifully poke and scrape the smushed raisin with my pointy toed shoes before I leave for work in the dimly illuminated mornings.

If they come loose, I raise my hands victoriously and scoop it up, feeling accomplished. If they continue to stubbornly adhere to the boards of the floor, then I resign myself and file it in my "to-do" list.

When I return home with my tribe, I feel annoyed, then momentarily embarrassed that I still have smushed raisins on the floor. Do other responsible adults have these sticky visitors? Why can't I remember to scrape them off the floor? Do other mothers catch them before they fall? Where are these mothers?  

I read my kids a book while they eat dinner.

My brain wanders while I read the story book that my children are the source of the unwanted raisins, and my children are thriving.  

So I let the raisins live in my house, on my floor, for one more day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


“Good afternoon, I am Ms. Sassypants,
Detention lasts until 3:30.... 
If you need to use the restroom, please do so at this time. 
There is no eating, no drinking, no talking, no tweeting and absolutely no sleeping…. (No, I know that Mr Friday-Detention-Man lets you….Naptime would be a gift.)
If you do not meet these expectations then you will be removed....

I monitor school detention one day a week after school and I really enjoy it.  (Why didn’t I monitor detention when I worked in a more urban-ish high school?!)  Let’s be honest, I’m pretty good at it because I have bitchy resting face am stern.  When I worked at that high school there was a very strict-but-fair-English teacher named Wil who ran it, he loved those scrappy-ass kids and I do too.

Sometimes though, I feel like instead of staring at me or drawing a picture of a cow for an hour (because its middle school), I would like to assign them to watch the Breakfast Club. Even though it is about one generation removed, if they have reasonably cool parents or older siblings than this should not be a problem….and of course there’s Netflix. 

Decades have passed but it’s the same old story.  A few kids: the regulars, the feisty ones, the goody goodies and the jock.  Some quietly take out a book to read, others clear their throats excessively- like an orchestra of annoying-ness in an effort to make the monitor lose their sh*t.

The most interesting thing about detention is that kids are in there for so many different reasons: late to school, rude to teachers,  over-stepping boundaries, or more common these days “crimes” of affluence and stupidity: like using snap chat and taking pictures of others unknowingly and then drawing penises on their faces...... Sometimes when they declare their presence they also want to explain why they are there and they say, Hey Ms. Sassypants, you know I am a good kid , right..... my retort is always the same-

Hey kiddo, you are a good kid and everybody in here is innocent. Now shhhhhhh.

(I wish this note were an image I took from the internet....unfortunately it's my real life....I "analyzed" the handwriting, confirmed with the girl that the boy was no longer being gross (no, the note was old) and then promptly delivered it to the boy. I asked him if his mother knew (she did), if he needed a selfie stick(no), or anything else, etc. ) 
                                                                               * * * * * *
Darlings, your offenses may be of varying degrees and you may come from a nice family or not, this may be your very first time in detention or your 40th, but it in the eyes of detention for this one hour and 15 minutes, you my friends are exactly the same. Now shhhhhh.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fly Your Freak Flag (Or is it Your Freedom Flag?)

When I was in my awkward tween years I had a hippie-dippie taste in music. I was drawn like a moth to a flame to Janis Joplin.  Not a particularly pretty woman, her style was random, her hair was ratty looking, but when I would listen to her music, my soul would ache and I would belt out the tunes right along with my worn copy of her greatest hits album.  To this day, her songs still make me feel really freakin' good. You can tell she probably felt good singing them too.  Her voice was loud and hoarse.  It seemed like there wasn't anything left in her soul to sing or air in her lungs to exhale.   

Does that make her a freak or truly free?

I attend church almost every Sunday.  A Congregationalist church, where people sometimes raise their hands and yell things, like “Praise God!  Or “Yes, yes!” after the preacher makes a poignant point.  At first it made me uncomfortable, but now I don’t think twice.  Currently, I feel uncomfortable when I drive by people on the sidewalk holding poster boards that say “Jesus is coming soon, prepare.” I think, am I prepared? and then I wonder what was the impetus for their poster board holding....

.. And am I really that far removed from that place?

I have two tattoos.  They are in fairly discrete places that can be hidden by socks or clothing.  I love them. I want more.  I recently met a mother at church in the playroom and she had a sleeve tattoo.  I enviously gabbed with her about the meaning of the designs and where she got them and if people judged her for her body art.  I daydream about getting more ink on my arm (gasp – in a visible place), but I don’t do it. I convince myself it's not practical.  Then in the next breath I don’t want to live in discrete mode anymore. 

What makes people take the leap from strategically placed-tattoos to ones that are visible ?  Furthermore, what makes it necessary to hide them? 

Kids are free spirited and no one thinks twice !
What is the difference between the toe tappers, handraisers, Jesus-preaching posterboard holders and sleeve-tattoed people?  Not too much, unbridled conviction?  

What makes people choose to fly their “freak flags?” Or are they really freedom flags?   I think it’s because they are confident with their lives and themselves and therefor have "nothing left to lose."   That is my hope for the new year: To fly my freak/freedom flag more frequently. 

What’s your hope for the New Year?