Not bad for a fat girl

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The other day was my mom’s birthday. It was a “big” birthday, as she likes to say. A real
I thought and thought about what to do for her birthday. I wanted it to be a grand gesture. Something that would take her breath away. Something she would remember.

It crossed my mind to have the florist send the same number of roses as she is years old. But then I stopped myself. I was afraid her home would look too much like a funeral parlor. And then all those roses would die. How depressing.

I had to give it some more thought. What would she really like? What would anyone her age really like? I can’t do anything about the little aches and pains that have popped up over the years. And unfortunately, the friends she has lost are gone forever. What she most certainly does not need is more stuff. This woman has more than enough.

That’s when it finally dawned on me. She wants what we all want-time with the people she loves. Fortunately I’m one of those people. I booked the flight immediately.

My brother and sister-in-law  conspired with me. He picked me up at the airport and she and the kids picked up Mom. We got to the restaurant first and waited near the bar.

It was raining outside and inside was practically deserted when they arrived. My mom registered my brother first, after all he was supposed to be there. Then she looked at me, uncomprehending. You could almost see the wheels turning, before she finally figured out that I was really there. I walked to her and she grabbed me and started repeating, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it.” It could not have been more perfect.

That one perfect moment was worth every penny of the airfare. It was worth waking up at 3:30 AM, and flying Cross country squished in a tiny little seat. It was worth going through security, and worth asking for the seatbelt extender. Yes I needed it this time. It was worth everything.

I wanted it to be a moment she would never forget, I didn’t realize it would be one that I will never forget either.

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A Milestone – College Move In


His actual dorm.

I can’t believe that I have yet to post anything about my boy going off to college. He’s been there two weeks! Well, not quite. Ten days actually, but who’s counting? Other than me, I mean.

The move in itself went remarkably smoothly, considering how enormous his university is and how many students were all moving in on the same day. There were hang-tags and driving routes and giant boxes on wheels with helpers who literally unloaded the cars and delivered the goods to student rooms. Wow. So different than my college days.

What’s not different is the feel of the dorm room. Yes, it’s cramped. Yes, it’s seen better days. And yes, I’m glad I’m not sharing that bathroom with three other people, but it’s a dorm room. It will work out just fine. His roommate seems like a decent kid, and he reports that they’re getting along well. Perfect. He just needs a place to land, sleep, shower, change, and move along. That dorm will serve its purpose just fine.

He moved in on Saturday the 13th and started classes on the following Thursday. He still hasn’t been through a whole rotation, but already he’s telling me about lab partners and research projects and trying to sort out whether he’s in the correct math class. He’s made a couple of new friends, reconnected with some old ones, and already participated in the old campus tradition of whitewashing the giant A that overlooks the campus from the side of “A Mountain” (which is really a butte, but don’t tell anyone).


I’m really happy for him, and I know he’s going to do great, but I’m also missing him. I miss telling him to pick up his socks and walk the dog. I miss riding in the car with him (he finally got his license!) and catching Pokemon with him (I’m a little addicted, more than he is). I just miss having him around.

He’s been texting me a little, which is great.  Today he asked me to take him to a store for a lab notebook. I did. Of course. We went out for dinner too, just the two of us. Listening to him talk about his classes and new adventures was so gratifying. He’s in the right place, doing what he needs to do. I need to accept and embrace that without feeling sad about him growing up. I can’t help it, though. I’m a sentimental kind of mom. I love that kid completely, and I miss him already.

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Back to Work

ac11b59841a3ae3e0c1cb460ccc05585Tomorrow is my first official day of work since summer vacation. Never mind that I spent the day at school today, in my 88 degree classroom (someone should be fixing that soon, I HOPE!). Tomorrow I actually get paid to be there. So why am I still up? It’s past midnight, I should be tucked away in my bed sound asleep.

Maybe it’s first day nerves, but I doubt it, those are reserved for next Monday, when the children show up.

Maybe it’s because there’s a new principal and I don’t quite know what to expect. Maybe, but he seems okay, and I’ve been through administration changes before, so I don’t think that’s quite it.

Maybe it’s because I’m not ready to give up on summer yet.

I think that’s the issue. I want it to be summer vacation for a little while longer. I want to have lazy days when I’m not expected to do anything or be anywhere. I want to sleep in and go swimming and read novels and eat ice cream for lunch if I feel like it. I want to be unstructured, untethered, and unsupervised. I want to be left to my own devices, for just a little while longer.

Is it selfish? Of course it is. Few people have the luxury of a several week long break from their jobs. I know it’s a great perk of the difficult career I’ve chosen.Still, I’m not ready to give it up yet.

I had an unusually busy summer, with three trips out of state and a two week writing camp thrown in. I also turned 50, came to grips with the idea of my son moving out (well, more or less), and spent time with him playing Pokemon Go! I have no regrets.

The books I was going to read are still unread. The recipes I was going to try still haven’t been made, and the room I was going to organize is still a mess. The decorations from May’s graduation party are still in the dining room, and the end-of-year gifts from students are still in their decorative bags, waiting to be put away. I suck.

But really, I don’t. I had a productive summer. I rested, I played, I taught, I learned. I read, I wrote, I traveled, I swam, I danced. I aged, I laughed, and I loved. It was enough, if you can ever really get enough of those things. Now that I think about it, maybe I am ready to go back. My heart feels a little fuller and my curiosity about my new group of students has been piqued. I think I’m okay now. I think my summer ended up being just perfect. I hope yours is too.



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