Good Chip Lollipop 


How’s it going out there?  I’ve been off my usual blog schedule the past couple of weeks, both writing and reading. It’s not that I don’t care.  I suppose I’ve been distracted.  We all have.  I also don’t want to contribute to any kind of flood fatigue that people may be feeling, being constantly bombarded by sad stories of waterlogged loss.

What I DO want to do is talk about how amazing people have been.  I really have to think long and hard to find someone over the age of 12 who hasn’t helped in some way.  Some have pulled people from the water.  Some have cooked.  Some have washed strangers’ clothes.  Some have ripped up sodden carpets and toted waterlogged mattresses to the curb (I understand you need to rip it open a bit to allow the water to drain or it’s too heavy).  And the donations and fundraising…..

I have had numerous donations now – from my blog friends, family, friends of my family who only know me as so-and-so’s daughter and mother to those cute children Stella and Felix.  I have been able to give the three teachers flooded out at Felix’s school envelopes full of cash.  I bought cases of diapers for a diaper drive, so many that I needed help to carry them to the donation site.  I bought fistfuls of gift cards for families at Stella’s school and some of Will’s colleagues.  I have donated to help my own colleagues – over 115 households in my agency alone suffered damage.  And I have more to do.  I’m calculating what’s next, how to do the most good, have the biggest impact.  And it’s thanks to the generosity of others.  If you’re out there and you’ve contributed – to me or to anyone down here – thank you!  There is a lot of need and much to be done.  Coming together and chipping away is the only way to fix it.

I think it’s safe to say the slog is only beginning.  My daughter’s school won’t start for over another full week.  Luckily organizations are throwing together pop-up camps for kids so the parents can work.  Stella is going to an art camp next week.  Things are so busy and hectic that I haven’t even had time to feel anxious about how she’ll fit in, will she act out.  I’m just grateful that we’ve found a place to go so that I CAN work and get the hell away from my children for a while.  Sorry.  Too much togetherness.

Everyone is feeling cagey.


But it is just one illustration of how impactful a stupid rainstorm has been.  Roads -still- closed.  Schools and buses flooded.  School shut down for over 3 weeks and even longer in some areas. Parents unable to work or focus because of a sudden lack of childcare.  Local traffic, already abominable, made worse by the influx of contractors and debris trucks.  Stores running out of gloves, bleach, dehumidifiers.  It’s unreal, even  2 weeks later.  It will take months – maybe years – for all of these homes to be repaired or rebuilt.  And it’s hard not to get a bit anxious and paranoid about that invest in the Gulf.  I honestly don’t know how we’d manage something like that now.

The Dude is about the only unfazed person in the southern half of our state these days. Nothing bothers him except turning down Beethoven in the car.


So continue to hold us in your hearts and thoughts.  Help if you can.  We’ll be here chipping away.

Taken on the way to a playdate. Stella wanted to know “why the earth is covered in junk?”

Let the Son Shine


We interrupt your regularly-scheduled disaster for these important messages.  Just kidding, sort of.

Felix has remained more nonplussed than anyone about all of these goings-on.  Other than his ear infections, he’s been his usual happy and busy self.  He’s had plenty of quiet time over the past week to build lots of “machines.”  My husband, in a moment of what can only be madness, gave him a length of rope roughly 12′ long.  The booby-traps he devised….

IMG_8751

Yesterday we got to go to my husband's office.

I think he’s also trying to maim his sister.  He used his  needle-like little fingers to unscrew one of the bolts on the bottom of her computer chair.  Fortunately I caught him before he Precioused it somewhere I’d never look.  But she probably had it coming.  They messed with each other so very badly during our 9+days of Togetherness.  Stella, especially, was a little jerk-face.  Why can’t children just leave each other alone?  And this all may or may not be the reason Will and I think we’ve overheard some choice words coming out of the kids’ mouths. Apparently my grown-up language filter only has about a 3 day shelf life. Sorry, Felix’s school.

After being stuck inside for so long, a trip to Will's office was something of a field trip.

After being stuck inside for so long, a trip to Will’s office was something of a field trip.

Everyone was kind of bored  there except Felix.  He found some wires, nuts, and bolts.  He slept with them last night.

Everyone was kind of bored there except Felix. He found some wires, nuts, and bolts. He slept with them last night.

 

Today was an important first step for many in the return trip to normal.  Mind you, this trip will be long for so many people.  For me, it was my first day back to work in over a week.  Felix got to go back to his school, keeping with his usual schedule.  Stella returns to her beloved first grade on Wednesday.  Will has been back to work since last Wednesday, but is now getting back to usual business.  This is good.  Being able to do “normal” stuff is good.

There is still an overwhelming amount of need down here.  I’ve read that over 100,000 (so far) have applied for aid, and there are still areas where the water hasn’t receded enough for assessment.  I am beyond thrilled with the monetary donations I’ve received so far from friends and family wanting to help.  I’ve exceeded what I wanted to raise for the ladies at Felix’s school, and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of it that will do the most good.  The Red Cross is getting a bit of a black eye, so I’m looking for smaller, more direct ways to contribute.

Photographer unknown, but I saw this on Facebook and figured it captured what so many people are seeing these days as they gut their homes, spilling their lives on their front lawns.

Photographer unknown, but I saw this on Facebook and figured it captured what so many people are seeing these days as they gut their homes, spilling their lives on their front lawns.

So keep pulling for us, y’all.  No one is unscathed.

I Herd It Through the Grapevine


What is that saying about how you can only eat an elephant by taking one bite at a time?  Louisiana has been overrun by elephants – whole herds of them.  We need forks.

Felix building an elephant trap


I know y’all are all probably sick of hearing about the flooding.  But this thing is huge.  It seems to get bigger every day, as people finally jump in and try to salvage what they can.  Piles of debris – couches, mattresses, sheetrock, toys- are mounding up along curbs.  In some cases the debris is so high you can barely see the houses.  I remember as a kid living in Pennsylvania we would occasionally have snowstorms so intense that once the plows came through, the houses seemed to disappear behind mountains of snow.  No one will ever look nostalgically back on this.

There is so much sadness, so much need.  Lists are popping up everywhere – things to donate, ways to help.  I’ve received them from my kids’ schools, my office, Will’s office.  I cried opening the list from Stella’s school last night. The list was huge – book bags for girls, boys socks sized 2-3 T, bras sized 36B.  The bras tore me up for some reason.  Imagine having everything wiped out and having to share those kinds of details to strangers because you have no choice.  And the book bags, ruined after only being used for 2 days of school.  And this has happened – is happening – to thousands of people.

I want to help everyone but I don’t have enough.  Every time I open Facebook someone is asking for help pulling up carpets or moving heavy waterlogged furniture.  Will wants to go help someone – anyone- later today.  I’ve reached out to a complete stranger I saw on Facebook who has started to organize a laundry brigade.  I may be stuck at home with kids but I can wash and fold some clothes.  I hope he contacts me back.

So keep us all in your thoughts.  This isn’t going away any time soon.  And if you see any elephants, feel free to shoot them on sight.

Not an elephant exactly, but it’s not every day you see a life-sizes balloon rhino

Joy Meets World


There is an odd stillness around my house.  It’s becoming really hard to remember what day it is anymore without the usual touchstones of work and school.  There has been a lot of togetherness and squabbling among everyone, even the cats.  One of those assholes has been really aggressive with the emotional peeing.  I’m tempted to send him down to observe the ongoing flooding.  I kind of can’t take it anymore.
Then comes the guilt.  You feel guilty for bitching about being bored and frustrated.  Tens of thousands would love to be bored and frustrated.  And those numbers of non-bored people are growing daily as the flooding oozes south.

A graphic I found on Facebook that really illustrates what’s been happening. This was a “1,00 year rain event.”. It has never happened in recorded history in this area. This is also why so many did not have flood insurance; it was not required based on mere “100 year flood” estimates.


And despite the beautiful generosity that becomes evident during these things, the assholery begins.  My parish now has a curfew because of looting.  Looting.  Some assholes are going into flooded-out homes and businesses and further violating the owners. (Is it evil to hope that those shitheads drown?). Other assholes are a bit more subtle, showing up at shelters and supply hubs, taking things, then trying to resell them for profit.  Then there are the sanctimonious verbal assholes, sitting in their armchair somewhere in Amerrrrrrrrrica, talking about how obviously we’re all stupid and deserve this for obviously building in flood zones and swamps.  Because obviously all of Louisiana is a swamp and by default a flood zone.  Obviously. 

Another magnificent Facebook graphic, honoring all the regular Joes (or Boudreauxs) who have jumped in their own boats to help their communities.


All that aside, I do want to share something wonderful.  Three ladies at Felix’s school lost everything in this mess.  Everything. The rest of the staff and the parents are trying to help them.  I put a shout out on my Facebook, asking for donations so I could get each of them a Walmart or Visa gift card.  I was almost immediately contacted by two wonderful ladies, asking if they could contribute.  One of them is a crafty SAHM to 2 gorgeous kiddos in Colorado, the other is a fantastic artist and mom to a beautiful girl in Alaska.  Y’all, I have never physically met these women.  I know them from blogging.  And they wanted to help.  That is a magnificent thing.  So did many of my family members, whom I have obviously met, but still want to help total strangers.  I am so grateful. 
It is important to focus on the beauty in the world, especially when things are less than beautiful. I will forever remember my two blog friends wanting to help total strangers via a person they’ve never physically met.  The asshats looting and scamming and running their hateful, destructive mouths will be forgotten. 


I close with a video of my ridiculous children head banging (and squabbling) to Ode to Joy yesterday.  Joy, indeed.

Proudsourcing


There is growing angst in my area about the lack of coverage the flooding is getting (see this article from Dallas http://www.dallasnews.com/news/headlines/20160815-between-trump-talk-and-milwaukee-protests-we-are-ignoring-human-devastation-in-louisiana.ece ).  Understand, multiple parishes (that’s our quaint-ish way of saying counties) got hammered with roughly 20 inches of rain in about 48 hours.  A state capital is seriously impacted. Portions of several interstates were – and in some cases still are -closed, sometimes with people trapped for so long that helicopters were trying to drop MREs to the people so they could eat.  Not to sound like a broken record but this is a big damn deal.  But since CNN, Fox, et al can’t be bothered to share, I figure I will.  

Don’t get me wrong.  We’re lucky. We are so lucky.  Our roof leaked.  Big deal.  Sure, paying for a roof is going to suck.  But our home is otherwise intact, our toys, clothes, mementos dry and unsoiled.  But no one in my region is untouched by this thing.  We all have dear friends, family, colleagues that have suffered unimaginable loss.  The state government- my employer- has been shuttered for 2 days and counting.  My daughter’s school – where she got to spend 2 whole days as a first grader with her wonderful new teacher- is closed for at least this week. The school board doesn’t know when school will resume.  The figure I saw this morning said that 17 out of 73 schools flooded, at least 6 badly.  At least 30% of school personnel had significant loss, meaning it would be some time before they would be able to return to work.  And again, as a parent who can work, how can you when you have young children to manage?
Every part of town is impacted even if it wasn’t. Felix has another ear infection.  What would normally be a quick in and out took an hour and a half; the pediatrician’s office was missing over half of its staff.  Filling the script was another problem.  I tried 2 pharmacies.  While open for business, the pharmacists were not on premises. Trying to call other pharmacies was difficult, as many cell phone calls are still not going through.  Will finally camped out at a CVS for over an hour, only to find out they did not have the anabiotic we needed. At long last, we got Felix’s medicine at a fourth stop. I just saw a Facebook post that indicated that gas is starting to run out. With the aforementioned interstate closures, gas stations and stores are having a hard time being resupplied.
Speaking of Facebook, as a dear friend and colleague – who also lost her home to the water- so eloquently put it: Mark Zuckerberg ought to win a Nobel Prize.  Facebook has been a lifeline, broadcasting who is missing, who has boats and where they’re launching (our own Cajun Navy), who has or needs what supplies.  Facebook – not the national media.  Chew on that.
We do get it.  This was an unnamed storm.  You can’t whisper reverently about it the way you can Katrina.  There aren’t protestors with catchy slogans.  It’s just water.  Dirty, dingy, destructive water.  But 20,000 rescued by boat?  Call me a cynical bitch.  That ought to rank a headline.  It ought to rank a lot of headlines, because once the water recedes, a dirty foul-smelling damage path will remain.  And it will be extensive. And it will persist.
I’d like to close with something other than bitching.  My city and state are amazing.  We don’t get some things right, but we can take care of business when the shit hits the fan.  Watching the Facebook chatter last night, I felt so proud.  Shelters were turning away volunteers because there were too many.  Some had too much food.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t helped someone out in some way, whether by gathering supplies, providing meals, shelter, rides, or putting whatever kind of boat – bass, bateau, kayak- into the water to help ferry a person or whatever belongings they could save.  That being said, we’re going to need help and support for quite a while.  The sprint portion is winding down.  The marathon hasn’t started yet.
With that I shall rejoin my children and day 5 of Togetherness, pacing anxiously with nowhere to go and nothing to do to help.  Send wine and gin and activities.  We’re shrinky-dinked, kinetic sanded, and snapchatted out.

P.S.  Sorry if the formatting sucks. I’m stuck blogging on my phone and either it or WP is being a butt.

Flood Is Thicker Than Water


Note: This post is mainly for my out-of-state/country readers.  Those of y’all that are local will be painfully aware of the situation.

You’ve probably heard about the Louisiana flooding by now.  Let me tell you, it’s bad.  It’s really bad.  We’re talking on par with any hurricane bad, only it came without dramatic footage of Jim Cantore or Geraldo Rivera.  It just rained.  And rained and rained.

Thousands of people have lost everything.  Will and I each know at least a dozen people/families that have been wiped out.  Schools are underwater.  People have been stranded on the interstate for days.  Parts of my town and surrounding communities have become boat launches for all of the rescues that are still underway.

Adding to the chaos, AT&T lost service for most of yesterday due to a flooded hub of some sort or another.  Phones were useless unless you were on wifi.  Then you could email/text/Facebook.  And you know what?  Facebook helped save a lot of people, as crazy as that sounds.  It was a live feed of who needed help, who was missing, where to make donations.

I saw a post yesterday morning about Celtic Studios, a local film production company that graciously opened up one of their studio buildings as a shelter.  They needed anything and everything.  Since cell service was down, Facebook became the mouthpiece. I threw together about 4 shopping bags with whatever I could find: paper towels, diapers, apples, snack mix.  

When I got there it was chaos.  At that point there were only about 500 folks there.  It was hot and sad and the people smelled like flood.  I don’t mean that disparaging at all.  They simply smelled like murky river water.  There were young folks, old folks, babies, dogs.  The number has since swelled to 2500. Military helicopters are landing and taking off, ferrying victims.

There are now dozens of shelters open in the area.  The water is still rising in some parts.  This was unexpected.  No one has ever seen something like this.  Places have flooded which have never flooded in human memory.  I can’t get in touch with my boss and friend who lives in the adjacent parish which seems to be hardest hit.  More rain is in the forecast.

Taken from my waterlogged Sunday paper


This is going to impact this area for a very long time.  Some schools may be closed for an extended period.  As a parent, how can you work if your kids have nowhere to go?  Businesses are wiped out.  Roads are washed away.

My people are coming together as people do in these cases.  Everyone wants to help.  

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, if you’re into that sort of thing.  Clean out your closet.  Folks here are going to need it.  If you have a few extra bucks, hit up the Red Cross.  This is a big deal.

Aches and Rains


So yeah.  Today hasn’t been great.  It started with day 3 of torrential rain.  (And I describe this for those of you far-flung.  Anyone living here knows already, but is too busy sand-bagging to care about reading my stupid blog.). Usually on office days, I leave the house at 6:10.  Today, I left at 6:00 due to all the flash flood warning sirens emanating from my phone.  

I crept along the interstate going no faster than 40 mph, dodging puddles the size of Lake Erie.  Once I reached my appointed exit, I noticed there was a problem.  No cars were moving along the off-ramp.  The water at the base of it was so deep, cars had stalled.  After backing up the off ramp into oncoming traffic, I managed to re-merge in the appropriate direction in order to try a plan B exit.  I was probably one of the last cars to make it.  There was a puddle the size of the Gulf of Mexico blocking all but one lane.  Shortly thereafter they closed it.  

I made it to my office, pretty much soaked from the knee down from wading across the street between my office building and the parking garage.  10 minutes after my arrival, they announced the closure of the local school district.  I called Will to deliver the news: not only would he be spending the day with Felix due to his school’s regularly-scheduled in-service day, he would get quality time with both kids.  He didn’t cry but there were 4-letter words used.  30 minutes after my arrival, they announced that my office was closed.  Dammit.  I stayed 3 1/2 hours anyway.  I had a mountain on my desk, hardly anyone was around so it was nice and quiet, and my nerves hadn’t recovered from my drive in yet. 

I finally rejoined my family before lunchtime.  Will and Felix had been playing the take-apart game (old slide projector this time).  Felix was seriously pissed he couldn’t keep a fan but was somewhat mollified by the heavy glass lenses and magnifiers.  That’s when the kids started playing the slappy-slap chase each other around the couch laughing and screaming in pain at the same time game.  Have I ever told y’all how much I hate that game? 

In order to try and relieve some pressure, we took our lives in our hands, loaded up, and went to Chuck E. Cheese.  We honestly figured it would be a madhouse, what with the school closures and horrible weather.  You know what? It was practically deserted.  We actually had a nice time.  It was the highlight of the day.


When we got home, I discovered one of the stupid cats had barfed on our dining room table.  Dammit.

It was when then that we realized the roof was leaking like a sieve in Stella’s room.  Dammit.  It rapidly went from worrisome spots to outright dripping.  Dammit again.  I mean, we were looking at getting a roof in the spring but then it seemed like it had quit leaking.  We’re chipping away at debt so we weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to take on a new monthly bill.  We let it slide.

The leaking combined with the forecast of yet more rain resulted in Will climbing up into our 18″ x 24″ attic opening using  a rickety folded-up exercise bike -think really bad OSHA training video – to see if he could find the source.  He could not, but while he was up there, I noticed Felix playing with something shiny on our padded ottoman.  When I asked what he had, he gleefully shouted “Ice!”  Wouldn’t you know it was F’ing broken glass from the lenses he Precioused during the take-part game.  Dammit. Just dammit.

There was only one solution for the roof (short of setting the house on fire which would be a fail in all this rain): Will would have to climb on the roof and cover the trouble area with a blue tarp.  Everyone knows blue tarps are the universal symbol of storm damage.  We look like we’re having a hurricane, only without the drinks.

While Will was on the roof blue-tarping us, I found 2 spots where cats had relieved themselves.  Dammit.  They need to understand that it is only fear of my own insane guilt which I would no doubt experience if I took them to the pound that keeps them alive.  I  am seriously tired of cleaning up cat urine.

So today has been a day.  Let’s see…..find positives….. Chuck E Cheese was actually OK.  We did Shrinky Dinks.  Will was amazed.  He colored some little cherries.  This may become a thing.  They have tons of designs – mermaids, robots, Star Wars. 

Speaking of positives, it’s also now after 5:00.  This means I can drink.  I shall sip my Cabernet and dream – of houses with beautiful solid roofs, of sunny and mild weather,  of the gorgeous pajamas they sell for $125 at Dillard’s that look just perfect for drinking wine and staying dry in.

Cheers.  And to hell with this day.

Quench Your First


I’ve been a crummy blogger lately. Truth be known, I’ve been in a slump.  

I’ve been largely avoiding social media lately.  I have visceral hatred for the politics shit, and it has saturated the world and the Facebook.  I don’t care which side it emanates from – I don’t read it.  I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to laugh at it.  None of it is funny, even the bits that are illustrating how unsuitable so-and-so is for office. It’s depressing.  But since you can’t drive to the Circle K for a roll of toilet paper without seeing at least 2 dozen nasty stickers or yard signs (Now y’all know I order my TP from Amazon), it’s hard to avoid.  

Social media also shows how much fun everyone is having on vacation – the beautiful scenery they’re enjoying.  I just can’t deal with that.  Maybe I’m a jealous bitch.  Sour grapes and all.  More like hot melted grapes.  I’m tired of the hot.  I’m tired of sweating.  This part happens to me every summer.  You’d think I would have found a better coping mechanism.  It’s not the world’s fault we don’t have a huge travel budget, and that the trips we do get to take aren’t until fall or winter.

In any case, since the vast majority of my social contacts are virtual, I suppose backing off from social media makes me feel even more isolated and down in the dumps.

I need some kind of breath of fresh air, y’all.  I need some magic.  Some glitter.

I did have a really neat thing happen last Friday.  My sister-in-law sent us a Blue Apron box.  Have y’all tried that?  Coolest thing ever.  They send you this lovely box with every ingredient required to make really beautiful and interesting food -no meatloaf here.  We may actually subscribe after what we saw.  I don’t mind cooking, but meal planning pisses me off and makes me want to hit the Golden Arches every day just so I don’t have to think about it.  This would help immensely.

Stella did have an overnight visit to Oui Oui’s the other day.  Do y’all have any idea at all how much quieter it is with only one kid in the house?!  Holy moly.  

Felix made the most of his temporary only child status by continuing to set more booby traps such as this one, stretching between the fridge and pantry.


And today.  Today my daughter went to first grade.  How in the hell that happened, I have no idea.  But first I had to wake her up.  She was still asleep at 7 AM.  First time ever.  For nearly 6 f’ing years this little girl (along with her brother) have had my ass up at least an hour before sunrise.  You’d think I would have been chortling like a villain, but I felt bad.  Then I cried a bit while packing up her stuff because first grade?!  So yeah, I’m a bit nutty.

😱😱😱😱😱


The early morning rush was finished with a rather spectacular nosebleed thanks to Felix.  We’re talking spatter on the floor and counter.  Let’s hope that’s all the blood that’s spilled today, literal or otherwise.

Fuck it.  I may get a pedicure.  I’ll look for something with glitter in it.

Slam on Rye


There have been lots of slamming doors lately in my house.  I’m not sure why.  Usually, the young slammer is not angry.  I guess they’re just feeling emphatic.

I could have also named this post Ham on Why.  I’ve had a lot of random questions lately.  Why does my daughter believe that she can clean her bathroom mirror with toothpaste?  It is not effective.IMG_8644

Can I really walk my ass off playing Pokemon Go?  Stay tuned for that.  In all seriousness, I’ve been walking at least a mile and a half every day playing this stupid game.  We’ve been dragging our children all over tarnation, usually employing some subterfuge such as “We’re going to the museum but we need to stop in the middle of the sidewalk here in the scorching heat to…. rest.  Yeah, that’s it.  We’re resting.”  We also found a location with lots of Pokestops that conveniently has fountains for the kids to play in.  We’ll be there for the rest of the summer.IMG_8645

Is my son the funniest kid ever, or are all kids this inventive?  In addition to the machines and traps of all shapes and sizes, his latest routine involves “whistling.”  By whistling I mean making a shrill hooting sound and sustaining it for long periods of time.  He does this when he’s “angwy and fwustwated.”  It seems we’ve watched too many Bugs Bunny cartoons, with the angry steaming ears imagery.  yosemitesam

His "Christmas Machine"

His “Christmas Machine”

Why is my daughter suddenly very interested in making books about her favorite stuffed animal, Sweet Kitty, crying?  Sweet Kitty cries about all kinds of stuff: getting chased, getting scratched, popping balloons.  All incidents are accompanied by cute illustrations of a weeping kitty.  Should I worry about this, or is this a passing emo-kitty phase?

There’s more but I’ll wrap this up now.  I don’t have a point, but felt like I should stay in touch.  Work sucks.  I’m largely avoiding social media because of all the hateful crap out there.  There’s just a lot of hate.  People hate Trump.  People hate Hillary.  People hate cops.  People hate vegans.  People hate gluten.  I’m hating on the hate.  IMG_8643

Stay cool out there.

Will is not too cool for a tiara.

Will is not too cool for a tiara.

 

The Stars and Wipes


Y’all, I had the best meeting yesterday with Stella’s new teacher.  As you probably recall, we had a horrendous kindergarten year with a horrible demon of a teacher I referred to as the Harpy.  After loads of meetings during the year, and almost ugly-crying in front of the principal and guidance counselor during the  last one, we were granted the Rock Star of 1st grade teachers.  I think the school figured we deserved a break; we had suffered enough.

This is the teacher everyone wants.  She’s won Teacher of the Year.  She’s known for being a fair, effective teacher – one who still has an abundance of passion and zest for her profession, despite being a 16 year veteran.  She’s the teacher you consider using voodoo magic –  sacrificing a chicken in the back yard – to get (whereas with the Harpy you’d simply get a voodoo doll and a hell of a lot of pins).

She called me out of the blue to ask if I could come up for a quick meeting.  She wanted us to get a chance to talk one on one prior to school starting.  The meeting was magical.  I know that sounds crazy, but I could not have asked for anything more.  She said she knew Stella, she knew Stella could win those Student of the Week/Month awards, that Stella didn’t need to be behavior charted to death, that she wanted Stella to feel like the other kids, that she hated labeling kids – giving them something that they would have to carry with them forever, that labeling kids hurt her heart.

Before I left, she handed me a  couple of hand wipes and instructed me to “wipe all the bad memories of last year off” and toss them.  We hugged and high-fived.    Later that afternoon, she texted me to say “thank you,” and even expressed more good thoughts about how we were going to have a great year.  Then she sent a photo of her watching Stella’s science video on YouTube.

I almost cried, I was so grateful.  I’m tearing up now just typing this out.  The Harpy really did a number on us.  I knew I was relieved at the end of the year, making jokes about surviving kindergarten, but I’m not sure I realized how anxious and hurt I had been for my kid.  This is the teacher my kid – that all kids – deserve.  I’m still anxious about my daughter going into first grade, but it’s more of a happy anticipation.  I know we still have a long way to go, but I feel infinitely better about the guide we have to get us through this next year.

Fingers and toes crossed.

I've used this one before, but I'm happy enough to puke rainbows.

I’ve used this one before, but I’m happy enough to puke rainbows.