Deb
Reader, Thinker, Writer, Lover.
Parenting
jordan-bauer-Ya1ngUkLH2M-unsplash

 

Pro-tips for those of you who are in the “Who Can Be the Most Sacrificial Mom” competition that seems to be thriving out there:

  1. I do NOT drive kids to school when there’s a bus available. I told my kids that it was bad for the environment to have hundreds of parents driving their kids to school when they could all go on one bus. Truth was, I hated rush hour and waiting in carline. Now, if you have a science project to take to school, I’ll drive you to the bus stop. I’m not a monster.
  2. Speaking of which, if you miss the bus, you shall pay me in cold hard cash (or chores) for the chauffer service. And I will lecture you the entire way to school because it’s my right. You made me late to Crossfit, dammit.
  3. I stopped going to back to school nights, parent-teacher conferences, etc. a decade ago. I know that everything in education is still stuck in the dark ages, but can we all just agree that we don’t need to meet in person like is 1865? Send me an email, call me (I probably won’t answer), or ask me to come in if there’s a problem.
  4. I refuse to make fancy, homemade treats for parties. Oh, I was a 25 year old mom once and everything I brought to every event was Martha Stewart level awesome. But I got tired of working my butt off for 4th grade ingrates. My kids know to sign up for chips or paper goods, or something that can be purchased at Costco.
  5. The exception to rule 4 is the occasional education of their classmates as to what constitutes good food. I’ve been known to have an entire 6th grade class come to my house to learn how to roll tortillas, taught a couple of kindergarten classes how to make individual homemade apple pies using local apples, and driven across town to buy $150 worth of REAL croissants for a French class party. It’s my contribution to humanity.
  6. No I will not bring your forgotten homework/lunch/musical instrument/field trip form unless I’m already going to town and near your school on an errand. If you really need it, my rate is $5 per forgotten item. (Note: Once I took this too far and refused to bring Macie another shirt after she had a bloody nose. She promptly called my best friend, her “nice” mom, who not only brought her clothes, but a Lululemon jacket. I have not lived this down to this day.)
  7. I don’t check homework, and only check grades often enough to let you know if you’re grounded or not. If you want to fail Algebra, fine, but you’ll have no social life until it’s fixed. These new apps that let you know the second your child misses an assignment are going to be the downfall of Western civilization.
  8. I also don’t help with homework unless the child begs, pleads, or sobs. I already finished sophomore year. I hated it then and I don’t want to repeat it.
  9. I will go to all of your concerts, games, and poetry competitions, but I won’t bring you a bouquet of flowers like you just played a concert at the Met.
  10. My bedtime is 9pm. I don’t drive, help with homework, or take you to Walmart because you forgot tomorrow is field day after 8pm. If you’ve been an absolute doll this week, I might push it to 10 on the weekend (once per weekend). What I WILL do is stand in freezing drizzle at Red Rocks with you to watch The Fray, drive through a blizzard to get us to John Mayer, rent an airbnb to take you and your friends to ComicCon, or fly with you to Vegas to see Justin Beiber.

Read more…

nathan-anderson-384356-unsplash

Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t have it all together. You know those times I posted a picture with pride, or said we’re doing just fine, or made it look easy to parent a kid with a disability? That might have been a straight up lie, or it might have been me just trying to convince myself that I was qualified to do this job, or maybe we were finally having a good day.

 

But you see, the world is set up in such a way that people with disabilities, specifically my kid, are handed the short end of the stick day after day – and that’s if anyone bothers to hand them a stick at all. I have to watch her get looked over again and again: in jobs, by the waitress at the restaurant, in love.

 

Read more…

roi-dimor-320092-unsplash

I couldn’t look at her face

One more day.

Her cry was weak

My milk no longer strong enough

For a toddler

But I had no choice

No options

No food.

*

And the eldest one

11, a child-

a man with a gun

had grabbed her

had…touched her

had laughed

and I knew next time

it wouldn’t be just touch

*

every day was a struggle

a battle

just to eat

to feed my daughters

to protect them

from evil men

and so I ran.

*

I put our lives in the hands

Of a man I didn’t know

For 1000 small coins

I had squirreled away

From carrying garbage

*

And the journey was one

I could never repeat

But I repeated

“It will be worth it”

even as the man took me

my breasts heavy with milk

dripping as my baby sat in

her sister’s arms.

They were both crying

But he had said me,

Or her.

So it was me.

*

These girls are my life

I will give my life

I thought

It will be worth it.

*

We reached the end

And I thanked God

And wrapped my arms around my girls

And cried with joy.

We had reached the promised land.

*

The man turned to leave us and said

Cross there

When the sun goes down.

I said, “Wait, with you?”

He laughed

And squeezed my breast

And said, “Don’t you wish”

*

I had lost the ability

To even flinch

From the indignities

*

We hid until the sun

Dropped below

And then hid longer.

When all was quiet

We hid longer.

*

And then I woke her

And didn’t wake the baby,

Strapped her to my chest,

And we walked where

He had pointed.

*

The lights were blinding

The yells deafening

Chaos filled the quiet night

*

I grabbed for her

And they grabbed for her

and she was screaming

No! No entiendes!”

And they didn’t understand

As they dragged her away.

*

And they asked me questions

And I was sobbing for her

And desperate to find to her

And they were unwrapping the baby

And I was clutching her

And I was screaming

And she was screaming

And I was holding her

So tightly I thought I would break her

And they wrenched my wrists

And they tied them

And they took her

Her little legs kicking

Her little nails scratching

Her little teeth biting

And I screamed

And her screams stopped

When the car door closed

And my milk drenched my shirt

A waste.

*

Photo by Roi Dimor on Unsplash

Photo by Blaise Vonlanthen on Unsplash

Granted, it’s been a stressful couple of weeks, and I already have to defend my cooking nightly to my youngest. She came wandering into the kitchen as I was scrambling to cook dinner (and oh, P.S., hold the world together).

 

She innocently (?) said, “Hmm. It smells like coconut?” Now, I know she hates coconut, but she didn’t know I was using coconut flour to cook her favorite meal, chicken tenders. I snapped, “Yeah? Well it is! And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it!” (And by snapped, I mean yelled.)

Read more…