Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The post you have all been waiting for - or not.

It's been a while. Is anyone still there? Probably not. Many weeks have passed since I last wrote and I can't even remember half of what happened during that time, but I'll try and come up with something for you.

I turned forty four at the end of May. If you haven't turned forty four yet and you're wondering if it's as boring as it sounds, it is. There is nothing romantic and exciting about that number. The kids all made me birthday cards. Jane and Kate wrote out some lovely sentiments. I can't reveal what they said because if you know me you won't believe anyone could think all those nice things about me and you may just think my two oldest children are complete bull shit artists. Anthony composed a card only after one of the girls guilted him into it. He taped a dollar bill to a piece of paper and below it he wrote, Mom, here's some weed money. I wasn't really sure what to think of that but I am never really sure what to think of Anthony. He said it was a joke, but that still didn't give me any clarity on the card's meaning. Maggie drew me a pretty picture of a birthday cake. 

Greg and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at the end of June. We went out for dinner and a walk and then made a trip to the bookstore. It rained, which was lovely because it rained on our wedding day and believe it or not I'm a bit sentimental every once in twenty years and I thought, oh how sweet, this is just like our wedding day. Well, our wedding day plus four kids, several dogs, many friends and moves and houses and telephone numbers later and also a couple of  rather upsetting medical issues regarding a few of the kids, the births of many nieces and nephews and the death of a few loved ones and a hundred million other ridiculously good and bad things. So it was better than our wedding day. On June 26, 1993 Greg and I had only known each other for three short years and the amount of history between us was so small that there really were no stories to tell. There was the one about how we met and how we got engaged and how my Nana told my mother, upon meeting Greg, Barbara Ann, that boy is going to marry your daughter and a few other funny tales but really there was no meat like there is after twenty years. There is no way to talk simply about two decades of being together and now that I've written that I realize I'm a bit nervous about the next twenty years together. It's insane, people. Marriage is insane. Having children is insane. Insane in a good way and occasionally insane in the exact way you picture insanity to be, but it's still worth it and now I'll end my marriage thoughts with a sappy quote from an Avett Brothers song... "True love is not the kind of thing you should turn down. So don't ever turn it down."

Kate and Maggie are now both in public school. Maggie is in first grade and is extremely happy. Kate began her freshman year of high school after much worry and obsessing from me. I prayed, too, but never one to completely trust God I  gave into my worry on a regular basis until finally I had no choice but to accept the fact that I was sending her to school and things would either work out or they wouldn't, but worrying about it was not helping. So as soon as I entered that phase of acceptance I encountered an unpleasant secretary in the guidance office who made me feel as though I was trying to get Kate into Harvard rather than the local public school system and I started worrying again. There really is no other way to describe the secretary from guidance except to say she was a huge and royal pain in my ass and because of her I wasted an entire Sunday writing down detailed notes of Kate's curriculum from last year. After spending hours doing this I realized Kate has done an enormous amount of work and I was proud of myself because I'm not nearly as pathetic at homeschooling the kids as I thought. So then I had less ill will toward the guidance secretary because if not for her I wouldn't have known how truly awesome I am at homeschooling. But as luck would have it, I brought the many pages of detailed curriculum information to the guidance secretary on Monday morning and she went right back on my shit list. I need to remember to not take people off that list for any reason. As Oprah told me many years ago, when people show you who they are, believe them. When I handed the curriculum to her she reacted as if I had placed my own feces in her hands, which now that I think about would have been kind of fun.

After the woman I will now refer to as Guidance Ass told me she didn't think Kate would be enrolled in school by the first day I went out to the parking lot and picked up the phone and called my friend So and So and burst into tears. I don't ever call So and So. I text her and we get together for coffee, but I never call her. I never call anyone, so I can only describe my calling her as some kind of God thing and yes, I fully accept that all this blatant talk of God is making me feel not at all Catholic, but it's true people, God made me do it and he gets all the credit and trust me when I tell you, he has been fully thanked every single day. Within fifteen minutes of me calling So and So she found several people willing to help me and then she met me at Starbucks and talked me off the ledge and I suddenly knew everything would be fine. A friend of So and So's knows important people at the high school and so Kate was enrolled before her first day and she got every single class she wanted and even got all the best teachers, because So and So's friend made sure of it. Thank God and thank So and So and her friend, but definitely do not thank Guidance Ass.

The best part of this story is that Kate seems to be loving school. She told us tonight at dinner that she wakes up every morning excited to go. She is enjoying her classes and teachers and seems content and comfortable and has already met some people she likes very much. I can't convey how thrilled and relieved I am for her.

On that note, I must end this so I can get to bed.