I was sitting with another speech therapist and we were chatting about nothing important. The subject of dessert came up and I mentioned that I love orange sherbet. “What did you call it?” she queried me. “Sherbet” I repeated. “You mean sher-bert” she enunciated. I explained that there isn’t another r at the end of the word and I had heard it pronounced “sher-bet”. She looked at me and asked if this was like the crowns incident. One of our very southern students told us he likes to color with crowns….crayons in non-Georgia speak. No, it was more like when she takes out letters from words like ‘drawers’ turning it into draws, or when my brother Chris does an impression of my Massachusetts-born grandmother calling my mom Brendar instead of Brenda. Crazy New Englanders, taking out r from words where it belongs and putting r into words that it doesn’t exist in.
That is how one of the Kindergarten students spelled the word on their construction paper turkey posted on a bulletin board this week. Grateful is a word that is tossed around quite a bit during award ceremonies and Thanksgiving week. It simply means to be thankful. Our K students were thankful for things like their mom and dad, candy, their teacher, baby sisters, toys and “gwd” (which translated in Kindergartenese means God, I think). Sweet sentiments.
It was a horrifying article, but I couldn’t help myself but to laugh a little bit at the irony of it. The AP covered a story about a cluster of murders in Peru over the past year that center around stealing fat from humans to sell on the black market in Europe. This fat is then used in cosmetics (ewwwww) and fetches $60,000 per gallon supposedly, igniting a killing spree for profit in the Peruvian forests. These creepy murderers are taking the phrase “sucking the life out of you” just a bit too far in my opinion!! Now the idea that someone is so desperate for money that they would kill someone is not funny in the least. But why kill someone when there are millions of willing donors right here in the US????
The high pitched squealing and giggling started even before the lights went down. It wasn’t just the young girls around us, it was my 40 something friends too as we apparently morphed into 12 year olds again. A group of us had made a night of it, going to dinner and then heading to the theater, preprinted tickets gripped in our hands. The noise erupted in little fits during the opening credits, like a wave through the theater. I looked around at the tweens in front of us, the other moms behind us and the really rare bird, the four men in the audience who were earning HUGE points with their significant others for coming to the New Moon movie. I had been looking forward to seeing this since I became obsessed power read the four books in one week last Fall and I settled into my seat to be willingly drawn into the story.
We were greeted this week with the dismal news that the state will be gifting teachers with an additional 7 days of furloughs. These unpaid days signficantly ding our monthly paychecks for the rest of the school year and probably into the next year as well. Contracts are just a suggestion I guess, and that cost of living raise they gave and then took back? Silly girl, you didn’t really want to eat and live indoors did you??? We were also told to expect further cuts through 2012, that insurance costs are going up for everyone and our sick days are now accrued so we should plan now not to get sick until mid-October or better yet, wait until the summer break.
That is how it started. I pulled the paper from the envelope that came in the mail this week with a feeling of dread. It wasn’t a bill or even a jury duty summons, it was a Christmas letter. You know, the ones that start infiltrating the mail around this time each year with details of trips and achievements meant to make you feel like your life is crap less than stellar? I knew I was in for it just by the paper on this one. It was a heavy stock, with gilded edges framing three paragraphs of glowing details. Surrounding the gushing descriptions were various pictures of the family in settings around the world- skiing in Vail, sunning in St. Tropez (and yes, that is mommy in the background on the topless beach. Don’t her new implants look fabulous???), high fiving former President Bush at a fundraiser….
The nuclear family is undergoing some changes in our world right now. It used to be the family tree was pretty straight forward, give or take a few nuts and the squirrely ones every family has. Times have made the family tree morph into more of a family ivy- shoots running off here and there, tangling up how people are related with steps, halfs and exes. It always makes me feel like I should have a pocket chart or powerpoint at the ready when someone asks, “How are you two related?” I never quite know where to begin.
H1N1 has even infected Christmas. No, masks and vaccines won’t be showing up under the tree kiddies, so you can relax, but Santa is on high alert at the mall. Concern about the swine flu has reached it’s tentacles to that venerable old tradition of sitting on Santa’s lap for the requisite crappy picture for fifty bucks. You know the one where Santa looks annoyed hung over and his beard is the color of tobacco? And where the child is either beet red, screaming in horror at being handed off to a strange man or with a goofy, “take the picture already mommy because I am so excited I might tinkle” smile plastered on their face? My boys always looked like they were ready to make a run for it if Santa hadn’t had a death grip on them. I am pretty sure his gloves had grip tape on the palms for the ornery/slippery kids like mine, but I can’t prove it.
Football season continues for my ten year old. They are in the the playoffs (hurray!) which means sitting at a cold and often rainy, muddy field for another 6 hours each week (boo!) on freezing metal bleachers (ouch!). I remind myself often as I am whining and complaining in my head, that like labor, it will all be worth it (kind of). As the playoffs continue, a weird competitive nature overtakes the stands at the games. There are a few outright cuckoos, including the pacing mom shrieking at the coaches, players and refs like some crazed banshee, and the opposing coaches who jump up and down waving their arms and tantruming like two year olds when their team is losing. Luckily, these folks are far and few between and neither are on our team! Sometimes the coaches and dads from the teams we are playing the next week will stay at the field to secretly write down our best players and send morse code to the coach scout our plays to be prepared for the clash of the titans playoff game.
We all get various emails sent to us promising good luck, recipe exchanges or shared wisdom along with random jokes or sales pitches. Certain emails I know not to open at work (Erica, I am talking to you) and usually the bylines give you a general indication of what you are opening. Now I don’t believe “something wonderful” will actually happen if I forward on an email to ten friends in the next seven minutes and I am a bit more savvy then to give my bank account number to a deposed Nigerian prince. If it mentions that bad luck will befall me if I don’t do something, I just delete those. Who would actually forward those onto a “friend”??? Nice.