Sunday, June 21, 2015

Holidays without Parents

I'm not a huge fan of Mother's Day.  It's not because I don't think I deserve strawberry nutella crepes (the breakfast A has been making the last few years).  It's not because I don't want a day with no arguing (fyi - it doesn't really happen but a mom can dream, right?).  And it's not like I don't want it acknowledged but if I make a big deal about Mother's Day, then I need to do the same for Father's Day.

And the problem with that is I haven't had a dad for all but two years of my life.  I remember being with my then-boyfriend when I was in 11th grade and a friend of his asked me what I was doing for Father's Day.  Nothing, I replied.  He thought that was awful.  I just didn't want to explain it.  So I never did.  Not when I didn't show up for father-daughter dances in girl scouts.  Not when my uncle offered to be a substitute dad for all those events (which I always declined).  Not ever.

Then I had kids.  I had to celebrate Father's Day.  It was fine, if not weird, in the beginning.  We included my father-in-law and it was good.  The ex was (and is) a good dad.  He got that it was tough for me.  But it was okay.

Now that I no longer live with him, it's a little harder to make sure Father's Day is a good day for him.  He still gets gifts but now he controls the grill (instead of me).  The girls don't make him crepes (he can't eat them). And he has a whole other family to add to the mix.  They have a celebration that doesn't involve me, which is just fine.

Since my separation, I've had a taste of what life was like for my mom.  The main difference is I have a partner I can talk to, ask to help or just vent to.  She didn't.  So for the last several years, I've tried to acknowledge Father's Day for my mom since she was both a mom and dad for me.

I'm now at that age when my friends have parents who are older.  Several friends have lost fathers in recent years.  I suspect days like today are harder for them, though it's really not a contest.  It's hard for lots of people for lots of different reasons.

So while the rest of the world is grilling, going to ball games and fishing with their dads, I'll be hanging at the old folks' home with my mom.  It's a good way to spend the day.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Judi, Judi, oh so moody, how does your garden grow?

I have been thinking all day about the rhyme Mary, Mary, quite contrary.  How does your garden grow?  Nothing good rhymes with Judi.

Judi, Judi, with a big booty - NO!
Judi, Judi, oh so moody - NO!
Judi, Judi, you have cooties - Um, NO!

I can't come up with anything.  I am the least likely person to be a gardener.  I like plants but don't really know a ton about them.  I am learning to like worms but don't care too much for the other critters that try to eat my plants.  I like the whole start from seeds thing.  I like the process of it all.

I asked M the other day if she enjoyed it.  No, not really.  But I like seeing how excited you get when something grows.  That's fun.  I'll take that.

So, what am I growing?  And where?  I have a tiny front yard that just got tinier.  I now have 4 large garden boxes.  The picture only shows three but I just inherited one from a neighbor that's the biggest of all! Some plants I started from seeds (thank you friends who bring me toilet paper rolls for seed sprouting).  Some I bought.  And some I got on freecycle (excellent resource!).

That little flower will hopefully be a pepper one day.

This pretty little thing will be peas.

My list:

basil - both from seed and purchased
rosemary - both from seed and purchased
all sorts of peppers
lettuce - yummy kinds and others
tomatoes (various kinds)

I think I'm missing something.  Oh!  Eggplant.  Just one of those.

Hopefully, these little flowers will grow into cucumbers.  Or a squash - I forget which.

This little purple flower will hopefully become some sort of edible eggplant (even though I don't actually like eggplant).

I have a compost bin out back - I've had it for years.  I'm lazy about it.  Sometimes I remember to put stuff in it, sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I water it, mostly I don't.  But when I find worms, they go in it.  Worm poop is golden.

This year I opened the lid to find a surprise.  Things were growing in it.  There are potatoes - I'm not touching those because I haven't a clue on how to grow those.  There are pumpkin seeds.  I transplanted those so we'll see if those work.  I have mystery plants growing (they didn't transplant so well).  And there are at least 5 tomatoes growing around the compost.  I can figure out how it happened but it was still surprising.

I like growing things.  I like growing things that don't talk back.  I like little flowers that greet me daily, almost happy to see me.  I am a reluctant (and completely clueless) farmer.  Whodathunk?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Adios and Good Riddance, Middle School

We have one more half day of the school year left.  One more HALF DAY.  It's just enough to screw up summer camp plans and force one more day of early rising.  It's so incredibly stupid.  But then again, so was a MONTH of parcc testing, losing nearly a month of instruction preparing for parcc tests, the endless amounts of movies my kids watched on the days when they weren't testing (because other classes were) and the subsequent MSA tests.  Half of this year has been a clusterfuck of stupid.

A came home from school today teary-eyed at the thought of leaving most of her friends.  They've been together in the French program since they were 5 years old.  Now they're all doing to different schools.  It will be a change for us all.

A said they watched their class videos from 6th grade.  She commented how small and young they all looked.  They did.  They were straight out of elementary school.  Now they're wearing make up, flirting with each other and figuring what they hell they want to do with their high school life.

Everyone assures me that high school will be better.  I hope it is.  We have dealt with mean girl crap, racial crap, teachers who liked them and teachers who very obviously did not.  We've dealt with kids who hurt themselves, kids who get suspended for drugs (mostly they were the mean girls so my sympathies were limited), kids who declare they are gay, bi, gender-queer and pan sexual (yes, I did have to learn what that meant).  Elementary school did not prepare me for this.

I hope high school proves to them that geeks are cool, being smart is an asset, not a negative, and that turning in your homework is a smart thing to do.

A mom can hope, right?