Saturday, April 29, 2006

File under things I never thought I'd be doing:
having to buy a jock strap.

File under things I can use as motherly blackmail later:
having to show my son how to use the jock strap.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Both of our hearts beat a nervous tattoo as we tried to figure out what bus to take to Seattle.

Here we are, 32 and 10 respectively and neither of us have ever been on a transit bus.

We nervously ask directions to the bus station from commuters heading home after a long day. We received our directions along with indulgent smiles and 'I remember when that was me' looks.

As we approach the line we look at each other, mother to child, and the apprehension is clear in our identical coffee colored eyes. His little hand tightens around my larger one as he scans the line of people in front of us.

I straighten my back, letting out the breath I didn't know I was holding and remember who the Mom here in this situation is. I give Kendell a look of reassurance wrapped in a smile and a quick squeeze of his hand.

He glances up at me and you can see the trust there, shining in his baby browns.

I am reminded again that little or small, first bus rides or life changing decisions, he will always look to me first for strength and comfort.

One day, I will tell him how I looked too him for the same.

WASL Smashal

This week is WASL week at Kendell's school. WASL stands for Washington Assessment of Student Learning. You now have to pass this test in order to graduate in Washington State.

I committed the grave sin of keeping Kendell out of school yesterday in order for him to participate in Bring Your Child to Work day. I left a message with the school and even contacted his teacher before hand. He has been begging to come see my work and this is the only real time we can get away with small children having the run of a public office.

I received a call from his school promptly at 8am asking me if I were aware it was WASL testing week. I felt like I was talking to my mother. The disapproval came through the phone line loud and clear; I could instantly picture the pinched features and glower of the school secretary.

I imagine her intention was to shame me into ushering my child right to school to correct this black mark on my parenting report card. She was a bit suprised when I reminded her there were make up days for the test and that they were there just for an occasion such as this. She sputtered a bit, flustered by my lack of humility and remorse, giving me ample opportunity to wish her a good day.

It's a roll down hill kinda thing, this obsession with the WASL. The school district puts pressure on the school and then the school puts pressure on the teacher who then puts pressure on the student.

Kendell is ten years old, he is only in fourth grade. He was so worried about the WASL that he was having tummy aches. This to me is too much. No child of ten should agonize so much over a test that doesn't even affect their grade. Come to find out, Kendell's teacher said that it was important the students did well on the test because it would show how well she does her job.

I disagree, to me, if my son improves on the things he is struggling with and most importantly, is a happy student, then she has done her job well.

When did teachers stop wanting to teach a child in order for that child to succeed, and instead decided to teach a child in order to please the state regulating board. Somewhere their priorities got lost.

I guess that's why God invented parents, we are our childrens official Bullshit Meter.

Bring Your Child to Work Day
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Originally uploaded by KaraMia.
Looks cute doesn't he? Silly me, I thought that a full day with my son at work was a great idea.

Till this morning...when I realized he was crabby.

A crabby ten year old is a thing to fear. Not only can he make me miserable today, I get to share my parenting skills with my office.

Why did I think this was a good idea?

I have a feeling that by the end of the day...I might know why some animals eat their young...

Social Life??
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I just realized this morning that my only real social life is my son's baseball practices.

He has practice three times a week and it's my only interaction with adults outside of work.

This is very sad.

Especially when you take into account that the only reason I get to talk to the other parents is because I am trying to pull Buddy's nose outta their respective crotches.

Go Buddy!

Parenting and ADD
Monday, April 24, 2006

My son Kendell is ten and he has ADD. He was diagnosed when he was in Kindergarden after a very tearfull and trying year in a private school. It took a lot for me to pick up that phone and make the appointment, in the end, what made me do it was my son's misery. He hated getting in trouble, but seemed to always be in the midst of things. Come to find out later, that private school that I was paying for just stopped teaching him as long as Kendell sat quietly. This was my first experience with wanting to throttle a teacher or caregiver, sadly it wouldn't be my last.

It's amazing the amount of ignorance ADD generates. People hear that and instantly the child is typecast. I can almost see their preconceived notions pop to life.

ADD and ADHD break down fairly simply, it is simply a chemical imbalance in the brain. The neurons that secrete the fluid that allows your brain to pause a moment and think things over malfunction. So when a child afflicted with this condition does something and you ask
"why did you do that?" their response will be "I don't know" and often, they don't, their reactions are almost instantaneous.

But, again, this can be typecasting because each child is afflicted to different degrees and often have different obstacles to overcome in their lives.

I look back on my life and can pick out at least five people who were probably ADD or ADHD undiagnosed. We used to call these kids Hyper. Hyper meaning we have a child here who will bounce off the walls and no one knows why. On the flip side, ADD can also be that child that is seriously withdrawn.

I am typing this out today because I have to leave yet another daycare. We left the last one after almost two years because of another child that wouldn't leave Kendell alone. This one we leave because we have an adult that is unwilling to work to make Kendell successful. Because Kendell has a behavior that is unlike others in her care with ADD, she assumes it's just Kendell being a butt head.

It's sad that when I do everything in my power to empower my child and the people who take care of him, that there is always that one person who can not see beyond their set in stone definition of what ADD is supposed to be.

I know these days will one day be funny, but today, they just hurt. I hurt for my son and all those other children out there who no one takes a minute to see why they tick the way the do.

And I pray for those people out there who are to ignorant and biased to ever look beyond that surface, to delve into the deep and beautiful wealth of every child's mind.

Tomorrow will be a better day, I'll make sure of it.

I Will Work for Perfume!!!
Friday, April 21, 2006

I have a confession to make, I'm a perfume whore.

What? Sounds harsh you say?? Well, maybe, but I love to smell like a sweet summers breeze that's been chemicalized up to attract the opposite sex. (Bah, a girls gotta have something working for her doesn't she?)

Since I've been a bit broke lately I have had to start my twelve step program. It's not easy, but it works for me:

1)Stay away from the mall
2)If I am forced to go to the mall, avoid the major department store spritzer Nazi's
3)If I can not avoid the spritzer Nazi, refuse free sample politely
4)If I can not refuse the free sample, leave without trying it on
5)If I can not refuse to try the sample on, do. not. smell. it.
6)If I can not refuse to smell the free sample, do not ask if they have it on special
7)If indeed they do have it on special, do not ask if it is a box set
8)If it is a box set that's on special, do not ask to see it
9)If I can not avoid caressing the boxed set on special with my eyes, do not fondle the boxed perfume set longingly
10)If perfume box fondling can not be avoided, do not reach blindly for my purse
11)If reaching for the purse can not be avoided, avoid the look of triumph from spritzer Nazi
12)Just put the damn thing on plastic already!!

see.....perfume whore..told ya

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Originally uploaded by KaraMia.

This is what happens when you dare a ten year old to see if they can put their leg behind their head.....

The emergency room doctors were not amused....go figure...

Quick Thinking
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's baseball season in the Moore household and we go to practice three times a week. Not that Buddy and I do much more then watch, but hey, everyone needs an entourage from time to time.

The other day Buddy and I are doing the usual walk around the ball field, smelling dead things, peeing on everything in sight (it must be a male thing) generally just goofing off while Kendell works on supporting his momma in her old age.

Anyways, so we're standing by the gate to the ball field when tonight's hastily eaten dinner decides to do gastronomical gymnastics in my poor stomach. Well, I take a look around, see the coast is clear and let the beast to speak. Unfortunately during my little covert spy glance looking for enemy forces, I just missed one of the coaches and his son coming up from behind. I take a few steps away from the offending breeze and realize, that's just not gonna be good enough...I'm caught...

So...I do what any self respecting dog owner would do, I look at Buddy and say,
"Oh Buddy, ewwwwww."

Crazy Motorist
Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm not a morning person, not even close. The drive to daycare then to work is always frantic because evidently, time runs backwards in the morning..who knew? This morning, as I'm stopped at a light waiting to turn left, I hear honking just as my light changes. I look over next to me and there is this man in a truck pointing at my car. Admittedly, it's early, I'm not at my brightest, but I don't get what he's saying. He continues to speak to me through his window with cars piling up behind us. I finally get the bright idea to roll mine down because he might be telling me that I ran over a small child and am at this moment pulling the toddler along behind never knows when one might commit vehicular assault in the morning unawares...I mean, I haven't had coffee yet, it could've happened.

So I get my window down and make the universal gesture for "HUH??" and he says something else, gestures wildly at my car and then leaves.

Yes, you heard me, he leaves.

So now, not only did I miss my light, opened my window to a stranger, but am left here, idling, wondering what the hell is attached to my vehicle and should I move it.

Well, the car behind me helped with the moving decision and I take my left and pull over asap to assist whatever small being I may have mauled.

There is nothing....I repeat...NOTHING. No flat tire, no seatbelt hanging out my door making pretty sparks, no small child shrieking for me to "for the love of GOD" stop pulling them along..NOTHING.

I'm a bit deflated here, I mean, I was expecting something to be wrong.
Most people don't pull up next to you honking and wildly gesticulating unless you have something wrong...or perhaps, done something wrong.

So I get back into my vehicle and rehash the morning drive. I dropped Kendell off at daycare and took my usual route to the street this man decided to befuddle me on. I wasn't speeding (surprising I know) didn't cut anyone off (this morning at least), brake lights are working...I'm confused.

I'm left with the conclusion that this man thinks I did something but didn't have the big hanging ones to say it to my rolled down window.

I'm betting he wouldn't have put on such a show if I were a man. What do you think??

Friday, April 14, 2006

Today is the funeral. The sky is heavy with the weight of dense grey clouds. The rain pulls them closer to the earth, as if seeking comfort from the storm itself.

I can't help but see the similarities between today and the day we buried mom.

Only on that day, the weather was the last thing on my mind.

The funeral was not exactly what my mother would have liked, but, being in a fog, I was not in the best shape to make too much of a fuss with my sister on these issues. I remember cringing during the service as this person from my sisters faith who never knew my mother went on and on in what seemed to be an endless litany of bullshit.

People I had never met where there. People from her past that never forgot her. They filed past with condolences and memories pouring off their lips. I didn't cry. I'm not sure why. It was as if my emotions where this dry streambed that hadn't seen rain in years.

As we walked to the graveside Heaven opened up it's gates and the rain poured down. Clouds swollen and pregnant with showers hovered over us, spilling out their contents atop the mourners at the grave site. It's funny how I can't feel the cold, how the dampness is just an abstract state of being not really connected to me. Sounds continually come in and out of hearing. It reminds me of a child's game I played, putting my fingers in my ears and then taking them out, making people go from mute to volume, to mute again. The day is surreal in my memory, an impressionists version of a funeral with colors bleeding down the canvas and the images slightly out of focus.

I've been to funerals since and they haven't been able to populate that dry barren river bed that lies inside me, this time is different.

I can feel the flood pressing against the gate, I'm just the little Dutch boy with my finger in the dyke and I know it's only a matter of time before there are just too many holes to plug.

Maybe this is a good thing, this breaking down of walls, I only wish the process of removing the pieces were not so painful.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm driving in automatic. Hands and feet guiding my car through lights and stop signs, but my mind is elsewhere, soothed into passivity for a moment by a song playing on the radio. Life on the other side of the glass is just a puzzle of sound and colors as my eye catches my image in the review mirror. The morning light showcases my tired lids, my unadorned lips pressed together, the curve of my check.

I have a line. I can see it in the mirror. It's more of a crease really, just a little indicator of the past few years mapping their way across my features. Vanity flutters to the surface as I press and prod it, hoping it will go away, that it was a trick of light.

Not this time. It's for real. I'm getting older. It's not something I'm exactly embracing, but it's not something I'm running screaming from in horror either. It just is.

Life has taught me a few hard lessons this year and the toll of their tutelage is in in the compression of once full lips, the eyes that are slow to smile and the laugh that takes a bit longer to struggle to the surface.

This little line is a gentle reminder that I am wasting time. It's not just about getting older but about opportunities that I might be missing. It's about making memories instead of reliving them.

My hands tighten their grip on the wheel, my eyes move forward and the scene outside my car window looses the blurriness of motion. I am looking at where I am going now, instead of where I have been. The song becomes a soundtrack instead of a solo and my mind is brought abruptly to right now, this moment, this small wrinkle in time.

I am the one driving this vehicle, I control how fast and how slow I want to move through this life.

I think it's time to stop living like a passenger.

My Life as a Criminal
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm living a life of crime. I avoid the police like the plague. If I see them coming, I turn onto nameless roads, hiding in the shadows like the vermin I am.

What is my crime you might ask?

I hesitate to tell you, I can already sense censorship shinning in your eyes... it is,

Tabs...expired. tabs. (((Shudder)))

The mere sight of a blue and white can cause my heart to drum out a deep and painful tattoo on my breast bone. My palms start to sweat and my legs turn to jelly.

I'm running outta time I tell ya. I think they're on to me. I see them everywhere.


I'll go get the damn tabs I SWEAR!!!

Little Pieces

I found out that a good friend of my mother passed away this weekend. Sometimes it feels like I am living in a season of death, so many have gone these last few years.

Each time I lose someone connected to my mother, it feels like little pieces of her are falling away. Soon, I will be left with this incomplete puzzle that only those who knew her could fill in. A once full table slowly emptying, each member fading away with time.

I can not keep all of her memories together, though I scramble to remember each and every story. I remember groaning each time she would begin a tale that I had heard I strain to remember her words, the tone of her voice...

She is drifting away from me before I am ready, all these little pieces...slipping away.

Days Gone By
Thursday, April 06, 2006

A recent post over at I'm Not Touching You opened up a memory that I had packed away with my diploma and graduation cap. It was the summer of 1991 and I had just graduated from High School.

There was alot going on that summer, not the least being the inner turmoil I was experiencing. I was eighteen, had a job, a car, now what? College? Which one? How was I going to pay for it? I just didn't see what all the fuss was about.

But for this one day in late July, everything was perfect.

The family units were gone and I had the house to myself and my best friend. The sun was so bright that every surface seamed to shimmer with pools of water and the heat caused rivulets of sweat to roll down between our toes. We had unfolded the lounge chairs in the back yard, turned on the sprinkler so that it would hit us just right, and slathered baby oil over every uncovered body part we could.

I brought out the boom box, stuck in the Guns N Roses, Appetite for Destruction tape and prepared to crack a few windows with the sound of slash's guitar.

The sun bore down, heat like a warm hot tongue licked up and down on our baking bodies, almost crackling with the youth of summer. Our eyes were decked in sunglasses, bikini's placed for optimal tan lines; we set out to get the tan that would stop the most determined cruiser on the local strip. Rock and Roll like you've never heard since poured out of the speakers and into our pores. The kind of music that convinces toes and fingers to move even before you feel the urge to dance.

For once that summer, I didn't have a care in the world.

"She's got eyes of the bluest skies, as if she'd thought of rain. I'd hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain."

It's the only song I've ever heard that made me wish from the marrow of my bones that I had blue eyes.

The music has aged and time has taken rockers down a path we've all had to follow sooner or later. But those words, They're forever a time machine that takes me back to the summer of 1991. I'll never be eighteen again and that tan has long since faded away with my fascination for fast cars and loud music but when that song plays, and the words wrap themselves around my heart, for just a minute, I'm 18 and the whole world is right there waiting for me.

From the Most Unexpected Places
Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Life has been crazy!!
I'm working on a big event at work and although I'm loving it, it's left me little time to de-stress on here. It's suprising that in such a short time, this forum has come to mean so much to me.

People define themselves in many ways. If you were to ask me to define myself, one description would be Army Brat, the other, Patriotic. I grew up the child of a career military soldier in a time when it was still possible to go career. If my father were still alive, he would be one of the first to tell you that today's military is nothing like what he grew up in. And I do mean grew up, he joined when he was sixteen to get away from a hard home environment. Back in those days, it wasn't too hard to get little things like age changed enough on a birth certificate to pass.

I remember driving in the car on base and having to stop, get out, and put my hand over my heart because they were lowering the flag. My father instilled in us a sense of pride in our Country and in the soldiers that often give their lives for it. He did two tours in Vietnam and was often asked if he agreed with the war. His reply was simple, "I signed up for this man's army and I am here to do the job they send me to do. It doesn't matter whether I agree with it or not."
He had the option of not going but went because he didn't want to send his men into a situation with a commander they didn't know.

I hate this war that we have in Iraq, I in no way agree with it and I think our president has ulterior motives, BUT, and it's a big one, I support our soldiers 100% because, like my father before them, they are doing the job they signed on to do, whether they agree with it or not. After 911 everyone was so patriotic they practically bled red, white, and blue. Now, with the differing of opinions on the war in Iraq and with the cushion of time between us and September 11th, it's so easy to go back to our indifferent ways.

This Saturday my son and I went to see the Seattle Mariners play against their farm team the Tacoma Rainiers. We got there early so Kendell could get autographs on his glove so that it would be "lucky". As Kendell is waiting his turn a soldier in fatigues starts past Kendell, having already gotten an autograph. Kendell looks at the man and tugs on the end of his shirt,
"Soldier, could I have YOUR autograph?"
The man's face was such an endearing mixture of embarrassment and pride. I'm sure it's a story he will go home and tell his family about, and if he doesn't have a family, it's a story that will remind him on those lonely days where he is questioning his choices, that there are still some people out there who remember who the real heroes in this world are.

I can't remember a time I was prouder of my son.

God bless each and every one of you who serve our country.

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  • Name:Kara
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