Monday, March 23, 2009

Right Now and Not Right Now: A Matter of Choice?

This post's alternate titles: "Why I Hate The Weekends" or "How to Lose the Few Readers You Have In One Post". Watch how my post about organization slowly unravels from an organized, sequential order of points to purely random, unorganized, stream-of-consciousness idiocy. Nice. Only found here, at gudnuff. Enjoy.
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For those among us who are NOT "born organized" as FlyLady would say, organizing stuff requires enormous mental effort. Mostly in the form of remembering to do this foreign thing: to choose to organize your stuff. Because it's so easy to not even think about it. Stuff just falls where it falls, and you remember where it fell. That's it. That's how you know where your stuff is. My shoes are under the coffee table. I mean, duh. Where else would they be? I sit on the couch, I kick off my shoes, they are under the coffee table so no one trips on them. Simple. Easy. Obvious. Functional.

Proper organization requires re-ordering the natural distribution of things. For the non-born-organized folks, re-arranging the natural order of things does not come automatically. It is a choice you make (strive to make, anyway). A conscious choice that you must choose to think about. Oh, you mean I should move the shoes, to the closet in my room? Because shoes do not belong under the coffee table, it turns out. Oh.

To organize or not to organize. It's a constant tug-of-war within your consciousness. Not fun. Not obvious. Not easy. Often not very functional.

And if I choose to organize, where do I start? What do I pay attention to first? The shoes? But what about dinner? What about Q's school papers? What about the laundry? If you are not born organized, there seems to be a concomitant difficulty with prioritization.

Prioritization is an exhausting process for those of us not-born-organized. It's why I hate the weekends, in particular. And it's why I would FAIL miserably at being a Stay-At-Home-Mom. Here's a taste of what it's like:

Saturday morning, I awake naturally or from my daughter tapping me on the arm, usually around 9-ish either way, and I immediately begin to wonder: do I clean the house first, take my shower first, go to the store super-quick to buy cleaning supplies first (without even taking a shower because I'll just get grimy while cleaning and will have to take another shower later even if I take one now and why waste the time with the first shower when I could be on my way back from the store already by the time I got out of the first shower which is sort of a waste except who wants to be one of those grimy, unwashed people at the store and what if I see somebody I know who knows other people I know and tells them how gross and unwashed I looked at the store...)...?

I haven't even gotten out of bed yet. I'm already exhausted. My daughter is probably still standing there, blinking, patiently waiting for me to get up and walk with her to the couch and watch TV with her. Daddy is still asleep on the other side of the bed. If she gives me a kiss on the cheek, all thoughts stop and I spring out of bed and go with her. This is not conscious on my part. Springing into action is not something I think about when I get a kiss on the cheek (especially from Q). It just happens automatically. Q knows this. She figured me out long ago. She kisses my cheek. My feet immediately find the floor. Hand-in-hand, we're off to the couch together.

For folks like me, there is only Right Now and Not Right Now. What should I be doing Right Now? And how do I know? Should I be taking a shower Right Now? But Q will be an obnoxious teenager soon enough...watching TV with her head on my lap as part of our Saturday morning routine seems like what I should be doing Right Now.

Who actually has to spend more than half a heartbeat consciously thinking about stuff like this? Sounds crazy to people like my husband, I'm sure. I call him The Reverse Tornado (I'll send you a $20 money order if you come up with a name I like better. For real). Leo can walk through a room and in his wake, leave it immaculately organized, neat, pristine, well-ordered. I know not how he does this. It mystifies me. It is his Super Power, I suppose.

Overall, I've gotten better. I try harder than I used to. I tend to put my shoes away as a matter of course these days. I try to clean up after myself and keep the kitchen counters cleared of the day's activities. I put my dirty laundry in the hamper. Some things become a matter of routine, such as putting away all the groceries as soon as you walk into the house.

So, with all this in mind, how do I function on the job? I mean, the job that does not involve domestic duties, that is (the domestic one, I suck at, obviously). I function very well, as long as the priorities are clearly defined. Usually by someone or something other than me.

Which is one of the reasons I dropped out of the Ph.D. program I was in so long ago. Are you kidding me? Academic careers are all about the Ph.D. person choosing what to focus on Right Now. Ugh. It was torture. Especially theoretical linguistics. I mean, c'mon! Playing around with some grammar data set never lent itself a Right Now quality, as far as I was concerned, outside of some class assignment deadline. I guess the whole wide realm of Research and Development, in any sense, in any size, shape or way, would be applicable to this same condition of not having to be done Right Now. Unless you were trying to finish something before the competition did, of course. Assuming you cared about it to begin with.

Now, emergency medicine...there's something that has to be done Right Now. Or my current job...if the network goes down, holy smokes, you better believe it'd be my Right Now thing. But the funny thing is, with my current position, if you're good at what you do, you'll be bored, because the network won't go down. And it doesn't (oh gawd...if it goes down now just because I am writing that...). It's been stable for years at this point. Fairly stable. Shtuff happens, usually out of our control, but we're affected nonetheless. Little here-and-there things, but anyway, it's stable. It's reliable. Things are good. Good and boring. There are no Right Now things anywhere around. Somebody shoot me. I hate boredom more than anything. Any. Thing.

Oh, I know. I should submit my travel voucher for the trip to New Orleans. Duh! I could do that Right Now. What a concept. And it would make my husband so happy. Look honey, a reimbursement check. A real-live reimbursement check and there's still like, weeks, before the deadline! Weeks! Wow. How much do you love me now, eh?

Nothing sexier than a reimbursement check.

Except maybe actually depositing it. Like...Right Now.

And that's why I don't have my homework. Wait...what???!?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pink Mailbox Update and Award Response

[This is a belated response, thank you and acknowledgement of the very kind, very generous award that Teasingly Diverse bestowed upon me last week. Thank you, Chere!!! See the bottom of this post for compliance with award stipulations. I'm trying to live up to being Kreativ! This is also a follow-up post to the Pink Mailbox Poetry Slam Event of 2009 wherein I attempted to get all cute and clever with Q while I was out of town last week.]
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I was sitting at the computer last night, fingers poised over the keys, awaiting inspiration. My husband was moving around, getting his gym bag ready, locating his ipod, packing an extra towel, etc. I looked up as he walked past and I said, "Give me a noun. Something I can rhyme. Like, what're you going to do at the gym? Don't say basketball. I can't rhyme basketball."

Of course, the only word he said was, "No."

Hey, turns out, it was enough.

........Daddy said, "No." he got ready to go the gym
........for a swim.
........Glad I'm not him.

........No, not really.
........I'm just being silly.
........He went for a run.
........Hope he had fun.
........Look, my favorite show's begun!

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By the way, while in New Orleans, remember those five poems I wrote to Q and asked Leo to please put in the little pink mailbox each day? Well, of course he did not do that. Luckily, Q had already figured out where they were stashed, high on top of our dresser in the bedroom. So the first night when she called me at bedtime, I told her to go ahead and get the stool from the kitchen and take it in there and grab the first note. And that is how Q got her daily poems. She liked them, for the most part. Although, she's also very polite, and wouldn't want to hurt my feelings by telling me they stank, so even if she thought they were awful, she'd probably keep that opinion to herself. As for how Q responded...she enjoyed them, but I had to ask her twice for a poem in return. The one very good result is that she now spells "rhyme" and "answer" correctly, consistently. (She used to spell them ryme and ancer.)

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Here are the award rules:
List 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love! Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sidebar letting the whole world know…you are Kreativ!


Okay, let's see...7 things I love:

1) silly poetry by Ogden Nash, Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein... (any others?)

2) chips-n- salsa (addicted to 'em)

3) Bacco's in New Orleans (okay, now I'm hungry and just focused on food)

4) chocolate/oatmeal/peanut-butter/coconut no-bake cookies
(I can't find the exact link that I printed out years ago and stuck to my frig, but this one is pretty close, and I see that it was posted by somebody called "CM", coincidentally. Hmmmm... was this you, CM?).
These are some seriously ugly-looking cookies, I admit, but they are an absolute favorite of ours and I make a batch almost every week and we all eat them shamelessly.

5) my paycheck!!! (these days, I really, really like it...I wanna hold its hand, even)

6) swing jazz, like "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby", and I totally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cd I picked up in New Orleans at The Court of Two Sisters by the Charlie Fardella group that was playing live while we ate brunch was awesome...and the cd quality is fantastic.

7) These shoes. They're called Clark's Womens Apple Jane Pumps. They are dressy and comfortable. A real win-win. (And if you buy them at Amazon, they're under $40!)


Now for 7 bloggers that I love (...only 7??!?...this is gonna get me in trouble, I aplogies to anyone who is offended one way or the other)

1) Cee at Starting to Melt
2) A Lawyer Mom's Musings at A Lawyer Mom's Musings
3) Shelley at The Menagerie
4) googiebaba over at Mommy on the Floor
5) dgm at sunny side up
6) Hyphen Mama at Mommy Needs 5 Minutes
7) Christie over at My Life - A Work In Progress

I have to also point out the following three bloggers who each comprise their own unique category and who put out consistently great quality stuff that makes me feel like my blog is a pig pen of less-than-average hog slops (or just slightly above hog slop quality):

+ Bea at Finding Equanimity - a visual delight, so clean and crisp and focused
+ Shinyung Oh at Because You Never Know... - some very excellent writing
+ Julie Q. at Mental Tesserae - (I especially love her post Why I Cry)

I'm not including some, like Patois at Whee! All the Way Home, who openly admit to not being jazzed by awards, and Trannyhead, who doesn't need awards to know she's hawt, and CM at Magic Cookie and LL at Lag Liv who are such classics that they rise above the level of award-dom. And of course I love Teasingly Diverse, as well as Random Real Estate at Edge of Treason, plus New Duck and Namby Pamby. Hell, I love my whole damn blog list. I really do.

Whew! That is my first-ever, real-live response to an award. I should get an award for that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doctors at McDonald's

Recently, upon entering a McDonald's restaurant, I passed a couple of McDonald's employees on my way to the counter to place my order. I noticed them briefly. They were sitting across from each other at a side table. They appeared to be on break, or about to begin their shift. One was a young Latina woman with a pretty face, a shiny ponytail and a new McDonald's visor on her head. The other was a young Asian man, similarly dressed in his McDonald's uniform-with-visor. They looked like they were waiting for a photo shoot to begin, like they were going to be featured in a McDonald's commercial; they seemed so crisp and clean and composed. I overheard the young woman telling the young man the following:

Her: "In my country, the way they train doctors is very different. I was delivering babies in my second year."

That is all I was able to hear as I passed by.

I knew I had not misheard what she'd said, but I found myself struggling to accept what I'd heard. As I began to place my order, they were walking into the serving/cooking area, behind the counter. The young Latina took her position by the drive-through window and the young Asian man disappeared into the back of the grill/cooking section and I could no longer see him.
I placed my order with the even younger-looking (teenager, probably), and very pretty African-American girl at the register (I'm not kidding, this place was surreal! everyone was good-looking, except for the managers, who looked more like your everyday, typical McDonald's employee). After the order was taken and the money was exchanged and we'd been handed our cups (I was with a couple of friends), I asked the young woman who had taken our order if she knew if the woman working the drive-through window was a doctor. She wanted to know why I thought that, and I told her what I'd overheard. So she yells out to the Latina at the window:

"Hey [I couldn't tell what name she called out], are you a doctor?"

And the woman at the window turns around and smiles and says, "Yes."

I motion her over and repeat (again) what I'd overheard. I felt like a stalker at this point. She was very pleasant about it (almost in a Stepford Wives' overly-pleasant, overly-efficient, overly-patient kind of kind of creeped me out). She explained that she was Colombian, that she attended a Colombian medical school and that part of the curriculum required a three month cultural exchange type of experience. Hence, she was here in middle America for three months. Working at McDonald's.

The Stepford Wives' pleasantness, combined with the weirdness of my having no business asking her any personal questions whatsoever but doing so nonetheless, finally got the better of me and I stopped the interview. She returned to the window and I took my food and got out of there.

I never found out why she was working at a McDonald's, and I really wish I knew more about that. I wonder if that particular McDonald's was a special case (there was certainly something different about it). Perhaps it was used by McDonald's Corporation as a sister-restaurant to a McDonald's in Colombia, to make cultural exchanges easier? But that seems unlikely. Or just dumb, on my part. Or perhaps it was a total fluke that her cultural exchange requirement resulted in employment at McDonald's. But anyway, this brief encounter has left me pondering many things, such as:

Did it ever occur to you that some doctor took the spot at McDonald's that your high-school kid was hoping to get as their first after-school job?

Did it ever occur to you that the same hand that holds out your mega-sized Big Mac with fries and a drink through the drive-through window at McDonald's was once used to deliver a baby?

Did it ever occur to you that anyone working at a McDonald's would be a doctor, or even a doctor-in-training? Or a doctor-in-training from another country???!?

Did it ever occur to you that doctors-in-training from other countries would end up in the U.S. working at a McDonald's, just for kicks?

Did it ever occur to you that somebody came to the U.S. and got their cultural education by working at a McDonald's? And maybe that was a pretty good/bad way to approach our culture?

None of these things ever occurred to me before, I'll tell you that! I mean, seriously, that is some unique stuff in a globalization, sociological, economic, cultural exchange kind of way. It's a little freaky if you think about it for more than a second or two. At least, I think so anyway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mojo a No-Go

[Warning: This is a very negative post. I have a lot to say, but I've been avoiding saying it because a lot of it is negative, and I've been trying very hard to keep this blog more on the positive side of things. But maybe if I vent here, spew my poison here, I'll rid myself of it enough that I'll be able to get my mojo back. This here job done stole my mojo, dammit. And I need my blog to help me get it back. So I am posting this with some regrets for the negativity contained herein, and I hope somebody overcomes the cynicism and submits a comment nevertheless. Plus, I have an interesting thing to share once I get this post over with.]

[Just sayin': I reserve the right to completely reverse my mood and my position in future posts. Today, it's all eff this and I'm-too-old and forget-it-already, but next week, who knows?]

I just spent a lovely five days and five nights in New Orleans (yes, as a tourist in the French Quarter). I went there for an annual conference. I got back last Thursday night.

It reinvigorated my attitude toward my job. I've returned to within normal parameters of giving a crap about my job performance and what people think of me. What I think of myself.

But still, I've not rediscovered my working mojo. Normal parameters aren't worth getting excited about, it turns out. I think the difference between pre-conference me and post-conference me is merely that I'm so turned off by my own belly-aching that it's no longer an option. Plus, I got a taste of enjoying the company of smart people for a couple of days. That was very refreshing.

For example, I spent an entire morning's session sitting next to a senior level person from another part of the country who surprised me by how much he shared with me in casual conversation. The two of us spent about three hours huddled together, whispering our way through multiple sessions, paying almost no attention to the presenters. I was secretly thrilled and flattered to have his attention for so long. I didn't even leave to go to the bathroom, even after he brought me - and I drank! - a second cup of coffee.

Later he said he thought I was the boss of my peer. Which explains why he had been so at ease, so willing to let his hair down earlier in the day.

Which brings me to why going into management is a worthy goal.

You know why? Not because I want to have the final say. Not because of the ego-driven issue of saying you're somebody's boss, or the boss of forty people, or whatever. It's because, to put it crassly, you have a greater chance of spending more time with a better class of people. And by "class", I don't mean socio-economically. I mean, smart people, focused people, non-burnt-out people. People who are driven. People invested in what they do on a daily basis. People who are privy to special training sessions. To off-site manager meetings. To dealing with a more holistic view of the job. People who generally give more of a crap on any given day than the schmucks like me who have settled and are only thinking of their paycheck.

People more on top of their game, who make me want to be more on top of MY game.

I'm not so sure law school is the path to that destination for me. After months of reading law school blogs, law related blogs, the overwhelming impression I have is that I'd be a fool to completely jump ship and swim toward the shores of the legal profession. The debt is staggering, especially with only twenty years to pay it off (at the earliest, I'd be in my mid-40's when I graduated). Plus, ending up with a satisfying law career seems to hinge on how lucky you are, and again, that kind of strategy has seldom worked in my favor.

I'm no CM or LL or Andrea. That much is clear to me. To the victor go the spoils. They deserve all the good stuff that has come their way and I've no doubt more good things will continue to find them.

But as for me? It's time to accept some basic facts. I'm too old; it costs too much; my husband is too unstable career-wise to carry the family through such an endeavor; my daughter is too unfocused to push herself, on her own, to achieve. And I'm just not feeling the necessary selfishness to ignore all those issues and focus solely on my own ambitions. It is what it is. I'm too fat, dumb, lazy, and bitter, and too damn old, and just too invested in my current life, quite honestly, to do much more than to collect a paycheck and nurse my seething resentment and angry bitterness. Et voila.

On a lighter note, I have at least decided to care about my job. I have found Workplace911 which I kinda like. I have decided that I will strive to have one thing, just ONE THING, to point to at the end of each day to say, well, at least I did that. And that one thing is NOT allowed to be a blog post. And we all know I'm not kidding about that. Because I know you are just like me, and that one seriously good blog post can justify your existence for up to 48 hours at at time. Well, okay, first I'm going to post this, and then I'm going to actually install an OS on this box that has been collecting dust on my desk for months. And now that I've said it, put it out there on my blog, maybe it'll actually happen.

So, not a lot of mojo found here, but it seems the necessary ingredients are lying around, are available still. Maybe I can brew up a batch by the end of the week. I think that by working harder, I'll start to care about work more. I think first must come the work. I almost titled this post "Work will set you free" but that was already taken and not in a good way. Which totally pisses me off (and I'm choosing not to link to a reference to the well-known example of where and how this phrase was used because that would totally change the mood and point of what I'm saying here).

Because for those of us who wallow in despair and suffer from analysis-paralysis, getting busy with work truly does set us free from our malaise, our apathy. Work can set your mojo free. I truly believe that. And so, having written it, I shall now go live it. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bad Poetry Slam, Family-Style

Q's poetic attempts are as bad as mine, but a little more excusable given her age.

Here's her response which she placed in the mailbox for me:

.......Once upon a time
.......I made a rhyme.
.......But that rhyme spent too much time.
.......I never knew the time flew. by.

.......I wrote about my mother
.......that was a hugger.
.......She was the nicest person around
.......that I knew in town.

.......This is the end of my rhyme
.......about my mother
.......who was a hugger.

.......XOXOXO ...Q...

She wrote an equally quick and simple ditty for her father after he complained that he failed to receive a solicitation for correspondence from her. Last night she went to him and apologized and asked him to please write her a note, and he said, "No." (He likes to be sneaky like that: disappoint, then follow-through and relieve the despair. Classy, no?)

She magnanimously chose, nevertheless, to write a poem for him. All you need to know is that "Daddy" was paired with "never saddy". This thing is going downhill fast, I'm thinkin'.

Can't wait to hear Daddy's contributions....


I've almost finished with the five poems to be doled out while I'm away.

I'm posting them here and now mostly for my own record-keeping purposes. If you feel inclined to add or improve upon them, feel free to do so in the comments. Just don't be mean and hurt my little feelings. Also, I guess this is where other people with content worth copying say something like: this is copyrighted material and you can't use it unless I say so. So consider that said regarding this material, in the very unlikely event someone may find it tempting to filch it. I wrote these while sitting in the chair getting my hair done so I'll be beeyootiful for my trip and so I wouldn't have to talk to the lady cutting my hair. I'm so productive!

Poem #1 (because she usually misses me the most that first night):
Whenever you miss me
And wish you could kiss me
Or I could kiss you
Here are things you can do

Heave a deep sigh
Or stick your finger in your eye
Or grab a pen and write a note
About a funny anecdote.

Just try to laugh as much as you can!
Create a secret tickle plan,
one that'll make you feel good
inside your head just like I would.
(Better, even, than I could.)

Poem #2:
Watch that caterpillar climb
Onto a branch in order to dine
On fresh and crispy leaves that crunch
Between her teeth as she eats lunch.

Poem #3:
Winky pinky hoopie wow
Missy-Miss is our brown cow
She loves clover
She loves hay
She's why we drink cafe au lait! (thought I'd teach Q a little French)

Poem #4:
Ha-ha, hee-hee, ho-ho-ho!
There's a lot you already know.
As you learn and your brain grows
other things will have to go.
This will happen more and more.
It's really bad when you're 44.

Poem #5:
This is the day that I return home
(go on, get excited!)
With presents and pralines and Styrofoam
(you'll soon be quite delighted!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Whimsy With the Written Word

Around Valentine's Day, my kiddo and I spotted this pink metal mailbox. It was in the dollar section at Target.

Q loved it at first sight. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to inspire both of us to write more. It invited me especially to work on holding onto whimsy, to keep a spark of creativity in our relationship. So I bought it. For Q. But for me, too. Of course, once we had the mailbox, Q wanted to actually use it. And I kept forgetting about it.

Until finally she wrote me a note asking me to please write her a note and leave it in the mailbox.

It says:

"Please write a note to me and put it in my mailbox! I love you.

P.S. Can you put it in there when I'm asleep and put the flag up so in the morning I can see it!"

So I finally remembered to write a little note, which was a sappy little I love you sweetie-pie kind of thing. She liked that there was a note in there. But I think we need to graduate beyond simple little I-love-you notes.

To that end, I have decided to write her a poem. I decided that whatever I write, it cannot take a lot of time. So, we're going for quantity over quality, I'm afraid. Here's my first attempt, which took me about ten minutes to write, and you can totally tell, 'cause it blows:
(Once upon a time
I needed a dime
So I sold lemonaid
So I could get paid.

I earned enough money
to buy milk and honey
So I went to the store
And bought groceries galore.

When I got home
I tripped on a comb
And was in a bad mood
'Cause I'd dropped all the food!

Now the house is a mess
And I've torn my dress.
The food is all gone
And this poem's a yawn.)

I'm going to be away most of next week on a business trip (to New Orleans...woooooo!) and I've decided to ask Leo to place a note from mommy in the mailbox every morning of my absence. He has grudgingly agreed to do so (but don't be surprised if this turns out badly...I've been burned by him before on this kind of thing).

So now I am faced with the challenge of writing five days' worth of cute stuff. Why do I do this to myself?! And for that matter, what did Q ever do to deserve such awful poetry?

Is this a bad idea?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stolen from a tweet

Prelude to this post:

Yes, another mommy post. But with poetry! Poorly done poetry, but hey, it's an attempt. The thing about haiku is, when *I* write one, it ends up sounding like a stupid headline, like:

............Child shot on playground.
............Community is frightened.
............Film at eleven.

And while Patois is able to write three little lines that drip with the juices of evocative sensations, mine manages to wring the sentiment out of it completely, leaving the event stone cold and dry, dry, dry. (Not sure I'll continue with haiku. Or perhaps I'll start a "Shoulda Not Been Published" line of posts.)


I just tweeted about my kid's latest drama, wherein she gets a phone call, on a school night, from her friend Sarah. Oh-so-excited (and just a tad bit impressed with herself) that the phone is for HER! "It's for ME?!!"

"Oh, Hi Sarah! Yeah, tomorrow, uh-huh..." She starts walking around and around in a tight little circle as she talks. We're sitting at a folding-table outside a grocery store selling Girl Scout cookies. The phone call was placed to my cell and is a surprise to both of us.

I'm watching her face and it slowly morphs from ecstatic to reassuring, cooperative, collaborative (I can think of some people at work who could take a few pointers from her approach at this moment, probably I'm one of them):

"You don't like the song, because we didn't practice enough? Well, that's alright. We can do another song. We don't have to do that song if you don't want."

...and then from reassuring to confused:

"Oh...not at all? Like, the whole thing?"

and finally from confused to just absolutely crushed, as her voice gets quieter and then starts to quiver, and her face flushes into a splotchy mess of pink, especially around her eyes, but she holds it together (thanks to her father's DNA, I must assume, since mine is made of less stalwart stuff). She manages to speak in clear tones, with an upward lilt as she says:

"No, I understand. No, it's alright. Yeah, I know you are. It's okay. No, really, it's okay. Alright, well, 'bye."

...and now she is off the phone and she has tears in her eyes and she is so, so sad, so let down, so newly disappointed. She seems to be stuck in place, completely overwhelmed by this new feeling, so much so that she doesn't know what to do or what to say. She just looks at me, partly confused, trying to process what just happened, as she blinks the tears out onto her cheeks.

Her partner for the school talent show has called at 8pm the night prior to the auditions and canceled. My daughter is not brave enough to go through with the audition without a partner. I am feeling really not very nice feelings about the other little girl named Sarah at this moment. And I am aware that I am watching life happen. To a smallish person that didn't even exist on this earth nine years ago and is only here now because of me (well, plus a few other factors). And now she is walking and talking and getting phone calls and finding out that friends can let you down. And now I have to just take it and let it happen to her, as it happens to all of us, just as each of us, to varying degrees, has caused such things to happen to others, sometimes to our friends, and to loved ones, too. But this is a new thing for her. And for me, to have a front-row seat, to watch it happen.

And out of this are the bones of a haiku, that I stumbled upon while trying to express this experience via twitter. I'm not good at this, quite poor at it compared to Patois, and this is my first haiku attempt since 7th grade, I think, so take it for the feeble attempt that it is.

...........................I seethe when Q's friend
...........................backs out of the audition.
...........................Husband shrugs it off.

Haiku's are not for long-winded types like me, because there's so much more I want to express in those restrictive seventeen syllables than the part about the call and Q being understandably hurt and disappointed, but dealing with it rather well, and my subsequent anger/frustration/protectionistic response.

I forgot to add, in my narrative above, that this totally pissed me off (well, you probably picked up on that little factoid), and I tactfully shared my reflection of the event with my husband, who blithely responded, "Good. It's just a little After-School talent show. I mean, c'mon." and told me that The Evil One (3rd grader formerly known as Sarah) is just a little girl, too, and that I tend to get worked up about these things and that it is NOT alright to punch an 8-year-old in the stomach on the playground, especially when you're a mom, hence supposedly a grown-up who is able to keep some adult perspective on these types of situations. Harumph.

I'm thinking about changing the last line to:

.........................Family shrugs it off.

Because Q got past the teary part kind of quickly - cookie selling proved an excellent distraction - and because Q was empathetic to The Evil One's discomfort about performing.
It totally sucks when your own kid handles these things with more emotional maturity than you do. Not that I would let her know that (probably she already knows it on some level, but I don't have to come out and openly admit it directly to her in so many words...not yet anyway...I'll let her call me on it when she's a teenager and not one minute sooner!). Oh, not me. I'll just keep that info between me and a couple million people on the internet. Jeez-o-pete, I love blogging.