Friday, March 25, 2011

This one is for me

...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer  -Rainer Maria Rilke-.

I think it started with the hair cut. Several inches were cut off and I feel like a new person. And then Rob discovered some tubs of clothes that I didn't even remember having put away. Work clothes. Nice work clothes. Lots of work clothes. Pre-pregnancy work clothes that fit! It was like going on a huge shopping spree. My closet is full again, my clothes fit and I have a new hair cut!

 My hair wasn't the only thing that was cut recently. My teen parent program was cut as well. And as much as I love delivering teen parent services my sadness of losing the program left as soon as my hair did. Is it possible that new hair can give you a whole new outlook?

I had some leads for positions but everyone of them felt like I was settling. They were under the radar jobs where I could probably have good boundaries with my time and not overextend myself.  Instead of recognizing that I'm not an under the radar kind of person I'd convinced myself that my lack of enthusiasm was because I've lost my love for school social work. I half-heartedly sent my director my list of prefereces for next year 1-High School 2-Alternative Programming 3-Able to do some teen parent work 4-In the neighborhood and I hit send. And I thought, this doesn't exist. All of the good schools are taken. Our jobs are being outsourced and most of the central support services have been cut so what we are left with is a big surplus of social workers and psychologists vying for a few positions.

Tuesday I attended a community network meeting. These meetings are intended for those that are in the helping professions to get familiar with the resources in the community. The meeting starts with all 100 of us standing up and one by one introducing ourselves and sharing information about our agency. Then this woman stood up and talked about her alternative high school opening up in the fall. And she shared that it's an innovation school and a whole new way of educating students based on how we live our lives today and what's that? It's in the neighborhood? I looked at my intern sitting next to me and said, "I have to meet that woman." The next hour and a half I shot glances back several rows to look at the person that I had to meet. She looked unapproachable and at some moments she even looked kind of mean. I was sure that she had already posted the position and that someone had already pounced on it.  I almost talked myself out of meeting her. Then she walked out and I followed her. And then I waited in line while others talked with her and then I did it. I introduced myself and asked if she had filled her support staff positions yet. She said that she had not posted the position yet because she was trying to get approval to hire a full-time social worker. (GULP. full time? I hadn't played that scenario out in my head). She took my information and said that she really liked that I had worked in alternative education and that I was doing teen parent work because she anticipated that she would have teen parents at the school. Before leaving work that same day my Assistant Principal who I love said she knew a school that would be perfect for me and I'll give you one guess which school she mentioned (nah, that's too easy).

That evening I sent Stefanie my resume and pitched the idea that if she could not secure full-time funding that I would be willing to spread a four day position  into five day coverage (I'm thinking about it being a win-win since maybe it would shorten my day so I can pick Cady up from school  and not have to worry about after-school care). The next day she emailed me back and asked me to come in and meet with her even though the position hasn't been posted yet (a requirement of the district). So we talked today. She says that she wants to work with me. I love the mission of the school. I really connected well with her. I am freaked out by going back to work nearly full-time (four full days and a one hour staff meeting every Friday) and about the possibility that I might have to look at after-school care for Cady. I'm worried about how we'll get it all done (grocery shopping, cleaning, house repairs) while driving kids to and from school  and activities while also working most of the week. And I'm thinking, should I be accepting a position when I don't even know where Cady is going to school and where will Coben go?  I hate that she said that the position is going to be a year-round position which poses a new issue as in what do we do with the kids for the summer? And then there is a small part of me that is freaked out by going after something aggressively because what if I don't live up to my own hype? But because I have new hair I am 100% certain that I am ready to start living the questions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Killer Lobster

I would like to thank whoever sent the lobster to Cady. I'd like to think that it was Mimi or Chris and Sophie. She received it probably about a year ago and it was one of those toys that you put into water and it grows. A year ago that caused no problem. Today is a whole different story.

Last night Cady found the lobster again in the bottom of her toy bin. The thing is maybe about 3 inches long. She told me about it and then put it in a cup of water and here's the problem. Her dad told her, "It's not that kind of lobster" and "It's not going to grow."

Fast forward to this morning. I'm in the shower and Cady is yelling at me, "Mom, you have to come quick!" Why when I'm showering is her favorite time to do this I'll never know but it certainly wasn't the first time she's said this. So I ask her to please tell me what is important enough that I have to jump out of the shower with shampoo in my hair to see. She starts to get upset (and indignant) but won't tell me. I refuse to get out and she returns just moments later with a cup. Inside the cup is THE LOBSTER. The lobster who has now doubled (maybe tripled?) in size. Cady tells me, "I can't handle this mom. This wasn't supposed to grow. I need it out of the house. I can't live with this thing." I'm chuckling, look inside the cup and tell her, "Oh my god it just moved!" and she screams. Not screams but SCREAMS. Screams and shakes. A high-pitched glass shattering very long scream.  And I feel like a rotten mom because I didn't know it was THAT big of a deal at this point since Cady tends to be on the dramatic side in general.  So I apologize and she persists that she can't be in the same house with this creature. Coben overhears this and grabs the cup. And just like his daddy does when the girls need spider removal, he takes the lobster outside and dumps it on the ground in front of the door. Since we were running late for school I picked it up and set it on the window ledge outside.

Fast forward again. Now we are rushing off to school. We walk out the door and SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Screaming AND shaking, again. "It moved mom. I KNOW that thing was on the ground. I just know it was. How did that happen. Something is wrong with that thing. That thing is bad. I can't handle this!!"

Thank you for the laugh bearer of the gift but the lobster is now in the TRASH. If we've learned anything from the crazy monkey in Toy Story 3 to the book There's a Nightmare in my Closet, it's that these things can cause us to have to share our bed for months. And since we are dealing with a little guy who now has a big boy bed we just so happen to already a blanket-toting toddler pushing his way in every 2 a.m. The lobster MUST die!