I spent three hours on the telephone with a friend last week–three hours!!–and I can honestly say I’ve not spoken to another person on the telephone that long outside of work in an age. It was nice. Really nice. She told me she looked forward to reading my blog to “catch up” in the way written communication allows us to hang out these days.
All I could say in reply was that I wasn’t feeling creatively inspired much lately. I know this was as obvious to her as it is to any of you who check in with me here.
To prevent me from feeling I needed to fill the space and atone further, good human she is, she responded saying something like, “Well, there’s not much going on to talk about these days, is there?” Well, there is and there isn’t.
Let’s begin by celebrating my husband’s birthday today! After last year’s accident, hitting 50 was no sure thing, yet here he is, blowing out 51 metaphorical candles on his birthday pie. Flying in the face of my frosting obsession, he prefers birthday pie (and pineapple upside down cake and Boston cream pie) to birthday cake. And while I can’t make any piece of bakery or anything really look pretty, I can throw canned pie filling into a pastry shell, however inelegant it looks. It looks like this. Not pretty, but also not the most unappetizing food I’ve concocted either.
Not that you’ve asked, but I’ve got your unappetizing. . . Unappetizing was the special trail of “presents” our ailing, weak-stomached, cute but idiotic dog left all over the living room floor this morning. Because it’s his birthday and I’m not a total ass, I took on steam cleaning duties. Before 5:00 AM. It’s wrong to want a boozy drink before sunrise probably, but if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. Ugh.
The birthday boy had some reconstructive surgery recently, and it went well. It did not go as well as he would have liked though, and that broke my heart a little. I think maybe he was hoping for a more pre-accident symmetry result, a turnaround that would leave him looking just like nature originally intended again, but no amount of surgery performed under even the most expert care can undo paralysis, it turns out.
The first academic quarter has drawn to an end. 100% virtual for everyone in my household. I don’t love teaching virtually, and I don’t believe my sons are receiving the type of education experiences they and their classmates deserve, but my sons have been present for each and every class period, tuned in (probably?), completing assigned work, and consulting with their teachers as needed. They are both KILLING IT when it comes to grades this quarter, and I’m immeasurably proud of their commitment to achievement in the face of adversity. I’m also endlessly amused during Block A1, Percussion Ensemble class, where my number one son pounds out beats above my head, he in his room, me directly below him in my dining room office.
It’s parent-teacher conference week, which meant that Monday I slumped at my keyboard from 7:30 AM until 8:20 PM. Conference attendance wasn’t great at the schools where I provide service, but I was grateful for the meetings I did have. Given that I essentially barge into my students’ homes once or twice weekly, I feel 1) like an intruder, and 2) like I’ve come to know my students and their families better than I would have pre-COVID-closure; I wasn’t devastated that I didn’t have a high turn-out. I call/email/text parents more than ever now. But I am not meant to sit in a chair thirteen consecutive hours nor are my wrists not meant to type that many keystrokes in one day.
In total “semantics hair-splitting” Wendy non-sequitur fashion, can I say that it bugs me that teachers refer to my child as my student? Educators, when speaking or writing to parents at large, say, “Your student” as in, “Your student’s evidence” or “Your student’s classroom participation.” He’s not my student; he’s my child. He’s YOUR student. Just had to get that one out there. K? Thanks.
The Return of the MDA Telethon
Since my big kid’s muscular dystrophy diagnosis five years ago, FIVE YEARS already!, we had participated in the MDA Muscle Walk, an annual fundraising event. Through your staggering support of my family and me, together we have raised over $10,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The MDA funds research, community outreach, summer camp, and a host of other supports for families affected by neuromuscular disease and ALS. I’ve written about what their work has meant for me, the mom of a child with MD over and over and over. As I skimmed some older posts linked there, I read “life-changing” more than once.
But after the accident last year, I just couldn’t find it within me to ask people to donate to the Muscle Walk this year. What my readers, friends, and family had done to help me through my husband’s near-death experience and the subsequent losing of my shit is beyond measure. I could not possibly ask one thing more from my circle. Not. One. Thing.
So I’ll just leave this link here, and you can click it if you find yourself feeling philanthropic. The MDA is rebooting the telethon with Kevin Hart hosting the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon. The event is streaming live on multiple social media platforms as well as YouTube this Saturday evening, October 24. I’m goofy that Dan Levy has lent a hand to the reboot–his genius and advocacy are inspiring. And if you don’t find his David Rose to be among the top characters in television history, fight me. I think I know just what I’ll wear–
As you can imagine, financial support for non-profits is down in 2020, and events like the Muscle Walk, like everything else this year held virtually, have suffered in attendance and donation. So why not watch Kevin Hart and his coterie of socially-distanced guests this Saturday? You’ll probably laugh a little, and you can’t tell me you don’t need a little belly laugh these days.