A few weeks ago, in the midst of all our excitement and end-of-the-school-year business, the world suddenly seemed to screech to a halt. An unhealthy situation was revealed at school, and we found ourselves wondering how something like this could happen at a place full of people we love and trust.
(M's homeroom teacher, as always, has been nothing but amazing for him, and she had no part in this trouble. If you ever read this Mrs. D, you know how much we love and appreciate you!)
While the involved person's intentions may have been good, this mistake was unexcusable. Apologies are all well and good, but the damage had been done. The thought of returning to the classroom made M throw up out of dread and anxiety. This kid who loves school and lives to learn new things suddenly no longer wanted to go.
I really went back and forth about what to do. Early summer break? I was tempted. But knowing that we won't be back next year had me worried that he might build up the fear and dread in his mind, and then when we finally returned in 14 months, he wouldn't want to go back at all. Regular days at school, except for the offending classroom was another option, and it's one I still think could have worked out ok. But in the end, after a long weekend with plenty of
to take his mind off of it, he was ready to put it behind him, return to school, and move on. I am so proud of him.
He had something to overcome, and he did. He faced an awful situation head on and came through the other side stronger.
And of course slowly, the world started spinning again. I guess that's one way to take your mind off the last day countdown! Two and a half days left!
I can never say "backstage passes" without thinking of Clarissa Explains It All. They are forever linked in my mind. I don't care how cool you were when you were a kid: you wanted to be Clarissa, and have Sam climb up to your bedroom window with those coveted lanyards in hand.
My nine-year-old self would never believe in a million years that I'd marry a musician and would end up with more than my share of backstage access.
The kids, sadly, aren't the least impressed, and have almost no interest in going back stage (probably because of a serious lack of Clarissa Explains It All during their formative years).
But at Whim's most recent event, without thinking, I called their passes VIP tags. Hold up, everybody. Excuse me, people! Did you hear that? We are VIP. The kids might as well have been invited to the White House. They have never been better behaved. They raved (quietly) about the soft carpet, savored their complimentary bottled waters, and sat like perfect gentlemen.
If I knew that's all it took, I would have gotten them some VIP tags a long time ago!
I've been spying on the amazing and hilarious travelling "four bags full" family on IG for about a month, and in that time they've already been all over northern Thailand, Laos, and Burma.
I couldn't resist following and introducing myself (not normal for me!) and when they came down to Bangkok, we ended up agreeing to meet up at the Children's Discovery Museum to get the kids together and chat.
I don't know what I was thinking, because, honestly, I hardly even like planning to do things with my real-live friends!
But it was the best odd decision I've made in a long while. The boys are all cut from the same cloth and ran off like cousins within 30 seconds of introducing themselves.
V and I hit it off in that rare and wonderful way, where you can cut through the meaningless years worth of small talk and nonsense, connect, and get right down to conversation that means something. (Whim just took pictures all the time, and G had to go pack, so their bromance will have to blossom another day.)
Meeting this amazing family has me more eager than ever to hit the road and get our own adventure started. If they're a representation of the sort of people we are going to meet along the way, we're in for the time of our lives. Too bad we aren't travelling the same direction!!
Last week or so, I picked up El Deafo in the bookstore while the boys were browsing. I ended up reserving it at the library before we even left the bookstore. It is genius.
It's a quasi-autobiographical graphic novel about a girl who grows up using a hearing aid. It could be about being deaf, or epileptic, or diabetic, or gifted or a million other ways that kids feel different. On the most basic level, it's just about being a person, and all that goes on under the surface. It is so relatable and special.
I wish I had read it as a child. Luckily, my boys got to!