Go Vols

September 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Sunrise over Shore Acres

Today was my volunteer day at the boys’ school. I do enjoy helping out in their classrooms, mostly because it makes them so happy to have me there. I realize that there is only a short time left before they will be mortified to have ┬áme within 100 feet of their school, so I try to appreciate their current fleeting enthusiasm for my presence. Mack got to stay in the classroom and eat lunch with me and pick a friend to join us. He was thrilled by that. He knows I will NOT eat in the cafeteria (it is so loud and I’m sorry, but 200 eating kids are gross!) I sat in the cafeteria with Cal for lunch once a week for like two years, and now I’m over that.

But I am a fairly slacker, underachiever volunteer (or maybe just a slacker, underachiever period). I volunteer one day a week, 1/2 a day in each boy’s class. I’ll also drive for or attend fieldtrips if I can and want to. Sometimes I will help out in other areas of the school like with gifted, PTA or wherever. Only if I feel like it, and really not very often. I am in awe of the supermoms who really seem to live and breathe the school. I’m sure there are superdads at the school too, but not on my radar. I’m so glad there are people who want to, or at least are willing to give of themselves like that, to pick up my slack. I rationalize it brilliantly by telling myself that at least I’m doing SOMETHING. So basically I set the bar for myself as a little bit higher than doing nothing. I like to challenge myself. Besides, the other four days of the week I am really busy going to the gym, playing with paper and fabric and glue, and clearing my Tivo of Top Chef and America’s Next Top Model.

I am frustrated with the whole fundraising thing at school. Since I in no way participated in the decision-making process about what fundraisers to do, I realize I have no right to complain. So now I’ll complain. They just kicked off the Entertainment Book fundraisier. Both boys ran in the door the other day announcing that they had to sell five Entertainment Books (each) so that they could go to the Omegaman show. We won’t sell the things. So Cal, especially, is really mad. But it makes me mad that the kids are made to feel like they have to miss out on something that other kids get to do AT SCHOOL just because their parents won’t sell these things to friends and family. I guess I should be grateful that the school is helping to teach the kids the fundamental and pervasive truth that LIFE’S NOT FAIR. We will buy one Entertainment Book from each kid and give one away to our neighbor. I just can’t imagine imposing on friends, family or (never!) co-workers to buy a book to help my kids’ school. The books are $25 each! Oh well, this is just the first fundraiser of the year, so the kids have yet many more opportunities this year to learn from school that LIFE’S NOT FAIR.


September 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm


This kid can talk until your ears hurt about pokemon. I mean on and on and on and on. Whatever you do, don’t show the least amount of interest in pokemon or anything he is saying, or the chatter will ratchet up to a speed and volume and intensity that will induce immediate migraine in the listener. This is, unless you are also a pre-teen boy or a grandma. Pre-teen boys and grandmas are immune to pokemon-induced migraine.

Today I walked the boys to school as usual. I think we live the perfect distance from the school for walking. It is 1.1 miles to the school, so round trip is just over 2 miles. I love getting that bit of exercise out of the way first thing in the morning. The boys ride their scooters, and I walk with Chewie tied to the double stroller. Mack usually gets into the stroller when we are about half way to school. Then on the way home, it’s me pushing the huge stroller with two scooters in the seats. People probably think I’m a crazy lady with baby-envy.

Cal has been lobbying to ride his bike to school, but we’re just not ready for that yet. It involves one intersection that makes us nervous, not to mention all those potential pedophiles with vans that the media has made us afraid of. Lots of kids his age, and younger, do ride their bikes to school, but we just haven’t been able to make that leap yet. I mean, he is the most important thing in the world to us…we just don’t want to risk it. We told him maybe next year.

This will be the fourth year that I have walked them to school everyday (unless it’s raining or below 50 degrees). We have seen so many great things on these morning walks. We got to watch an osprey family being raised in a nest atop a 50-foot dead palm tree. We could just make out the tiny heads popping up above the nest, beseeching the mama to FEED THEM NOW! We often saw the mama (or daddy?) come and go also, clutching small fish in their talons. We watched those birds for months, and were rewarded by finally seeing the babies flying. As soon as the nest was empty they finally took down the huge old royal palm. It was in front of the historic “Capone” house which has been undergoing renovations forever. The house was one of the first ones in Shore Acres and used to be the home of Al Capone’s mother and he visited it often. It has been written about many times in the St. Pete Times and apparently originally had a sandy beach for a front yard right on the bay.

One day Mack and I also saw a bald eagle in a pine tree, high up but so close. It was awe-inspiring. We have lots of mornings where a little park we walk by (Denver Park) is completely blanketed in fog. We call it “Foggy Bottom”. We have watched duck families living in a backyard next to the canal we cross. It is just such a great part of our day.

After the walk to school I hit the gym for body pump, then Publix. When I got home there was a message and business card from one of the bathroom remodeling contractors who was supposed to call me yesterday, but didn’t. Apparently we had a miscommunication, but he came back and we spent a while going back through all the things we need to do in the bathrooms. Hopefully he’ll have a quote for me soon. I’m so ready to get those things done!