02 Sep 2010 Leave a Comment
26 May 2010 Leave a Comment
10 Aug 2009 Leave a Comment
Top 10 Songs to Send Your Child off to School By
I have recently found myself facing one of the biggest milestones a parent can reach while raising children, my young son will be entering Kindergarten. As any of you who have been through this, or will soon be facing it know, it is something that fills you with a myriad of emotions.
On one hand, I find myself brimming with excitement. PTA meetings, school plays, homework, watching my son grow from a boy into a young man. What’s not to look forward to? Other times I look at him, and all I see is that sweet blue-eyed boy that we brought home from the hospital five short years ago. How can I send my baby out into the world? Will one of those little girls running around be the first to break his heart? Will he stand up to his first bully, or have his spirit broke by him? Will he enjoy school, or will he rebel against it?
It’s so difficult to not know these answers, but know that I have to let him go anyway. There are parents out there reading this who are feeling this too. Maybe its not Kindergarten, maybe you’re sending yours off to college, or for some of you, you’re baby is getting married. Whichever one you’re facing, it’s still the same.
It just like when they were toddlers learning to walk. You wanted them to walk, but you feared for them, because you knew that they were going to have to fall before they could walk. As with any other big moment in life, I have a running soundtrack playing in my head right now. These are the songs that I hear playing in my head as I fill my son’s first backpack with school supplies. As I fill out his emergency cards, and shop for his new shoes. As I watch him begin his life.
So for every parent whose little one is starting Kindergarten, college, or simply starting their own life, here is a list of tunes to sneak onto their Ipod before they go.
1. Everything But The Girl-Apron Strings
Being a mom, the term “Apron String:” has a number of meanings, but the strings that are sung about in this EBTG tune are the ones that every mom wishes they could forever keep their baby safely wrapped in for the rest of their lives.
2. Kate Bush-This Woman’s Work
When its time for your child to begin making journeys on their own, without you, it leaves you plagued with fear. Have you done a good job? Have you given them all the tools they need to be strong and to succeed? Those are some of the questions that flood my mind when I hear this Kate Bush classic.
OK, so maybe this is slightly on the melodramatic side, but it truly captures the essence of what every parent desperately hopes for when letting go of their little one. That wherever your child goes they know that we will always be there. That when they need us to go slow, we will always fall behind, when they are lost we will always be there to help them find their way, and when they fall we will always catch them. Time after time after time.
(Honorable mention goes to True Colors)
4. Rod Stewart- Forever Young
One of the classic songs about what a parent feels for a child. So much so, that I’ve heard this song played at weddings, funerals, graduation parties, and baby showers. Its universal message of parental love comes through no matter what path of life you are on. I even used this song in a video I made for my parents 25thwedding anniversary. Now, as I look at my son who is so quickly turning from a boy to a young man, all I see is that young baby we brought home from the hospital about to go to school.
5. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young- Teach Your Children
This tune is pretty much a given. I, like most parents I’m sure, hope that all of my crazy insecurities and quirks haven’t damaged my son too much. And I know in the years to follow he will have so much more to teach us than we could ever begin to teach him.
6. The Cast of Rent-Seasons of Love
It’s so surreal to look back on the years spent watching your child grow. This song always makes me flash on the idea of how many diapers have I changed? How many tears have I wiped away, scraped knees have I kissed? How many tickle fits, time outs, bowels of Mac & Cheese, swings, campfires, nightmares, sing alongs, legos, stories have I read, and kisses goodnight have there been? I couldn’t begin to count, but I could tell you that there have been miles and miles of love, and so many more miles to cover.
I was already past my due date with my son when I became obsessed with hearing this song. I hadn’t heard it in ages and with my son soon to be making his debut, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. So I dragged my very pregnant self to Target and bought Kenny Loggins greatest hits CD and sat in the parking lot and listened to it. I went home and sat in the nursery, decked out in all Winnie The Pooh décor, and listened to it again. Now as I listen to it almost six years later, with that same little guy about to embark on his own adventures, I’m still as excited as I was the day he was born.
8. Cat Stevens –Wild World
When most people hear this tune they automatically think “break up” song, but when I heard it on the radio recently, it kind of struck me how it’s about all the scary things that are out there. Bullies, mean teachers, broken hearts, friends who turn out to not be friends; all the things that a parent can’t ever protect a child from. It truly is a wild world out there.
9. Beautiful Boy- John Lennon
Though I feel so much that my son is growing up, this song makes me realize the reality is, he’s still my boy. And we do have such a long way to go. And each day life with him gets better and better, and I can’t wait to what the next part of his life will bring.
10. Three Little Birds-Bob Marley
If there was one message I could forever embed into my child’s mind to take with him everywhere he goes for the rest of his life, it would be this. Everything little thing is going to be all right.
For everybody who is entering into a new phase of parenthood, whether it is becoming a parent, sending a child off to Kindergarten or college, or sending them into marriage, I wish you the best, and if music captures you like it does me, listen to these with a hanky nearby.
20 Sep 2008 Leave a Comment
So it’s been a million years since I’ve blogged, not that I haven’t been writing…. Most of my free time has been, well not free.
School! That’s right I’m about a month into my first semester back at school, and my feelings are mixed. I am enjoying it, my teachers are very cool, and lucky for me I;m actually younger than some of the people I have class with. Which has gone a long way in easing my fear of being lost in a sea of eighteen year olds. I look forward to going, and have started hitting the starbucks drive-through to help me get through the late night (Thursday, when Im there until 10PM). Where it gets slightly overwhelming is the workload for semester. With working full-time, writing during all my free-time, and being a mom, and taking care of this nice two story home, well let’s just say the math doesn’t add up. There are simply not enough hours in the day.
Which is why it’s so funny that on top of all that I’m chairing the Publicity comittee for the local PTA. It’s not taking up too much time, and I love being a part of something like that. The community at Patricks’s school, and well our neighborhood, is just awesome. I feel a little lame for enjoying it so much, but I do. In fact I wish I was able to do more. But with the daycare still going, I still lack a lit of freedom in volunteering and stuff.
That could soon come to pass though. I didn’t get the gig at About.com. I was bummed at first, but am hoping for something else to come along. WIth the couple gigs I currently have going on, I figure I am one, maybe two more, regular gigs away from being able to make the switch to freelancing full-time. I’m not sure when, but hopefully not to long. Needless to say, that’s why I;m investing so much time into it. It’ll be worth it in the end.
Cheyanne has now started pre-school and is having a hard time adjusting. I never really went through a separation anxiety thing with Patrick, at least not like this . She screams and cries, and asks me to stay. I am a professional child care provider. I am going to school for child development. In fact I’m studying these actual behavior issues RIGHT NOW. But it doesn’t matter how well you understand the issue of separation anxiety, or how well you deal with when it’s someone else’s child. When it’s your baby crying, it just flat sucks. But I’m smart enough to know that she’s going to be just fine, in fact she’s already doing better.
That’s pretty much the jist of it all. For now anyway. School, writing, and work. Exhaustion. The holiday break cannot come soon enough…….
24 Aug 2008 1 Comment
I’ve been neglecting my blog for weeks now! It’s not on purpose, I’ve just been keeping up with other writing gigs that are actually paying gigs (woo hoo) and they’ve been sucking up all my free time. I did not get the position at About.com but the editor moved me right into training for another position (that I would MUCH prefer to have), so I’m smack dab in the middle of prep, again. I am so hoping that it works out. If I get it, I may be able to stop doing daycare and freelance full time. It would be a dream come true. Writing for a living would be spectacular. On top of it being what I want to do, it would give me so much more freedom with the kids.
Speaking of kids, tomorrow Patrick starts kindergarten. I am just in shock. I can’t believe that he’s going to be going to school. Not pre-school, but real school. It’s crazy!!! I am wrenching with emotion and have butterflies in my stomach. On to of that Cheyanne starts pre-school next week. What happened to my babies?
Speaking of school, Allen and I both started school last week. So far so good. It’s going to be fun, a lot of work, but fun. I’m a little overwhelmed because when I signed up back in June for the fall semester, I wasn’t doing the writing like I am now. I’m a little anxious at trying to work full-time, write almost full-time, and go to school twice a week and fit in homework. Oh yea, and run my household and help my kids adjust to starting school themselves. The biggest relief would be if I could get a couple more writing gigs, and stop the daycare….
In other news, we went to a wedding yesterday. The daughter of a family that we’re pretty close with. It was a lovely ceremony, and we had a wonderful time. Food, music, and atmosphere were all awesome. I had one thing that I perturbed me, just a bit. The vows. It was a very Christian ceremony, which is great, but the vows actually included asking the groom if he will make an income that can support her, and retain the position as leader of the family. Her vows were about supporting the husband and keeping a good home. I had to check my cell phone and make sure I was in the right year. It’s strange because the family is full of strong women, and it just didn’t jive with how I see the bride at all.
It was actually the groom I felt more upset for. I’m not unrealistic in the fact that gender roles exist in today world, and that’s ok to a degree. Men are men, women are women. There will always be differences. But, I also think in a marriage, or lifetime commitment, a man and woman should be equal partners. In this day and age it’s unfair to place the burden of supporting a household on one person. Unless of course it’s what works for that particular couple, but I think just assuming that a woman should have a choice whether she wants to work or not, and a man does not, seems uncool. It reminded me of that scene form the Kevin Bacon movie, She’s Having a Baby.
Maybe it’s just me…
28 Jun 2008 Leave a Comment
That’s right, red skies. Though where I live in California isn’t too close to the numerous raging wildfires burning through out the bay area, but it is close enough to have had the very freaky red smoky haze covering the sky all week long. Every morning watching the sunrise is almost like watching scenes from that classic eighties flick, Night Of The Comet. The weather has gone from cool to hot again, and has continued to carry a eerie breeze every single day. Here in California, we call this strange eerie weather, Earthquake weather.
The bad air quality, which has led officials to recommend not being outside any more than we have to, is the cause of the horrid cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose I’ve been fighting all week as well. I guess it could be a cold, but I don’t know. By the way, that picture is actually from Night Of The Comet, it’s not Livermore….
So where should I start with my week? The good, the bad, or the pointless? How about the bad? So one of my daycare parents gave me notice today. SUCKS. She gave me just two days shy of a two week notice, which is what my contract calls for, but I’m not going to push it. She is broke and can’t afford daycare anymore, so her mom is going to watch her. I feel for her, I really do, but man, why now? We were just finally starting to recover from the whole bankruptcy thing, and with the little extra money I was going to be making writing things were going to start to get a little better finally, but NO. I have already put out an add, but so far not one call. So many people are out of work, that there’s just not a whole lot of people looking for daycare. I may be getting a little girl I used to watch part time back, but we’ll have to see for sure on Monday. Why is it, just when things start looking good, they go right back to bad? I feel like Charlie Brown. AARRRGGG!
And in crazy lady news, the cat lady has returned! In case you missed it, here’s what went down last week. While trying to find out why we hadn’t received our state refund, I found out from the franchise tax board that our refund had been denied because the paperwork was incomplete! That’s right, stupid cat lady made up a phone number and left out all the information on the tax form that requested all our pre-school child tax care credit information. She MADE UP a phone number. The FTB person walked me through filling out the form and I faxed it back, but they said it would take about 8 weeks for them to review it and allow the refund. So we decided to wait until then to pay the crazy cat lady. It only seemed fair, after everything she put us through when we couldn’t get a hold of her before the bankruptcy, and now finding out she didn’t even complete the paperwork! We had every intention of paying her, she was just going to have to wait until we got that refund.
So I called her yesterday and left a very nice message for her explaining this. Honestly, I was very nice about it, and told her she could call me back if she had any questions. Funny thing, when it comes to her not getting paid, she is suddenly able to return a phone call pretty quickly… anyhow, she had a snarky tone right off the bat, and anyone who knows me knows that I dish snarky, I DO NOT take snarky. I remained cool, and she explained that she had called the FTB, and that they had told her that not only were we not getting our refund because of the bankruptcy (untrue, we know first hand that the judge/trustee allowed us to keep our refunds) but that there was nothing she could do to collect her payment that we owed her (another lie, like just because we’re in bankruptcy we can go around not paying people for their services).
Obviously she talked to a generic operator, because she can’t get our tax information without our permission. So I explained to her about the incomplete paperwork, and she asked what information I had to back that up? So, having the form in front of me, I rattled off the form number and all the empty lines, and the phone number she made up. She kept saying that she doesn’t make up phone numbers. I told her, well maybe it’s a real number, but it’s not one I’ve ever seen. I kept telling her that we were going to pay her, but she kept interrupting me and saying that we were just going to have to pay her if it was in our hearts to do so (snarky tone still raging). I, still being polite, again tried to explain to her about the incomplete paperwork. She began to YELL over me saying bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye, until she finally hung up.
I immediately called her back and told her to suck it, that I hope her cats choked on a hair ball, and that she would not be getting paid until sometime after hell froze over.
Ok, so I didn’t really call her back, but I did decide that my heart feels very strongly that she should indeed suck it, and won’t be getting paid. So suck it, crazy cat lady.
Now, onto to the good news, we won the lottery!!!! Not the CA state lottery, but the Kindergarten lottery! Two weeks ago we received the letter that stated they had too many kids registered for our home school, and that they were doing a lottery for the open spots. We are in! This may seem silly to some, but our school is a three minute walk from our front door, dragging all the kids across town to some other school, on top of getting Cheyanne to pre-school would have been horrific. So yay for us!
16 Jun 2008 Leave a Comment
So Friday I get a letter in the mail from the school district saying that they didn’t have enough spots to fill all the kids who are registered for Kindergarten at our home school (neighborhood school). When I say “home school” I mean I can see the darn Kindergarten classrooms from my kitchen window, that’s how close we are. So because priority is given to kids who already have siblings attending the school and then to children whose parents work for the school district, and then everyone in the area that our school is in. After the priority kids that leaves 54 openings for which there are 78 kids registered! The letter said that that they are going to do a lottery to fill those remaining spots, and the rest of the kids will be assigned other schools in the city. Does that suck or what? I called the school district and let them have what for. The lady was actually very sympathetic, but of course there was nothing she could do. The lottery is on Tuesday, and if I call around 4pm I can find out if we got in instead of waiting for the letter in the mail. I’m so frustrated right now. One of the things that made this house perfect was that it was only a two minute walk to school!! I can;t imagine having to drive all the daycare kids to and form another school across town everyday, on top of Cheyanne’s pre-school schedule. I told the lady to go ahead and get used to me, because I will probably be getting to know her well over the next 15 years…
Well Thursday was the finale of my secret obsession, Celebacadabra. My man, C. Thomas Howell kicked cocky little Hal Sparks butt! Woo Hoo! I’m actually sad to see it end. Then yesterday I watched Outsiders. C. Thomas Howell did well, but should have had a much bigger career. Scott Baio is going to be doing a new show VH1 next fall. The untitled show will take a group of former heartthrobs and follow them as they try and revive their careers. If C. Thomas Howell is in it, I’m IN. Maybe they should just go ahead and get the whole cast of Outsiders (minus Crazy Cruise of course) and start from there. Hey VH1, if you’re reading this, you have my full support on that. Oh and since you’re here, how about bringing back Behind The Music & Bands Reunited?
Yesterday Patrick & Allen went out for some Father;s Day bonding and saw the Hulk. They both loved it. Cheyanne and I went swimming at the pool, and then did out nails. I painted hers and she painted mine. It was so cute!!! One of our first real girly bonding moments. She was quite precise too for a three year old. I have no intention of taking the polish off anytime soon, she’s way too proud of it. We brushed each other’s hair and watched the Outsiders (see above). I figure a girl is never to young to meet the original eighties heartthrobs. Lowe, Howell, Macchio, Dillon, Cruise, Estevez, and of course Swayze!
Speaking of which, I read in EW this week that Patrick Swayze is has responded well to treatment for his cancer. That’s always great to hear, I wish him nothing but good health.
That brings me of course to Father’s Day. We went out to Napa to have a BBQ with my dad. It was my step mom’s brother’s house, and it was nestled way up in Soda Canyon in the Napa hills. I swear it was one of the most beautiful pieces of land,. EVER. It was just gorgeous. I wouldn’t mind to live in a place like that! The best part though was seeing my dad. He looks so unbelievably great for someone who is undergoing both radiation & chemotherapy. At the same time, mind you. We don’t really know how the cancer is responding to the treatment, but his oncologist is amazed at how well my dad is taking at all. Not that he isn’t in a lot of pain. Especially on a day like today, he was pretty much done after a couple of hours, but he stuck it out. He can’t talk for very long at a time, but the doctors didn’t think he’d be talking at all anymore at this point. We are all keeping our hopes up, especially after a day like today. 13 more days of radiation and one more round of chemo to go….
Happy Father’s Day!!!!