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We're not in Kansas Anymore, Toto.

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Bear with me. Oct. 5th, 2005 @ 10:49 am
Ok folks, I have decided to look at other hosting options for this blog. I have set up over at typepad for a 30 day trial, for anyone who wants to check it out offer an opinion of the ease in which you can interact, feel free. The address is http://notinkansasanymoretoto.typepad.com/were_not_in_kansas_anymor/

I haven't really posted anything there, but I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts. If it seems to work better, then I'll move the journal over there. Its easier to interact and comment on that system, and I would have a lot more freedom to design the page itself. See what you think.

School pictures Oct. 3rd, 2005 @ 11:26 am
My God, people. Have you ever seen anything so adorable?


The Meades take the courthouse Sep. 29th, 2005 @ 04:40 pm
Both Trip and I were in court today, at opposite ends of the city. He had jury duty, and it looks like he may have been picked for a case. I, on the other hand, had to go to traffic court.

See, they have this bizarre thing in California, when you are issued a ticket, you are required to show up in court. Back in August I got caught by a red light camera after picking up Trip at the airport. This means that as I was moving forward for what I thought was a yellow light I had time for, at the exact same time I hit the line it turned red, the camera went off, and I'm totally caught. I knew it, although I felt like there was an odd circumstance. I would have made the light no problem if the woman in front of me had not come to a complete, bewildering stop in the middle of the intersection. She just, stopped. For no good reason. I think she was confused as to where to go, or maybe she realized she didn't mean to be in the turn lane, I DON"T KNOW what her problem was, but the guy behind me honked, and it startled me, and I moved out into the intersection. And the camera went off, with a flashbulb like the damn sun, leaving you no doubt that you are screwed, and you can just wait for your punishment to come in the mail.

Sure enough, when it comes, it comes with pictures, just so there's no denying anything. This is your car, behind the line where you should have been stopped. Then this is your car, moving through the intersection 7.2 seconds after the yellow light triggered (apparently they measure from the yellow light, in order to make you feel more like an idiot for not stopping when you are supposed to, when it turns yellow.) (Wherein my children say, "Mom, hurry up!" when the light turns yellow, but I digress.) This is the rear of your car, where your license plate is fully captured. And finally, in the last picture, this is you, in a closeup, noticeable panic on your face because of the sun-flash, so that you may not try to show up and deny that you were actually the person driving the car.

And then you turn over the page, looking for the part where it tells you how much money you must pay to the county of San Diego, and there is nothing. There is no cost on the affadavit of the ticket. Its like shopping at Neiman Marcus - these things have no price tags because they are way too expensive for you, you moron. So you wait, and about a week later, you get another notice, this one says, WARRANT TO APPEAR BEFORE THE SUPERIOR COURT, and oh my god, this one says BAIL is 351 DOLLARS. They call it bail, people. And you must appear, even if all you want to do is write your damn check and take the damn traffic school class to avoid the points to your insurance. You can't just mail it in.

Anyway, this morning I hauled myself over to Superior Court. I had no idea how long this would take - would it be like the DMV, possibly hours? Or just a get in line, pay your fine kind of thing? It only took about an hour. So I get in there, and sit down, and wait for him to call my name. And he seems like a cool guy - white, middle aged, pleasant. He's joking with people, and chatting niceties, and giving the punks every chance he can think of to come up with good reasons why he should give them a break, he's practically begging them to give him a good reason to throw the whole thing out. "Jamal, are you a junior? Your dad has the same name? Is he in public works? Yes, I thought so. Reduced fine." "Next. Ok, kid, so you have to serve 3 days because you didn't show up before the date posted on this. You want to do it now, or in 60 days? Think now, in 60 days you'll have finals, you can't miss that. If you do it now I'll make it 2 days. Ok good. Next."

So I think maybe this won't be that bad. I can explain about the lady in front of me, the guy who honked, I'll get a reduced fine, its all good. But then I get up there, and suddenly this guy turns into Dr. Jekyll. He berated me. He shook his finger at me. I don't really know what he said, I was so freaked out by the sudden change in behavior that I couldn't really hear him over the roar of adrenalin in my ears. But clearly, my very presence pissed him off. He reduced my fine by $120, told me to sign up for traffic school, and move out of his courtroom. I didn't hang around to hear how he spoke to the man behind me.

But it was immediately clear what just happened in there. I am obviously a white, middle class woman, the only one of all three of those things in the entire courtroom at that moment. I have no record. I didn't need extra help putting my life together. I did not miss a courtdate because I was incarcerated for something else. I did not have a dad in Public Works. And apparently that meant I didn't deserve a nicety, or a joke, or anything else. I am not who the California court system is here to serve. Good to know, huh?

The Traveling Wilburys. Sep. 21st, 2005 @ 10:53 am
Saturday morning bright and early (like, 5AM early) we headed to the airport and flew to Birmingham for a quick visit, returning on Tuesday. Some of you may remember the fiasco that was our last trip to Birmingham, on Christmas Eve, when Drew fell off his seat and cracked his head open on the airplane and we had to detour to the Children's Hospital emergency room, courtesy of American Airlines and a taxi because we had taken a shuttle to the airport at 4:30AM. Lessons learned from that little episode? A. Drive ourselves to the airport and park in long term parking, rather than take a shuttle and be stuck in such emergencies, and B. Airplane seats are for butts only, no standing. Definitely no jumping.

So, no traveling problems. Actually, it worked out better than we thought it would, because originally we were scheduled to return to San Diego yesterday on different flights. Will and I were on a flight through Denver, and Trip and Drew were connecting through Chicago O'Hare. The Chicago flight was canceled, so they ended up on our flight. Drew was upset that we weren't all together, but it worked out alright. By some miracle, Will slept the entire length of both flights, and went to bed at a decent time, I guess all that playing with his cousins wore him out.

But it wouldn't be a Meade family travel story without something funny, so here it is. Apparently Drew freaked out at one point because he didn't get to sit in the window seat in his row, he was in the middle, but Will got to sit in the window seat in our row. The fact that you are required to put carseats in the window seat so nobody has to climb over it in case of a quick evacuation meant nothing to Drew, it was just unfair. I'm sure the businessman on the other side of me who ended up in the aisle seat even though he had reserved the window felt the same way. So sorry. Anyway, so the guy sitting next to Drew in the window offers his seat, in order to stop the screaming, I'm sure, but Trip says don't worry, he's fine. Then, the guy, who turns out to be a regional director of some sort for McDonald's, reaches into his wallet and hands Drew 3 cards for free items at McDonalds. Very nice guy. To which my son responds:

"Cool! Can you use these at Burger King?"

Today is picture day at school. Drew wore his yellow seersucker shirt with his light blue sweater vest and his white shorts. His church outfit, the one he wears every single week. It is his favorite outfit in the entire world. The fact that each week I manage to get the dirt out of those shorts and make them sparkly white again is the reason I buy bleach and Spray-n-Wash in the 2 gallon jugs at Costco.

And Friday, on Will's third birthday, we fly out again, this time for Kansas City, where my parents are meeting us at the airport, taking the boys, and Trip and I head up to Iowa for a wedding. I realized yesterday that those kids have flown on seven trips since last November. They have their own frequent flyer accounts on at least 2 airlines. Its ridiculous.

An open letter to the mouse who keeps pooping on my patio at night. Sep. 16th, 2005 @ 01:57 pm
Dear Mouse:

You must stop visiting my patio every single evening and pooping all over my outdoor rug, and under my patio chairs. Each day this week, there has been more and more poop that I have to sweep out after you have your little party on the patio. Today I found poop all over the patio table, and I must say that will not be tolerated. I don't know what you are looking for each night when you come out from under the old planter at the back of the retaining wall, because I am careful to make sure there is not food left on the patio at night. I don't think you are after food anyway, because there's a half eaten string cheese stick on the bricks out by said retaining wall, and its been there for days. It has not been soaked in poison, I promise. Surely you know of it, you pass it on your way to sit outside my bedroom window and squeak and poop at 2:30 am.

Is this because your little cousin died in the garage? That was not my fault. I did not trap him, I didn't even know he was there until yesterday, when I retrieved the mail that came in through the mailslot in the garage door, missing the bin as always and scattering allover the garage floor. I have no idea why he died in there.

But now that I see that you and your little family are getting more and more bold each evening, and have figured out how to get into the garage, I'm afraid I cannot continue to ignore your presence any longer. The man of the household, who loathes cats more than is conceivable to most people with a beating heart, is starting to consider getting one. And I am going to have to set some traps, too. So take this fair warning: either stay inside your little planter box and eat the bountiful spiders and rolypolies, or die. Its up to you.

An open letter to my (several) friends getting married in the near future. Sep. 13th, 2005 @ 05:03 pm
Its just so much easier to post once, than send email three times. This doesn't mean I love you any less, only that I am, as you all know, lazy.

As promised, following is a list of wedding day advice I've culled from various weddings over the years. Some of it happened to me, some happened to other brides and they told me about it, so I'm passing it along. Do with it whatever you want. Enjoy!

* Your back will hurt the day after the wedding. Badly. It's from being on your feet, and standing up straight all day wearing a big, heavy dress (and the veil is heavy, too). Not really anything you can do about it except have lots of Advil handy. But it will surprise you.

*. Have a Kleenex or handkerchief tucked into your flower bouquet, or your sleeve if you have a long sleeved dress, for emergency crying/nose running while standing at the altar. Your groom might want to have a handkerchief in his pocket (one he would actually use instead of a fancy one) for the same reason. Because looking lovingly into your new spouse's eyes with a snotty nose is not so pretty. And what happens when you try really hard not to cry? Your nose runs, of course.

* Two words: Waterproof Mascara. Because you will not be successful with the trying not to cry.

*Lightly dust your hands with a little bit of baby powder right before you pick up your bouquet. Your hands will start sweating once the adrenaline starts going in hyper-drive, and that bouquet gets really slippery. If you have a cascading bouquet where all you have to hold on to it is a short plastic handle, wrap the handle in white sports/firstaid tape to give it a bit more grip. if you're clutching a ribbon wrapped nosegay it will be less of a problem.

* Emergency MacGyver supplies to have with you at the church: Scope or Altoids, bobby pins, safety pins, clear nail polish (for stocking runs) Q-tips, white sports tape (as mentioned above), duck tape (if a hem falls out, scotch tape is not strong enough), double-sided scotch tape (to help hold boutonnières together, or possibly to hold that veil on your head), and those little Dr. Scholl's donut things for bunions. Those shoes are brand new, you know. How many times have you worn them around the house to break them in like you said you were going to? That's what I thought.

* Also, have handy the cellphone number of someone not in the wedding (and not bitter about that) who can run last minute errands to the CVS to buy any of these type of supplies. It must be a girl. Or, possibly, a gay guy. We all know why. Most men cannot be trusted to walk into a store, buy something that may be feminine, and return within the allotted 5 minutes, unless they are currently a fraternity pledge.

* Have someone assigned to carry a lipstick for you at the reception, and more specifically, to make sure you still have lipstick on for all major pictures. Because pictures taken where your lipstick has worn off will piss you off later. A lot.

* Have a person assigned to both of you (so, two people, possibly) to rescue you from conversations with people from whom you cannot politely escape at the reception. This is a good thing to give to your photographer. If they are really good, they can keep watch, and just come over and grab you and say its time for a picture OVER HERE, and save you from Aunt Edna, who has cornered you and is attempting to feel your breasts to see for herself if its all just padding, or if, as she suspects, you are already pregnant.

* Always take a bridesmaid or two with you when you go to the bathroom. You'll be surprised how hard it is to pull that dress up and sit and pee after you've had a half a glass of wine and NO FOOD SINCE BREAKFAST.

* Speaking of food, try to eat something at the reception besides cake. Preferably something that will not give you dragon breath.

* This one kind of depends on the personality and relationship you have with your dad, or whomever will walk you down the aisle. I had to specifically tell my dad he was not allowed to speak to me, at all, while we waited in the foyer before our walk down the aisle. This is a time when fathers like to say things that start out like this: "Listen, honey, I just want to take this moment to tell you...". Bad, very bad. Your emotional stability is tenuous at best at this moment, you are fragile, and it will take every nerve ending in your entire body to keep it together for these last precious minutes. You don't want to be already balling when they throw open the double doors and everyone stands and turns to stare at you. He can say all the sweet, cheesy nothings he wants to during your dance together at the reception. For right now, he should just stand there, smile and shut up. And not lock his knees.

* Speaking of standing in the foyer, you may at this very moment feel the unavoidable urge to throw up. (I know several brides who did this - if you are generally a puker, then trust me, it will rear its ugly head here). Try to make sure there is quick access to a door, and a bush, and be sure to lean out far and projectile from the chest, to avoid getting any on the front of the dress (and don't forget your veil!). That Kleenex in your bouquet will come in handy here, too.

* Things will go wrong. Big things. Flower girls will not show up, or will panic and refuse to go down the aisle. Ring Bearers will pee their pants. Groomsmen will possibly be planning tomfoolery. Flowers will wilt or fall apart at the last minute. Your dad might lock his knees and go down right before the doors open. The preacher might say the wrong names. Just relax. Let it all flow off like water off a duck's back. Chances are nobody will know these things but you anyway. And none of it will get in the way of the main event.

* Just smile, hold your head up high, and enjoy every terrifying minute of it.

The Ladykillers. Sep. 12th, 2005 @ 04:22 pm
No, not the movie in which Tom Hanks unsuccessfully attempts a southern accent. No, no, I'm talking about my children. Today we took a little trip to the pediatric dentist, Drew's second visit ever, and Will's first. They both sat totally still while the lady dentist poked, prodded, brushed and flossed their little teeth, a feat more amazing for Will than for Drew. There was no crying, no screaming, there wasn't even any damn fidgeting. And all the poor ladies in the dentist office surely had sore face muscles afterward, from wrinkling their noses and proclaiming such cuteness. Mind you, this is a kid's dentist, its not like they don't get plenty of cuteness every damn day. But, of course, I can see how MY little boys, who walked in together holding hands and batting their mile-high eyelashes like they were giving butterfly kisses coming through the door, could cause such a reaction. When the nurse referred to Drew as Andrew, he said in his grown up voice, holding his hand up in "talk to the hand" position, "Please, just call me Drew." She nearly evaporated right there.

Seriously, the only problem that developed during the entire visit was that Drew couldn't hold the little film thing in his mouth while she tried to get an xray. You know, the thing they stick between your cheek, that you bite down on while it takes the picture? He kept gagging every time she tried to put it in, so she gave up after one xray. On the last try he did his little talk-to-the-hand thing again, and said" I just don't think we can do that." He does seem have an abnormally high gag reflex, and I get just a tiny bit of relief from that, oddly enough, because I know this means he will never be able to open his throat enough to bong a beer in high school.

However, I will point out that by the time we got home from the dentist's office, Drew's face was red, his breath heavy, and he now sports a 101.2 fever. Which probably explains both the extra high gag reflex, and the calm demeanor. Welcome to a new year, new school, and new germs. *Sigh*. Poor little guy went to bed at 6pm. Will hardly knew what to do with himself until bedtime.

This is my soapbox. Don't like it? Kiss my grits and go read somewhere else. Sep. 7th, 2005 @ 09:43 am
It occurred to me yesterday, as I was browsing the internet looking for ways I could help the victims of Katrina, that there is huge potential for people to fall through the cracks. Although I am as frustrated with the total lack of coordination and response in New Orleans as the next person, I think that now, finally, things are starting to get under control there. Most of the immediate needs of displaced victims are starting to be addressed. And while its certainly not contained, we are on the way to fixing the short term problem. Now we must start thinking of the long term problem. And thus, the cracks.

Where will these people live? Where will they work? What will happen to their pets, if they've been rescued or allowed to bring them with? Where will they receive their state/federal assistance checks? How will they apply for jobs and driver's licenses and new social security cards if they have no permanent address and no paperwork, no way to prove who they are? And to that end, what will happen when some people choose to use this as an opportunity to for identity theft? Because that will happen, some people are just wired that way.

How will people get medicines, prescriptions, rehabilitation and treatment for chronic conditions? And finally, and probably most importantly, how will they get mental health services, so that the number of people who stand on the I-10 bridge and put their government issued service weapon into their mouth can be kept to the absolute minimum? Nevermind the people who are refusing to leave their homes, rumor has it, because they aren't being allowed to take their pets with them and would rather die than leave them behind, death is a better option for them. This is how trauma works, folks. How many people each year actually seek out mental health services on their own, under normal conditions? You think these people are going to line up for head shrinking, when they have bigger, and more immediate fish to fry? Like drinking water, food, and a freaking cot?

Its overwhelming, actually, to browse through all the sites on the internet that are asking these questions, and offering aid, charity, money. Maybe you can donate, if you can get the http://www.redcross.org page to load, or http://www.salvationarmyusa.org, or even http://www.habitat.org. Go look at http://www.petfinder.com, who is helping to match owners with lost pets, and provide guidance to rescuers in the gulf, and set up a forum for people who left their pets behind to go ask someone to rescue them and contact them. And then there's http://www.plannedparenthoodlouisiana.org, who is organizing to provide birth control for women in shelters who don't have access to their regular prescriptions. What, you think that's not important? You think people who have NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE wouldn't dare have sex in an open stadium under a scratchy, gray army blanket? Please. And then click on over to http://www.nola.com, and find out what the locals are up to, and read just how pissed and lost they really are.

Many people, like the girls over at http://www.beenthere.typepad.com/ , are concerned with the way that big-ticket aid money bottlenecked after 9-11, and have set up clearinghouse websites to give aid directly to the people who need it, rather than go through the major veins of support. Yesterday I shipped a 30 lb. box to the Fairmont United Methodist Church of Houston, who is taking clothing and toiletries for people at the Astrodome, information I got from this site. http://www.craigslist.com is offering the same thing - matching people who want to help, with people (that have internet access, obviously) that need it. My college sorority, http://www.zetataualpha.org, has posted information regarding college students who may be screwed now that they have no school to go to, no dorm to live in, no classes to go to. I'm sure many of the other sororities and fraternities that have campuses in the area are providing information, too. There are colleges and universities offering last minute applications, housing, and grants if needed, over at http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Colleges_offering_admission_to_displaced_New_Orleans_students. And this is by no means, a comprehensive list. Its just a beginning.

Here's a few more that I will post here, but I found most of these at the Been There site as mentioned above:

Pets/Animals: http://www.bestfriends.org, http://www.noahswish.org, http://www.hsus.org, http://www.aspca.org
Texas donations: http://www.helpinghandsfromtexas.com/locations.html, http://www.goodwillhouston.org, http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/Katrina.htm
LA and MS sites: http://www.convoyofhope.org, http://www.friendships.org/hurricane.html, http://www.sohmission.org/KatrinaHelp.html, http://www.homesforkatrina.org


But here's what worries me, people. We will forget. We will watch CNN less and less and we start to get over it and go back to our lives. For us, life will get back to normal, and we will move on. Because we can. And people will fall through the cracks. The larger percentage of people we dealt with on 9-11 were survivors who weren't even there - families who had to rebuild without someone. Their homes weren't destroyed, their closets were full of clothes, their pets weren't left behind, for the most part. Most of the people in Louisiana are alive, folks, and they have nothing. Its totally different.

We must be vigilant in our monitoring of this catastrophy. We cannot just throw $100 at the Red Cross and then turn a blind eye, saying we did something. This is different from 9-11, we were not attacked in our own country by faceless, hateful people, Our own government let these people down. And I notice that the verbiage is different, right there. We all saw 9-11 as an affront to all of us, all across the country. We said things like "we were attacked", and we all mourned. This time, we watch CNN and say, "God, those poor people down there. Could you imagine?" And then we go back to work, we drive carpool, we go to Starbucks. Because its them, not us. I'm not going to play the race card, because I think the response was much the same a few years ago when the upper midwest flooded, and nobody can deny that area is primarily white. The poverty card, maybe, but not the race card.

But in actuality, what is also overwhelming at these websites are the postings from people who want to help. Craigslist is really the best of these - people who are posting with "I have a house in Mesa, AZ you can live in for 6 months if you can get here." Or "I will foster your pets in my home in Chicago as long as you need." These aren't realistic, because, seriously, if someone had the ability to get their pet to someone in Chicago to be fostered, then they wouldn't need that help in the first place. But its the thought that counts. And people are really thinking, trying to figure out what they can do. If I were younger, and single, and didn't have children and financial responsibilities of my own, I would already be IN Louisiana, doing whatever I could to offer relief. But I can't. When I was a senior in college and the Northridge earthquake hit, I remember it took every fiber in my body not to follow my instinct and ask my dad to buy me a plane ticket to California so I could go help - mind you, I have no emergency or medical training whatsoever. Classes were starting in a matter of days, I had a job. It wasn't feasible. But it hurt, sitting there, and watching and not being able to do something.

So I stand on my soapbox and say I'm really impressed with the overall reaction of the silent majority, thankfully not so silent right now. Its beautiful.

But, wow, if ever there were an example of bureaucracy at its ugliest, this is it.

What a week. Sep. 2nd, 2005 @ 09:41 am
I haven't yet said anything about the devastation in New Orleans and along the gulf coast, because I don't really know what to say. I'm so horrified by the total lack of response coordination that I'm practically speechless, beyond "this is fucking ridiculous." Now, I will say, that the reporting has been a little one sided on the sensationalism, that CNN isn't even bothering to report on the fact that the Salvation Army has had mobile feeding command centers on site since Tuesday, and has the ability to put out 500,000 meals per day. Granted, they are set up on the edges of town because they can't get in past the water either, but if the freaking coast guard and others rescuing people from rooftops had known this, perhaps they could have stopped evacuating rescued victims to the superdome or the convention center and instead dropped them on edge of town with one of these salvation army sets, things might have been better. Because who decided it was a good idea to take more people to an island with no salvation in sight? The cartoon show "Rescue Heroes" slogan is "No one gets left behind!" Will someone please explain to me how this became an unattainable goal in the richest, best educated and largest industrialized nation in the fucking world?

Anyway. Breathe.

Drew's first week of kindergarten has gone wonderfully. He adores it. He is happy, he is cooperative in the mornings about getting dressed and heading out the door, he is so excited to go. Will, too, is excited to go to kindergarten, on the days when he has to go with me to drop off his brother. This morning they skipped together holding hands all the way form the car to the building.

Did I mention what Drew did at the first meeting with his teacher and class last week at the open house? As the teacher was taking them on a tour, and showing them one of the bathrooms, she had all twenty kids crammed in a bathroom pointing out the facilities (actually 21, because Will refused to accept that he couldn't be part of this parade), and Drew decided this was a good time to go. He just dropped trou right there in front of everyone, flushed, and washed his hands without being told. The teacher looked a little taken aback, and clearly thought about trying to stop him from doing it, but quickly realized this was a train she couldn't stop and so just moved on, reminding everyone to only take one paper towel as the washed their hands. I warned her later that he indeed, as she may have noticed, has no modesty, and so may do that on the playground as well. She said, "Oh, that's ok, we have at least one every year!"

Last night, Drew stood on his bed after putting on his jammies and brushing his own hair and teeth. As he admired himself in the mirrored closet doors, he said, "By the way, I look handsome!"

In the car the other day, I was sort of complaining to him about all the stuff I had to do, I've been a little overwhelmed this week, possibly from watching too much CNN, and I said, "you know buddy, this mommy stuff is hard sometimes. Not the being your mommy part, but all the work that goes along with it." He thought about that for a minute, and I didn't think he was going to comment. Then he said, "Well, what if you had two mommies to share the work? You know, like baby Maya?"

Baby Maya is my second cousin, the daughter of my cousin Liz and her partner, Jill. When Drew first met them, and I explained that baby Maya had two mommies, he found that interesting for precisely 12.3 seconds, then moved on. I simply explained to him that families are different. Some kids have a mommy and a daddy, some kids have two mommies, some kids live with only their mommy and visit daddy sometimes, or vice versa. Since he has friends who have divorced parents and I could give him specific examples of how families can be different, he totally got it and we've never had to revisit it. It just didn't matter. I wish it were this easy for adults.

Anyway, knowing how his mind works, I realized that he was thinking that with two mommies, the mommy workload could be divided evenly, and thus solve my problem. I said, well, even when there are two mommies, someone has to work, to make money for the family, so they can buy groceries and clothes and go out for pizza sometimes. At least one of the mommies would have to go to work everyday, maybe both of them would.

He thought for another minute and said, "Well, what if there were three mommies? Wait - Mom, what if you had 100 mommies!"

I said, "I think I could probably make that work."

Welcome to the first day of Kindergarten. Aug. 29th, 2005 @ 09:45 am
Today is the first day of kindergarten for Drew. I walked him to the door of his class, he gave me a low five and walked in, put his lunchbox in his cubby, pulled his nametag from the bulletin board, and never. looked. back. I turned around to leave and there was another mom standing kind of behind me, watching the classroom, although I have no idea which child was hers. As I moved past her I saw her mouth drop open in shock as she watched me, like, "Oh My God, you're just going to leave him there? You're not even going to stand here and take pictures? You're not going to stand here and watch to make sure he doesn't fall to the floor screaming in fear? Why aren't you crying, you wicked, horrible mommy who leaves her child at kindergarten?"

I glanced back at the classroom and then back at her with my eyebrows raised as if to point out that, in fact, none of the children in the class were even remotely interested in what was going on at the doorway, with all the mommies crowded around staring at them as if they were animals at the zoo, waiting for someone to break from the pack and run screaming for the freedom of the door. Which, of course, none did. Whatever. I've got stuff to do.

It turns out, that Will was the one who had trouble this morning. Trip took him to school, so that I could take Drew in just a little less confusion. Once they got in the car and started backing out of the driveway, apparently Will kind of panicked, having just been struck with the realization that Drew wasn't coming to preschool anymore. Trip said he didn't cry, worse, he just quietly whimpered, occasionally saying "I want my Drew", all the way to preschool. Trip said he stayed with him for a few minutes this morning instead of the usual drop and run, and told the director Will's concerns, and she said there were several younger siblings this morning going through the same thing.

To that end, I thought I would share with you a note that Drew's preschool teacher left me last week:

"Drew was riding tricycles with Cole, when he yelled over to Will. He said, "You're my best bud. Come get in my trailer." (one of the tricycles has a little ride-on trailer hitched on the back.) Then Drew asked Cole if he would take care of his little brother, because he has to go to kindergarten soon and can't watch him. He asked Cole if he would tell a teacher if Will was crying, or get an ice sponge if he got hurt".

Granted, this is the same kid who tackled his little brother in the wading pool yesterday afternoon and tried to hold his face under the water, but hey, boys will be boys, after all.
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