A Holiday That Isn’t Yet

I woke up this morning feeling festive. Yes, I know, intellectually, that when a coming blizzard is described as “potentially historic,” I should be more worried about traffic accidents and shivering shut-ins, but, to me, it feels like an impending not-yet-officially-declared holiday. I’m thinking, do we have the makings for cocoa, and are everyone’s mittens dry? Well, alrighty then! Let’s bring it!

Or, that’s how I was feeling before the day started getting me down. This morning I was all set to do a morning workout at the JCC (so I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about missing my evening class if the snow had started), stock up on some groceries, and rush over to the library before it opened to avoid fines. And then I couldn’t find my damn car key. Crap.

What’s unbelievably awesome about our new car is that you don’t have to insert the key into the ignition–you just need to have it on you. My key’s usually deep in the pocket of my backpack or coat, and I’ll literally go days without even seeing it. So I was dressed in work-out gear and toting grocery bags and audio books when I climbed into the car and pushed the button. And. . .  nothing.

It took hours. And yes, there were multiple calls to St. Anthony. I watched the class start time come and go, I called Cute W to ask if he’d brought an extra key to work, and I cleaned. Whenever something’s lost, I always clean. That way, even if you’re not finding anything, you’re at least making progress, right? But I got pretty cranky. Not being able to find one’s keys can seem like a minor inconvenience or like Just More Evidence That Your Life Is A Shambles In Every Way, and this morning, it felt like the latter. The key was eventually located, between sofa cushions, where it must have landed after coming out of a clothing pocket, although I have no recollection of having put the key on my person. But whatever. I’m trying not to be bitter. I’m trying to move on. At the time I found the key, I was close to giving up and walking to the grocery store. Which is lovely when you have a few things to pick up, but my planned purchases were not suitable for hiking. So I guess that’s good.

But meanwhile, it’s still not snowing, and J’s after-school floor hockey class has been cancelled. The school texted me and emailed me, and then someone had J call me, too. Yes, yes, yes: I know. Thank you. So it’s not quite feeling like a holiday, after all.

Speaking of thank you-but-no-thank-you from J’s school, the teachers sent the kids home with marigold seeds at the beginning of the school year. Theoretically, we were going to nurture our little marigolds and watch as they literally blossomed as a symbol of our blossoming children. A week or two a classmate’s parent saw that ours was still alive and kicking. She congratulated me: theirs was long-dead. I know that it was a lovely concept, but I really hate getting something alive to symbolize my children when the survival of said Symbolic Object is not assured. And, sadly, our marigold has died as a result of its own success. . . that little stem got loner and longer, and we tried to support it while keeping it in a sunny spot, but. . .  the stem got crimped. Here it is, the symbol of J and her intellectual growth this year:


Now, that’s just too bad. We tried. Cute W had actually bought a little “grow your own bonsai” kit on a business trip, and the bonsai plants and marigold have been coddled, let me tell you. Plant food and a special plant light and some prime real estate on a table in our dining room. It’s been months and here are the baby trees:


Part of me is relieved that the marigold is out of its misery and we’re now down to two teensy baby plants to try to keep alive. But seriously, I wish schools wouldn’t send home anything alive. . . half the parents don’t manage to pull papers out of the backpacks for weeks, so it’s like authorizing plant-murder. And those of us who actually try could probably spend their time and guilt over something more productive.

Speaking of sending things home from school, there are a few things that I would like to see from school. M, who is an awesome-tastic student, had a less-than-stellar test. I had been told about this less-than-stellar test, and I’ve been informed that this test was particularly poorly received by the bulk of the 7th grade community, and I have now seen the actual score of this test through that miracle of technology, the parent portal (all hail!). But the test itself has never materialized. My daughter has told me that they weren’t given back. Excuse me? I would like to see this test. I would like to know what the test looked like, what she got right, and more importantly, what she got wrong. This seems like a reasonable thing to want to know. It seems like, if there is an indication that material was not entirely grasped, the responsible thing to do would be to review this material to ensure that this material is learned even if that particular unit has passed. And if everyone did horribly on this test and the teacher’s doing something to address it, then I could rest easy, but nobody’s saying anything about anything. So can’t I please ask? I am not That Parent who thinks that their child poops rainbow bubbles and therefore any evidence to the contrary means a conspiracy. I just feel like, if we’re trying to teach the kid and limited evidence suggests that the learning isn’t happening, it’s worth looking into it.

Of course, my desire to see this test is viewed as evidence that I am an Evil Shrew bent on Abusing and Humiliating a daughter who is Clearly A Deep Disappointment To Me. Any mention of the test could have absolutely no purpose but to inflict emotional abuse, clearly. So when my daughter said that bringing home this test was not possible and I said that I’d email the teacher, there was Sorrow and Pain and an insistence that the daughter would acquire this test if only, please, for the love of puppies and butterflies, don’t email the teacher! Because that would only amplify the crushing humiliation. Okay, I said, as I stuck the dagger that I’d intended to shove under my daughter’s fingernails into my waistband. . . for now. I will be asking for the test later in the week, and if I don’t get it, I’m emailing the teacher and just asking this teacher not to rat me out.

And speaking of teachers, I’ve sent another note to our governor expressing my deep disappointment with pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth regarding education. Feeling that way, too? Let him know.

So, the grouchiness continues. I’m ready for the flakes to start falling so I can break out the cocoa and Baileys and be done with the day, already.


One Comment

  1. Aliza

    Please call me next time you can’t find the keys. I was headed out to the Shoprite anyway. It would have been a party!

    Count yourself lucky…. I got the dreaded summons for a conference with the 7th grade team.

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