bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘high school’


Okay, that was supposed to be the sound of helicopter rotors.  Did anyone think that?  Oh, well. Titles are tough. Moving on…

I am having trouble deciding how to balance between being a mom who lets her kids learn responsibility on their own and being a helicopter parent.

My son is a Freshman. I asked one of my son’s teachers if hounding him to do an ongoing project was “helicoptering.” She was very vague. So, in other words, not helpful. But, then again she’s probably half my age and doesn’t have kids. She said things like, “If he would work on his project for an hour a day instead of waiting until the last minute, that would be beneficial.” Well, duh. My question is, “Do I treat him like I did when he was in elementary school and tell him, ‘You can’t be with your friends until you complete an hour on this project?'” Does that teach him independence?

My daughter is different. She’s doing very well in school. In most classes. One class she is bombing. I don’t know how to help her. We study for the test (it’s math, by the way), and she gets it. She takes the test and BOOM! Bad news. I asked her how her homework grade can be 100%, then get so many wrong on the test. Apparently, the homework is just an “effort” grade. If you do the homework, you get 100%, regardless of how well you do on it. Well, that explains why the homework doesn’t figure into the final grade, but it’s a little misleading.

But, she’s in 7th grade. I don’t have as much of an issue with making her sit down and work on the math with me each day. She’s still learning “the ropes.” But, am I doing the Freshman any good by “mothering” him? In just 3 1/2 years, he’ll be in college. On his own. Certainly as far as studying goes.  His grades are good. No complaints. Do I just let it go?

When I was in MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers), someone said, “When your kids get older, it doesn’t get easier. It just gets different.”  Amen, sister!

Okay, I See the Irony

Last night, Tom and I went to the high school Open House.  Mark’s Spanish teacher had a misspelled word on her wall.  I pointed it out to Tom, and rolled my eyes.  He said, “Yeah, I read your blog.  But, did you even proofread your post from the day before?”  I replied, “Yes.  I fell asleep.”  He said, “You could tell.”  ha

 But, if you read the comments, I acknowledged that it made no sense.  But, I guess not everyone reads the comments.  So I’m letting you know, yes, I get it.  We can’t always get it right.  But, honestly.  If you are a teacher, and you are putting up posters around your room…Oh forget it.  I give up.  No, I can’t.  USE SPELL CHECK FOR PETE’S SAKE! No excuses!  Use the technology you’ve been given!!!!

Like a Baby

Ever wonder why people use the phrase “slept like a baby?”  In my experience, babies aren’t that great of sleepers.  They wake up several times a night.  What’s so wonderful about that?

But, the phrase, “cry like a baby” makes a lot more sense.  Babies cry.  Hard.  And, so did I yesterday.  I sent my son off to high school as a Freshman.  Sometimes he looks so grown-up and other times, like yesterday, he looked so young. As soon as I shut the door as he walked to school, I bawled my head off.  Tom looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.  So many things were swirling in my head.  Would he actually find his locker in time? (As of that morning, he still didn’t know exactly where it was.) Would he have someone to sit with at lunch? Since he forgot his lunch and left it at home, would he be able to figure out how buying lunch worked?  Would he find all his classes?  And, finally, how did my little baby grow up so fast?

I’m happy to report that he had a good day.  Even though I had to wait until 5:30 to find out.  He has joined the Cross Country team this year, and, in fact said that was his favorite part of the day.  🙂 

And, yes, I waited and waited for him to come home.  I was out in the front yard “pulling weeds” so that I could see him when he was coming down the sidewalk.

Back to the Future-Part 2

Now that I’ve decided to attend my 25th high school reunion, I’m a mess of emotions.  I’m really excited.  I’m really nervous.  I’m going to throw up.

I mention that I’m nervous to Karen who says, in her “matter of fact” way, “Why go, then, Mom?  If you are so nervous, just don’t go.”  Well, yeah.  So, I explain that I am more excited than nervous, and just like trying out for Willy Wonka in May, I’m going to do something that makes me a little nervous, but that I think I will enjoy if I just do it.  She says she understands.  Maybe she does.  Or maybe she just wants me to shut up about it.  I’m going with the former.

The day passes by quickly and soon it is time to think about what to wear.  Ugh.  I had already told myself years ago that the time of trying to lose weight before these people see me has long gone.  I am a much more confident person now.  If they think I’m fat, too bad.  I don’t care.  And, as all good mothers say, “Then, those people aren’t your friends anyway.”  I’m not going to see those people.  I’m going to see the people that were nice to me back when I didn’t have the confidence or the rockin’ sense of humor I do now.

I told Karen that I didn’t know what to wear.  She, of course, says, “I’ll be glad to help you with that!”  I quickly remind her that she’s got Mom’s wardrobe to deal with, not hers.  There will not be a lot of choices.

So, I headed upstairs and quickly laid out the three possible choices.  Ugh again.  I could hear my mom’s voice in my head telling me I should have decided this earlier and bought a new outfit.  And, she was right.  But, there was no doing that now.  Karen looked at my choices and said, “Well, this one I like, but it is just too much black, I think.”  I tried not to say, “Oh no!  Black looks better on people that are heavy or fat or whatever!”  She pondered over the other choices and I said, “Well, I liked that outfit because I could wear my cute pink shoes with it.”  That got her attention.  She’s Imelda Marcos Jr.  “Okay, go try that on.”  I did and she said, “Oh yes.  That looks really good.  It doesn’t look like too much black at all.”  Now, if the rest of you out there don’t have your own Karen in your life, I will lend her to you.  No one makes me feel better about how I look than my daughter.  She will tell me if she doesn’t like what I’m wearing.  (In fact, she told Tom yesterday, “Really, Dad?  Navy blue shirt and black shorts?  No.”  And we were just out at Innsbrook and wouldn’t be seeing ANYONE!)  Fashion is her thing.  So, when I got ready, I felt really, really good.  I needed that.

I did my hair, and it looked great!  YES!  Decent outfit, good hair, I’m good to go.  I get ready to leave when I realize I don’t have any pictures of the family to show off.  Isn’t that what people do at reunions?  Crud.  I am now running around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for photos.  I’m even shouting aloud, “What kind of mother doesn’t have photos of her kids?”  I finally find one of each kid.  Sure, they are from two years ago, but they still look like my kids.  Now, for a photo of Tom.  Huh.  Every picture I find that isn’t already in a scrapbook is so old he doesn’t even have a beard.  He’s had that for three years now.  This is sad.  Mark yells in at me, “Hey, Mom, do you have your phone?”  I scream, “YOU ARE BRILLIANT!”  Tom is the main picture on my phone.  YES!  (Turns out, Mark just wanted to know if someone had called me.  He wasn’t trying to help with the photo issue.  Oh, well, I still hugged him for it.)

Then, I was out the door.  Nervous.  Nervous.  Nervous.  I kept telling myself that if the place was filled with “Who are you?” people, I could just leave.  No formal dinner or anything.  So, just get back in my car and go.  Good.  I have an escape plan.

I call my friend in Dallas and she talks to me about her demon child and I can now concentrate on something else.  Well, that and driving.   She wishes me good luck and I hang up the phone.  I put on my lipstick, and I walk to the bar. 

The reunion was being held at Harpo’s in Chesterfield which has a patio as well as the inside bar/restaurant.  I can’t tell whether the people standing around on the patio are from PCH or not.  Oh, man.  I am wishing I wasn’t doing this.  I don’t recognize anyone.  But, my legs keep going.  I walk up the stairs and there is one of my Facebook buddies.  I grab her and hug her like she is the only life preserver in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!  I tell her how glad I am to see her and she introduces me to her husband, and then another classmate that is standing with her.  I now see Problem #1 and it is a biggie.  No one is wearing nametags.  What the?  I said, “Uh, no one is wearing nametags.”  I love stating the obvious.  Both ladies agree that nametags would be nice, and I said, “Heck, I will go over to Schnuck’s and get nametags if I have to!  We NEED nametags!”  I truly think I’m going to hyperventilate.  Instead, I say, “Well, I’m going to go inside and get a drink.”  My friend says, “Oh, yes.  Don’t worry.  We did that first thing too.  We all need a drink before this thing.”  Whew.  I’m not the only one who is nervous.

Tomorrow’s topic:  WHAT WAS IT LIKE ALREADY!?!?!?

Back to the Future

 “I feel like I have been in Back to the Future this weekend.”  One of my high school classmates posted that in her status. It was our 25th high school reunion.  Parkway Central Colts – Class of 1984.  (Always hated that mascot.  But, that is another post.)

I have never attended any of the previous reunions.  I don’t have a lot of fond memories when I think back to high school.  It is one of those periods of my life when, sure there were good events, but mostly I remember going to school, then coming home.  Not much of a life outside of school.  A few friends.  Definitely not considered popular.

But, this year felt different.  My good friend had attended the 20th reunion and reported back that it was a good time.  Still, she was much more popular than I was.  When I heard the 25th was scheduled, I was absolutely not going to attend.  Why relive that time?  It had been 25 years since I had seen ANY of them.  Why go back?

But, then, Facebook entered the equation.  Slowly, I started to see people from high school that brought back GOOD memories.  Now, it’s not like I was ready to pick up the phone and call any of these people.  That’s the great thing about Facebook.  You can just write, “Wow!  You look exactly the same!  I loved looking at your photos!” and that’s the end of the communication.  But, still, the wall that had been separating you for 25 years now has a small crack in it.

The closer it got to the day, the more attending it entered my mind.  And, the night before the informal get-together was to occur, I mentioned to Tom that I was 70% interested in going.  His response:  “That’s a heck of a change from ZERO!”  I nodded.  Admitted that Facebook had made me think about it more.  Then, he asked the big question.  “Do you want me to go too?”  I quickly responded that I wouldn’t do that to him.  He let out a big sigh of relief.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to take him.  I did.  I am so proud of him.  I would have loved to have shown him off.  He’s amazing!  I just knew that he would have a horrible time.  And, I’d be worried about him having a horrible time.  I was worried enough about myself having a good time. 

I posted the status on Facebook:  “To attend or not attend.  That is the question.”  Nothing else.  Just that.  Several fellow alumni figured out I was talking about the reunion.  I was encouraged by all to attend.  Now that I knew more than two people that were going, I was even more intrigued.  I sent a message to my friend from both high school and church and asked what time she was going.  (I had heard two separate start times.)  She told me and said she expected to see me there.  That was it.  I was going.

You know how Back to the Future had three movies?  Well, this topic is going to be divided up that way too.  In bites you can actually swallow.  So tune in tomorrow for Part 2.  🙂

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