miss_swamp: (apple)
I know, I know, but it's too long and too emo for Facebook, and my parents are over there.

Hi there.

Lately I've been thinking more and more about moving back to Minnesota. Like maybe, maaaaybe it could happen? Housing there is much more affordable, and the progressivism feels much more authentic, but mostly: I miss my family. I see pictures of my brother and his baby having a casual dinner at my parents' house, but we never have that because we're never there long enough. Plus we stay with them, which brings out my inner 13-year-old in ways that repulse me. If we lived a mile away, the boundaries might be clearer. Maybe I could learn to be a grown-up with them--and have a relationship with my niece.

The pro/con list, I'm realizing, isn't just logistical (nicer housing for less money! free babysitting! fewer plane tickets to buy!) but more a question of: where do we matter? Today my boys walked to a friend's house for the first time: point, Seattle. I won't be with my mom when Hillary gets elected: point, Minneapolis. I have a great teaching partner and feel appreciated by the school community: point, Seattle. James and I haven't been out in almost 2 months, but couldn't find a sitter this weekend for any price: point, Minneapolis.

We have decent friends here. People rallied when we had the babies, but that's been a long time. We have people who would still do a lot for us if we asked, but not many who would think of us first for anything. We just don't have that much of a "village." In Minnesota, we'd have to build friendships (albeit not completely from scratch), but we'd have my family: point, Minneapolis.

Of course, moving sucks and job-hunting is painful, and there are people here who would miss us. I don't get this sappy during the week when I'm busy with work. But it's still there in the background. Why can't we have teleportation yet?
miss_swamp: (apple)
I'm always impressed when I hear about friends people make while they're out with their children. Hitting it off with the parents of their kids' preschool classmates, getting an invitation from the family at the next table at the restaurant. That never happens to me. I'll have an occasional conversation with the neighbor while the boys tear around on their bikes, but it stops there. I assumed that it's because I'm socially incompetent (also because we seldom go out to eat and I don't usually do the preschool drop-off and pick-up).

This morning I took my darlings to the indoor playground with a 3-year-old friend and both his parents. I've been there alone with all 3 of my kids before, but it's been a while; my kids are more active now. Our friends helped wrangle Andrew and Bobby and Ellen a bit, but I also noticed them relaxing, sitting back, striking up conversations with other parents. It made me realize that maybe the reason I don't have sparkling conversations with parents I meet out and about isn't necessarily that I suck at being social. It could also be that I spend the entire time counting my kids.
miss_swamp: (apple)
I had a meeting tonight for our Community Kitchen, and I'm realizing just how happy it makes me. Community Kitchens come in lots of different varieties, but ours is a monthly community meal planned, prepared and shared by neighbors in our crazy-diverse 'hood. Lots more people come help and eat, but right now there are eight women helping to plan it. We're natives of 4 countries on 3 continents and range in age from probably-younger-than-25 to probably-at-least-60. One I'm pretty sure can't read. Since New Holly has a Community Organizer as well as a modest amount of grant money, it's been less difficult than it could have been to get it started.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things to figure out. For starters, the grant will go farther if we don't use much meat; but for some folks it's not dinner without it. Plus we only buy halal meat so everyone can eat. So we had chicken and vegetable soup and quinoa for the first meal, veggie pizzas (I brought GF crusts for my boys) for the second. Next one is curry, coordinated by a couple of Cambodian women. I suggested making it a multi-cultural curry fiesta by including an Indian dish as the vegetarian option, but the Indian woman pouted that she wanted to do a full-on Indian mean and I could hardly disagree with that.

It's about the food, of course. It's about promoting healthy, affordable meals. It's about cultural awareness. But it's really about the cooking together and building relationships. It helps that we get a babysitter to care for our kids in another room while we cook in the Community Center kitchen. Nobody yanks on our legs, demands milk, tattles. Instead, we chat. The person I'd only have smiled at on the street (if my kids weren't distracting me), I can talk to about recipes or husbands or Jesus as we slice onions. More onions. So many onions.

It's not as good as singing, but it's a good start.
miss_swamp: (teacher angst)
What do you call it when you have an acquaintance whom you hit it off with, but you don't see often enough to really become friends? As part of my job, I coordinate with non-profit groups running programs in our school. Two of the program managers are super-cool (in the nerdy educational non-profit way). If this were Internet-land, I'd add them, or I'd start commenting after them on mutual friends' posts, or something. But I only see them a few times a year and I don't know of any mutual friends in real life. I didn't "hey, wanna go for drinks" when I was single (at least not since finishing school); I'm not really comfortable starting now. Thank God I'm married.

Anyway, I'm running a workshop for one of the non-profits tomorrow morning. And the program manager of the other non-profit is going to be taking the workshop. So obviously, I spent weeks prepping this and I'll probably only get through half my carefully-sculpted, AWESOME material in the 2-hour session.

And then I left the thumb drive with all my stuff on my desk at work, so I have to go back there before I can go teach the workshop. Lame.

And THEN tomorrow night I'm going to the swanky fundraiser for the other non-profit. I go every year. It's pretty much the only swanky thing I do. And the program manager, the one who'll be in my workshop 9 hours prior, is going to be at my table. Along with a lot of wine.

So maybe I'll get around to making the first (totally platonic) move.
miss_swamp: (apple)
That's Fahrenheit.
That's what my parents had over the weekend.
That's damn cold.

We were in Minnesota over Christmas, and part of me didn't want to leave. The kids hadn't been there before, but my parents had prepared very well with games and toys, so it was an easy transition. Having more adults than kids didn't hurt. The kids who used to babysit me have teenagers; the kids I used to babysit are married. We went to the bakery (still the best). We went to church (that congregation has sure changed). The lakes were frozen. The roads were icy. Driving around, Minneapolis (where I've never actually lived as an adult) felt like home.

It IS home, still. I've been in Seattle for 14 years, but I think in my heart I'll always be a Midwesterner. But that doesn't mean moving back. We have good jobs here, and a house that can be paid off before our kids start college. Sometimes I feel sad about not really having a "the girls" or "the usual suspects," but we have lots of friends of all kinds. I know the schools here. I know how to get around. This is where we belong.

And it's not minus-8.
miss_swamp: (Default)
Three kids sleeping in the back of the van. I need to get them up soon, but right now I'm just enjoying the quiet.

My godmother was here over the weekend. She is lovely and we all had a great time. However, I realized after she left that due to relative visits, birthday parties, babysitting other kids, etc, I haven't had a real date night since June 16th. We've gone out after bedtime a couple of times, so I know I'm just spoiled by our usual 2 dates per month--but rushing through the circus that is bedtime is a rough way to start a date. James is, true to his own first-date warning, "a cheap bastard when it comes to food," so he probably hasn't minded not going out for dinner. But right now all I can think about is sitting with James in a London pub with a plate of fish and chips, a pint of cider, and no curfews or deadlines or hurries.

I've been lecturing my kids for 2 weeks now about not being spoiled. Maybe I should listen.
miss_swamp: (twins)
The party was fantastic, if I do say so myself. I didn't take any pictures, but I'm hoping to get some from guests. One of the grown-up guests came dressed as a Real Pirate, which caused gleeful shrieks. The Pack of 4-year-olds loved the treasure hunt I set up, and the mini-pack of 2-year-olds (plus a couple of 1-year-olds) did their best to help and keep up. There were eye patches and a pinata and fruit ships and treasure chest cake and a boatload of sushi because I wanted it, that's why. Sushi reminds me of the boys' birth day, and I hadn't been able to get any lately.

Facebook picture )

This afternoon has been an exercise in All Children Are Different. Even those with the same genes and the same upbringing and experiences can be ridiculously different.

For example: Why is it so hard for some people to apologize? Bobby will do something awful, offer a petulant "SORRY" and get on with life. Andrew? Will commit some offense barely worth noticing and then scream for half an hour about how he doesn't want to apologize. Eventually he'll mumble something incomprehensible that we have to assume is a sulky apology because if we insist on proper form he'll be screaming for yet another hour.

On the other hand, it's been a long time since my warning "I'll count to 10" has gotten past 2. For Ellen, all I have to do is ask if I need to count, and she's on it.
miss_swamp: (teacher angst)
I'd scheduled a babysitter afternoon this week so I could go to a rheumatology follow-up and get some party planning/acquiring done without "help." Unfortunately, her Real Job needs her after all. If I'm drinking heavily at the party itself, that's why. In the meantime, some very important questions:

1) Does agar-agar really work?
2) How big a board do I have to buy (or acquire) for a Walk The Plank activity?
3) How can I convince a 4-year-old that a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry OR mint cake will be much tastier than the strawberry-mint cake he's demanding?
4) How much money can we afford to send to Obama and to the Marriage Equality folks? I know we can't afford not to.
5) Why am I not currently sitting in Iceland Wales Alaska Ireland Sweden New Zealand Bar del Corso?
6) Shouldn't I just go to bed and worry about these things tomorrow?
miss_swamp: (teacher angst)
The nanny texted this morning to say that she has bronchitis and was hoping to just sleep today. "If you can't find someone to take care of them, you can bring them to my house." What, so they can watch movie after movie while you sleep? Hmm, no. With such little notice, there weren't a lot of options. But fortunately it's Monday, a coach day for me. Since I wasn't planning to be in the classroom anyway, we decided I'd take them with me for the morning. They did pretty well, playing with pattern blocks and relishing having computers to themselves (though the headphones kept falling off). They joked with the kindergarteners at lunch, which pleased me. The boys got furious when I said "they're tiny" to a new staff member asking the triplets question. "WE'RE NOT TINY, WE'RE MEDIUM!" Um, OK, Squirt.

The highlight of the morning was realizing that although I'd remembered Activities and Snacks and my work crap and my coffee, I did NOT have the diaper bag. Fortunately, Ellen managed to pee in the toilet (but let's not discuss the part where she pooped in her cloth diaper and since it didn't stick, I just dumped it, wiped her, turned the pre-fold inside out, and put it back on her. MOTHER OF THE YEAR!).

Part 2 of the plan was that James would work from home with them here for the afternoon nap/quiet time, and I would have a kidless afternoon back at work. Except he wasn't able to login from home so I, having the less-valuable leave (since we can plan any family stuff around my breaks), took the afternoon off.

I need to figure out how not to be jealous of his Lunches Out, Conversations With Grownups, and Unaccompanied Bathroom Trips, because in one short week, this will be my life. Of course, it's different when it's unexpected, and when I have so much to do within the next 4 days (report cards are due in 45 hours, and I just made the class re-do their final this morning, yeehaw!). For the summer, I have Lists and a whole Google Calendar started for our Plans, and I'm actually looking forward to most of it. But it's also going to be even more important than ever to figure out some self-care and interactions with adults. This will be the first summer that there's NO built-in break: the boys don't nap anymore at all, and they don't have school. Their 30-minute "Quiet" Time may need to get a bit longer.

I realize I'm lucky:
- to have a good job at all
- to have a job I can take kids to if needed
- to have time off if I need that
- to have a partner who shares the responsibility (even if his leave is more precious)
- to have kids who generally get along and behave spectacularly well in public
- etc.

That doesn't make this scramble any less frustrating or exhausting.


Jun. 4th, 2012 10:15 pm
miss_swamp: (ringer)
- Tonight, for about the fifth time in our great bookshelf reorganization, I came across the little notebook where we recorded (literally) every drop of formula the boys consumed in their first 6 months. This time I tossed it in the recycling bin. That's not what I want to remember about their earliest days. Maybe they'd have found it at 8 or 18 or 30 and been amused, but maybe we can just tell them: you were so tiny that we wrote down every drop you ate. Of course, for Ellen, we didn't even fill out the chart they give you at the hospital for the first 3 days.

- I have four days of steroids left. That's making me nervous because the rashes have been 2 steps forward, 2.1 steps back for the past couple of weeks. I could refill it once more without going back to the rheumatologist, but I feel like I should try again to wean myself off them. I skipped makeup today and got a bunch of "Are you OK?" comments. For someone who's never been a makeup person, making it part of my daily routine is annoying. The bald spot means I actually have to blow-dry my hair, too, I can't get away with buns and ponytails. I want to be low-maintenance, but right now I'm not comfortable enough in my own skin (again, literally) to make that work.

- Nervous about work, too. We have no idea what's going on with our new principal. I did sign my contract today for another year in my current job, so that's set.

- I figured out this weekend how to describe my frustration with social stuff lately: we're not part of any community. We have plenty of friends, but we're not in choir, or church, or a game group, or anything (other than work). That means that every single social activity is something we have to think about. We either have to invite people, or wait to be invited--nothing just happens (as it would if we went to church every Sunday or choir every Tuesday). And that takes energy, which is at a premium these days. I'm not sure what to do about this, but identifying it is a good start, and certainly better than the general whininess I sometimes feel.

- The boys turn four next month. FOUR. They're real little boys. Sometimes I still look at their hands and think, We made that. But making people who can walk and talk and reason and occasionally tell genuinely funny jokes? That's even more impressive than making those perfect little hands. And it doesn't matter how many gallons of preemie formula it took to get there.
miss_swamp: (twins)
Here's our list:
- Hit at least 3 new ice cream shops
- Explore at least 4 new parks
- Take the train downtown for lunch with Daddy at least 2 times
- Visit the babysitter at Starbucks (also a train ride, to the ID)
- Go to a movie in the theatre
- Go to a new place with monsters (real/pretend)
- Make a new kind of cookies
- Make ice cream
- Make gluten-free ice cream sandwiches
- Make a rocket that is safe for kids but still can blast off
- Read all the Flat Stanley books
- Go to the beach and make a practice sand castle before our big trip in August
- Pick strawberries
- Pick blueberries
- Go to Point Defiance Zoo
miss_swamp: (ringer)
James is off babysitting our friends' son. The kids are clean and asleep. The 3rd 4th load of laundry is running, there are clean sheets on our bed and the dishes are done. Now to start working on a tasty breakfast for tomorrow. I need to think of a cheap and easy plan for dinner too, since nobody else in the family can cook and we have no money this month. I don't really trust Domino's gluten-free pizza to be gluten-free enough, as tempting as delivery sounds. Maybe Mexican take-out. Maybe suck it up and cook some real food that we can trust. Maybe I'll go buy myself a damn cupcake. If I didn't care about food, we could just eat PB&J for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow, for my Official Day To Relax.

Should I even care about Mother's Day? I'm not sure. Silly, commercial, what? Growing up, my Mom avoided Mother's Day because of the rocky relationship she had with her own mother. We always skipped church and, like, took a long bike ride so she wouldn't have to listen to the pastor talk about how wonderful mothers are. We'd give her the cards we'd made at school and eat something she liked for dinner. That was that. A few years ago she announced she wanted to "reclaim" the day, so after a 3-decade pass I now have to remember it. And I'd like it to be pleasant for me too. I don't need anything fancy, just a pleasant day for us.

But I'm starting to wonder if that's too much to ask, if just for now. Let's see: four years ago, my blood pressure was starting to act up, a preview of the HELLP that would lead to the boys' delivery. Three years ago, Andrew sliced his hand on a can he'd grabbed from the recycling bin and it bled for 2 hours. Two years ago, James's grandmother had just died so he was in Texas and I had all of them to myself all weekend (Ellen was 6 weeks old). Last year I think it was more like a normal, intense weekend. We tried going out to brunch with our newly gluten-free crew, but I was the only person who ate happily at the hippie restaurant. Still, I guess that's progress, right? In a few more years, the kids will be able to cook some simple stuff on their own (with James's supervision) and maybe I'll get a little ass-sitting time.

In the meantime, the Magic 8 Ball is fuzzy on tomorrow. I'm nervous. The rest of my family is all sick with a cold and I am still swatting at lupus like a fly in the bedroom. I finished my first round of steroids feeling pretty good, but 3 days later, I'd already backslid quite a bit. So I'm back on them for another month, and I really need to be careful because while they don't make me aggressive like they do some people, they do make me hungry. And with these stress levels, I'm way more likely to eat cheese and chocolate than carrots and celery. Plus it's harder to exercise when lupus is rearing its ugly head, so I berate myself, so I'm stressy, cue vicious circle.

Therefore, let it be known: I'm going to relax tomorrow if it kills me. Or, more likely, if it means screen time on a way-too-gorgeous-to-stay-inside day. Snuggling with my darlings seems a good way to celebrate, don't you think? I really do love being a mother, but I think I will be served well by having low expectations for Mother's Day.
miss_swamp: (Default)
Do you know why I'm a teacher? Is it because I love kids, or because I'm so good at it? If I'm being honest, those aren't the first reasons. I went into my teaching program at the end of college because I knew it would give me decent health insurance no matter where I lived. I turned out to be pretty good at it, but the reason I'm a teacher today is because I have lupus.

Mostly for me to organize the history in my memory, since I've switched doctors so many times. )
miss_swamp: (twins)
Music is important in our family. Back a million years ago, before I proposed to James so he could sing to me every day, before we even met, the choir did "Music in My Mother's House." It's a pretty tune, but I found the lyrics somewhat sappy and heavy-handed. Since having children of my own, of course, I like it a lot more. I hope that one of the the things they'll remember about their childhood is music.

The last thing that happens during our (now very-extended) bedtime routine is that I sing to the boys. It started with "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Goodnight Andrew" and "Goodnight Bobby" to the tune of "Goodnight Ladies," but they quickly started making other requests. For months all they wanted was "The Wheels on the ____." I had to bargain for the right to sing the Goodnight song or Sandra Boynton's "Snuggle Puppy" every once in a while.

Lately, though, they're making even more ridiculous song requests. Yesterday Andrew wanted a cookie song (Boynton has one) and Bobby wanted an ice cream song (Sarah, duh). Today, Andrew wanted to hear a song about "an apple that's on fire." To the tune of the Dreidel song:

Oh, apple, apple, apple, your flames are so so bright
Oh apple, apple, apple, I'll eat you if I might.

So not high art, but I'm not particularly experienced with improv. Bobby just wanted "an odd song." He got "Yellow Submarine," with elephants thrown in for good measure. "Was that odd enough?" I asked him, and he giggled and said yes. As I left the room, he was bragging to his brother about it.

I hope they keep wanting bedtime songs for a very long time.
miss_swamp: (Default)
After my last post, I put a similar query to the Facebook world. I got a ton of widely varied responses. It's a public post, if you want to look. Some of the respondents are friends of friends, even. I don't know. People say exposure is inevitable, but for us it was a religious issue. Would you tell your Jewish friends to go ahead and buy bacon because they won't be able to resist pork forever? I know that's a bad analogy, but to me "it's inevitable" is lazy.

Anyway, this part amused me.

Here's my mom's response: no excuse for them. period. you can have a pirate party with a treasure hunt. no swords, no guns. you could have blindfolded kids putting a patch on a big pirate face or gold pieces on a treasure chest. there is nothing you can say to convince me that toy weapons are ok.

Aaaaannnd here's my mother-in-law's: Used to be standard fare to play with weapons and cap guns, bow and arrows, fake swords even BB guns. The problem lies in the media current frenzy over gun control. Where it was acceptable now there is pressure. How can you avoid exposure when it is all over the TV and movies? It is sad but they must be prepared to defend themselves later in life. and feel confident about it.

Well, then.

If you had any doubt that James and I come from different worlds, here is Exhibit A. Actually, my mom would point out, TV and movies don't have to be inevitable either. Remember the part where we grew up with not TV (and I still believe we're better for it)? But they live a thousand miles apart and may never have reason to see each other again, and I don't really feel the need to have this full conversation with either of them.
miss_swamp: (teacher angst)
I like to think I'm pretty laid-back, and in many ways that's true. But in some ways, I'm way more OCD than I realize. To wit:

- Our everyday plates and bowls are collections of randomness, but if they aren't stacked so that the matching pairs are together, I re-do it. That way I can compare amounts more easily when serving.
- No food (or anything other than water) must be put in the right side of the sink. Ever, ever, ever. That side is impossible to clean.
- Knives from the block must be used from right to left. Avoid using the leftmost one, which has a melted spot on its handle.
- The dishwasher must be loaded efficiently, run as infrequently as possible, and filled from back to front. When you're the first to get onto a soon-to-be crowded elevator, do you stand right next to the door?
- Even if both are freshly washed, wheat goes on the small cutting board and the big cutting board is reserved for gluten-free stuff. Consistency prevents contamination.
- Similarly, gluten-free sandwiches must always be made and cut first--that way you only dirty one knife.
- Placing soap directly on a sponge is an abomination unto the lord.
- There are plenty more, if I could remember them right now.

I think all these things are pretty reasonable, but they're definitely not obvious. And that would be fine if I were the only one operating in our kitchen. As it is, we often have babysitters and friends who very helpfully clean up. I'm sure they would follow my silly rules if I asked nicely, but a) correcting them it seems ungrateful and b) I never remember to mention them until it's too late and I'm grouchily cleaning food out of the sink or re-stacking the bowls. Putting little signs around the house would definitely count as passive-aggressive.

So perhaps, like so many other things, it's time to let it go.

What are you picky about?
miss_swamp: (Default)
I'm dragging after the awesome concert last night. We were in the front row of a mostly-acoustic Guster show. Although that didn't mean much screaming or underwear-throwing, it did mean not getting to sleep until midnight.

Fortunately, it worked out that I won't have to be "on" much today (except for driving through rush-hour slush to the other end of the city). I'm going with a group of my co-workers to observe at another school. It's going to be a hell of a commute, but I'm excited to go because this is the first school where I had a contract in Seattle, some 13 years ago. I don't think many of the same teachers are still there, but I'll be curious whether the principal even shows a tiny glimmer of recognition. I won't be surprised if she doesn't. After all, I have a different last name now. I'm a mom--can you see that in my attitude? I weigh 40 pounds less. My hair is longer, better-styled, less butch. She won't see it, but I'm a much better teacher--and now I'm an instructional coach, helping other teachers be their best. Most important, I have at least double the self-confidence.

I hope I have even more to be proud of in 2025. :)


Mar. 12th, 2012 08:05 am
miss_swamp: (ringer)
Why do we still do Daylight Savings Time? I'm so grouchy and so tired. We had a nice visit with my brother and his girlfriend, but too short and I opened my mouth perhaps too much. He'll be back soon for his book tour. His book tour! You should buy his book! We had a nice time, ate pretty well, enjoyed a favorable adult-to-child ratio.

I said I wanted to post more here and be on Facebook less. I haven't. Hardly anyone comments anymore here (guilty, and I hardly post either), and the comments over there are so addictive. Actually, I think a lot of people are addicted to Facebook. I'm also not so sure it makes anyone happier. It's easy to post links (with inviting previews) to interesting articles. This is lovely, but more often the articles either distract me from what I should be doing (even if it's posting in my neglected blog or playing my turn at Scrabble), or they're about some issue that raises my blood pressure both with the injustice of whatever situation and with the feeling that I'm powerless to fix it. Then there's the suggestion that everyone else is having fun without ne. Oh, look, 200 pictures of a party you didn't invite me to! But hey, you sent me an invitiation too! ... to sponsor you in your half-marathon. I know Bitch Brain overblows these things, but Facebook feeds her. Books do not. Even LJ does not.

Perhaps this sounds depressed. I'm not, I'm just trying to be sure I'm aware of what these things do to me. This week is going to be intense: work, late meeting, concert tonight; Wednesday and Thursday nights and Friday morning, I'm running three different workshops, all with just a few hours today for prep. I want to stuff my mouth with croissants and my brain with Facebook fluff, but neither will help me get it all done. So I'm packing up my lentil soup and apples, and clicking the little red "X" in the upper right-hand corner.

Have a good one.


Feb. 22nd, 2012 10:31 pm
miss_swamp: (ringer)
- I'm off all week for our last-ever Midwinter Break. The kids are rotating illness, but it's been pretty good so far anyway. Ellen and I shared a real live wheat-and-butter croissant yesterday while the boys were at preschool, then went and played at the tot gym with SAHMs and SAHDs and 20-year-old nannies. She's so much more adventurous than the boys were at her age, willing to go on the bigger slides and try the bounce house and stuff.

- James took the morning off to take the boys to the doctor (Andrew has an ear infection) so I could spend some time with college friends who were visiting for the first time in 5.5 years. They brought their daughter, 4 months younger than Ellen, and the little girls had a blast. It also confirmed just how verbal Ellen really is. The other girl has over 100 signs, but Ellen? She'll tell you how it is.

- I'm in an exercise rut. I still run most days, though not this morning since we feared a Bobby melt-down, but I haven't really gotten faster or stronger all year. I need to get back to doing yoga in the evenings, but once I settle my butt on the sofa it's way too easy for it to stay there.

- My brother and his girlfriend are visiting in 2 weeks. I wish I had more time and energy to clean.

- It's a couple of months out yet, but I'm going to apply for a new job. Seattle Public Schools is starting a brand-new math, science and technology elementary school opening in West Seattle. Starting a new program, focusing on what I'm good at, getting away from the drama at my current workplace, keeping public school benefits: doesn't that sound good? Plus, West Seattle is at the top of our list if we were to move from this house. That probably wouldn't be for at least 2-3 more years, when we're done paying for day care. Anyway, I'm already starting to scheme about my resume, the interview, and program ideas. Don't count those chickens yet, Liss....
miss_swamp: (apple)
A lot of people have posted on Facebook about Josh Powell killing himself and his two sons. For some reason this irritates me. Maybe I shouldn't write about it until I figure it out, but maybe (if anyone's still reading), you can help me do that.

First of all, yes, let me agree that the whole situation is horrible. The kids didn't deserve to die and the social worker will certainly be affected by this for quite a while. But! Aside from the drama of an explosion!, how much worse is it really than some of the things child welfare advocates see every day? The cynic in me suspects that none of it would be as big a story if the participants were people of color. Certainly the disappearance of a pretty white lady makes it a more compelling story in the eyes of the media. To me, it's sad but at this point, now that the damage is done? It's none of my business. It strikes the same voyeuristic note as the Casey Anthony case.

Perhaps the media attention this gets will help reform the foster system in a way that can benefit all foster kids, but probably it will just turn into a TV movie and we can all wring our hands and then go on with our days. I teach kids who are in foster care, who are homeless, who have been abused and neglected--and I don't think it's just 'cause they're not dead (in a dramatic way) that nobody seems to notice them. To be honest, some of them would probably rather be dead than in the situations they're in. So why is this case the one everyone's talking about? I don't think it's just because he blew up the house.

But please, if I'm missing something else here, I'm listening.
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