Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sefera 2011 - the year I "let go" (a little)

Even though Sefera 2011 was about 500 hours away from home it was
the best state park yet and the best year of the gathering. 

The theme of this year's gathering (for me) was "leash lengthening"  with the help of Diane I was able to let Lucy have some much coveted freedom and space (from me).  

Look above,  I let L push Lucy soooooo freakn' high.
I didn't even gasp. Nope. I was all chill.  Granted I was thinking of
all the dang flying squirrels positioning themselves in the tree
over our tent, waiting for my middle of the night moment of weakness when I
had to exit the tent to "use it".  Ugh.

The kids had a little show.  Surprisingly Lucy wasn't into performing.
Which is why, despite her beautiful looks and her obvious talent for singing,
dancing and being a spit fire, I have not got her into anything like
acting or modeling.  She moves when her spirit moves her, which is
most definitely not when I would like her spirit to move her.

I suppose it didn't help that she "accidentally" poked Og's eye out
with a large stick and was pretty ashamed and embarrassed
about hurting him.  So she spent a lot of time curled up in my lap

She got over it and found the adorable A and W, who were all over
learning about the hysterical (and annoying) 'old grandma in a rocking chair' joke.
don't ask.

we had a nice visit from the lovely G/B/W.  we love him.

Lucy discovered that she can scooter like nobodies business.
she scootered all over the park.

uh. um. these two will make a lovely couple some day.

went for several bike rides.  Lucy is doing so great on her bike.

beach time

we always paint rocks when we camp and leave them
as treasures for another camper to find.

a little quiet lunch break.

her own private lake

dancing to mc hammer at the campsite


ginormous marshmallow roast

arrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhh  wood tick! 
or just another campground tattoo


a hug good-bye

discovered as we neared the dells (after hours of driving) that Mel and Morgan were
about 20 miles ahead of us (they were at the dells while we were camping).  did some creative
road antics and ended up eating lunch together. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


 On Saturday we headed to our city's Juneteenth event.
On our way there I did an age appropriate (in my opinion) 3 minute explanation
about the history of slavery in our country.  Hard.
"Mama what if someone stole me and you didn't even get to say goodbye?"
"You mean they never got to see their families again??"
"I mean, that is just soooo mean, that is so mean, they should have gone to jail"
Speaking of jail.  There were about 2 cops at the event for every one attendee.
Seriously.  Hey people who are about to shut our state down due to a budget crisis/impasse
I have some money saving ideas ....   I'm not exaggerating.
BUT the cops did provide ample opportunity for Lucy to embarrass the bejezus out of me.

"Hey police man, excuse me sir ..."
cop "yes"
"you don't really need your gun or handcuffs"
cop "what?"
"my grandpa has a great big gun and my mom gave me her handcuffs
so if you just come over to my house i can give them to you to catch the bad guys"
cop "complete stunned silence"
me .... dying
"oh i also have sleeping medicine you can give the bad guy so he doesn't fight so much"

so. no one got arrested or investigated.

the kids had a blast. 

Lucy was stunning.

she got a lot of time to practice and refine her
hip hop/break dance/salsa/poetry in motion.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lucy has a crush (another one)

So Lucy has a crush on our friend Roman.
I think the crush might be mutual as he dropped everything
at his job and came down to see her as soon as he heard she
was downtown.

They had a nice little catch up chat about bad guys
and the probability of taping them to the ceiling
as a crime deterrent.

Lucy then showed Roman her slivers.  If I even glance
at her slivers she runs away screaming, 'just leave them alone
they are fine"

but Roman, he's allowed to use tweezers to pull them out
and Lucy didn't even flinch.  That is true love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dentistry and Social Work and Single incomes ...

So the short story is this:  being a single mom with a social worker salary and having no
dental insurance is a really really crappy mix. 

The longer story:  In February we went to the free cleaning/check up program Give Kids A Smile.
In February at that appointment I was told that Lucy had no cavities. 

So I was surprised that a few months later, while eating some fresh pineapple Lucy started
crying in agony, saying her tooth hurt.  Crap.  We went to the dentist. The first dentist took some xrays and said that the two cavities were too deep for him to handle and he referred us to a children's dental clinic.  He kindly charged only for the xrays he took, at a 50% discount.  Which turns out to be the
only break we are getting.  We go to the children's dentist.  For $85 he took two minutes to look at our $20 xrays and said that one tooth has to be pulled at an oral surgeon.  After the pulled tooth area heals, he will need to put in a spacer in that spot to keep her teeth straight, plus do a "kiddy root canal" on the other bad tooth, along with a cap. 

So we went to the oral surgeon. Who for a mere $300 gassed her up, numbed her up,
and pulled out the offending tooth. 

She had a hard time bouncing back from the laughing gas.  Poor baby.

So when it's all said and done.  The kid who had no cavities in February, will cost her mom a month's salary on dental care.  A MONTH'S salary.
Anyone have a nice brother, brother-in-law, etc they want to introduce me too???  I could totally dig on doing grass-roots, old-school social work for a long time if say I had a 2nd income to add to the mix. 
I wonder what the odds are on universal health care ever really coming to the US?
or maybe simply having the work I do valued in the same way
other work is valued? 
Yeah. I thought so.

p.s. she's totally worth it
p.p.s the families i work for are totally worth it too
p.p.p.s  please vote carefully in the next election friends.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Graduate

Dear Kindergarten,  We are glad to see you go.  You whomped us hard.
From the first two hours of the very first day of school, you got us good.

Lucy is fierce. Kindergarten was not ready for such a force.
I was not ready for the trauma that was called being the mom
forced to advocate, almost every day, for the force. 

Don't get me wrong.  We LOVE her school.  We LOVE her kindergarten teacher.
We got to know everyone very quickly.  Lucy spent time in the director's office, the assistant
director's office, the special ed office...  Everyone worked hard to make the year and the classroom
successful for Lucy.  Lucy, the amazing one, worked extra hard, EVERY SINGLE DAY, to make
the classroom successful for her.  It was hard.

It was hard for her experienced teacher Miss Natalie.

These tags did not exist before this year.

Lucy was excited to see an old buddy from preschool in her class, and met
new friends as well. 

This is Jermaine, Lucy spent time with him when she was
"too disruptive for class".  One day she said to me,
"mom, Jermaine makes me like school" so sweet.

donning her cap and gown with Sherry.  Sherry had access to
first aid materials.  Lucy's love of doctor gloves is her longest
standing obsession. 

and despite how difficult and troubling kindergarten was.  I cried when
she graduated.  I can't believe I have a stinkn' first grader.


Here's to a summer of fun and restoration.  A few months to
mature. A few months of having a night a week with my friend Jen (who is going to
tutor her and help get her reading up to speed).  A few months of not being
in trouble. A few months of me not feeling sick to my stomach every time my
phone rings between 10:15 and 4:15. 
Here's to having a first grader!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Nothing makes my heart soar to the point of happy sore more then observing Lucy being Lucy when she doesn't know I am watching.  I just felt love increase again, how is that even possible?