Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I did get out of a speeding ticket with The Widow Card (which, in my defense, I used inadvertently), but this time, I premeditated its use.
From the beginning of Sydney's preschool year, there has been a ton of turnover with the teachers. There is usually one main teacher for the morning and early afternoon shift and one for the mid to late afternoon shift, and each of those teachers have a teacher's aide. The first main teacher that started the school year was there for one day and left. Since then, there had been about six total changes in personnel. Fortunately, Sydney is pretty easy to adjust and has done well despite the constant changes in the classroom. I'm pretty easy-going as well, and it wasn't until this latest change that was the last straw for me. The "permanent" teacher that just started in Sydney's class a few weeks ago has a very experienced teacher (Mrs. S.) helping to train her and acting as her aide. Mrs. S. is respected and adored by all of her current and former students, as well as their parents. Naturally, Sydney and I have fallen in love with her, too. So when I heard that last Thursday was supposed to be her last day in that classroom, I had enough.
I spoke with one of the parents that has been very actively involved with everything happening in that room from the beginning of the school year about the issue. As Adrian and I talked, she kept saying, "THAT's what you should say to the principal!" She had already spoken with the principal herself, but the decision still stood. So in support of this parent and speaking on behalf of the others and the children (we certainly aren't the only ones who feel that Mrs. S. should stay at least until the end of the school year), I decided to speak with the principal as well, and tell her the same things I said to Adrian.
When I first brought up the subject to the principal, she kind of cut me off to tell me she already talked to the other parent and there are simply no more funds in which to pay Mrs. S. to stay. I continued, anyway: When I dropped Sydney off the first day of school, she was so excited to be there that she never looked back at me while I was walking away ("Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Ma!"). She's not clingy, and enjoys school very much. However, lately, she's been clutching my leg and crying when I have to leave which is not like her. I blame the constant changes in the classroom for this. I didn't even know Miss Claudia left (one of the aides) until I asked Sydney where she was, and Sydney's reply to me was, "She's never coming back." When I heard her say this, lots of thoughts crossed my mind - how we (parents) had no notification of this, how utterly ridiculous the turnover has gotten, and just what is Sydney's understanding of "never coming back?" Does she think Miss Claudia died, or does she understand that she is just not working there anymore? I not only had no idea of the change, but I had no idea what, if anything, had been explained to the kids. With all this in mind, I wanted to make sure that Sydney understood that Miss Claudia didn't die (since my kids have way more personal experience with death than a lot of other kids their age), so I explained to Sydney that Miss Claudia is alive, she just isn't coming back to her job at this school.
At this point, the principal is near tears, which wasn't my intention, but at least she was listening.
I continued: Now that we have the permanent teacher and Mrs. S. in the classroom, Sydney hasn't been clinging to me as much, but I know that if there's another change - especially if Mrs. S. leaves- it's going to have another adverse effect on Sydney and I'll have to start from scratch prying her off my leg again, and I know she won't be the only one that will be affected. I understand there are budget issues, but even if Mrs. S. stays a couple of days a week, it's better than taking her away from the kids all together. At least until the end of the school year. The kids need some consistency and stability.
With all that, the principal said she would try re-working the numbers over the weekend, and lo and behold, they were able to come up with enough funds to keep Mrs. S. on three days a week!!
I only use my powers for good.
For more entertaining and inspirational posts about The Widow Card and the powers associated with it, check out this great source: Widow's Voice Blog
When I was growing up, my mom always dreaded the month of March. She told me nothing good ever happens that month. It started with her grandmother's death in March, then her mother, then her mother's sister (years apart, of course).
Fortunately, I never paid much attention to that, and March wasn't tainted for me. It's only recently that I've started to realize that March does seem to have a dark cloud over it. My good friend's wife died in late March, and soon as March 1st hit, I think of him, her, and the baby she left behind, and how difficult this month is for him. Our mutual friend's husband died that very same day, leaving her behind with two young children. March 4 was the 2nd anniversary of my friend Jeff's death, and he left behind a wife and three kids.
Last week, on March 6, at the age of 72, my godmother passed away. She was my mom's best friend for 43 years, and our families grew up together. She had seven children who all now have children of their own, and even some of those kids have kids. I so wanted to go back to Buffalo for them and for my mom, but the airfare and car rental for the kids and I would have totaled $3K (and that was the best deal I could find). My heart has been on that side of the country for the past week and a half. My godmother suffered - much more than she ever lead on, I'm sure. I don't like it that she's not here anymore, but I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, either. She's reunited with her husband, and probably having a beer with mine. My mom called me from the funeral brunch, which was taking place at the same location where Matt and I had our wedding reception. For that reason alone, I'm relieved that we didn't go - I could not have handled that.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Seeing as how I'm a week late with updating everyone on the status of the contest, your best bet for timely Soaring Spirits updates is to sign up to receive the monthly newsletter, Hope Matters, via email. Here is a brief excerpt from the most recent newsletter which was emailed March 3:
Thank YOU for your support!
Special thanks to the many friends of SSLF for your amazing support of Soaring Spirits effort to win a $5000 grant in a contest hosted by the Great Non-profits website. We are humbled by your reviews, and honored by the opportunity to be a part of your grief recovery journey.
We received over 200 reviews! Though we didn't win the grant, we did appreciate each and every effort made to help us along the way. You can read some of those reviews HERE to get a sense of how SSLF is impacting the lives of people all over the world. Thank you again for your help in our efforts!