I Still Believe

A few months ago, Kiddo lost a tooth. In the tradition of children everywhere, he put it under his pillow, expecting a fair rate exchange from the Tooth Fairy.

Current value has skyrocketed to $1! I seem to recall that when I was his age it was about half that.

The problem was that the Tooth Fairy neglected to check her list carefully that night. He woke up to a tooth still under his pillow. I reassured him that all parents have ways to contact the really important people – Teachers, Santa Claus and even the Tooth Fairy. She made a stop that night and left a little extra cash. Guilt can be an excellent motivator.

I considered that this failure might be the end of that belief. Kiddo is ten years old; I’m not sure when that kind of thing happens. But there was only one way to find out for certain.

Tonight we found a note outside his door asking the Tooth Fairy to please remember him. Oh, my heart. So I printed up a fancy looking note asking for forgiveness and tucked under his pillow with two one dollar bills.

I’m glad that he still believes. Sometimes I need a bit of that reminder of innocence and it’s magical possibilities.

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Digital Duties

Tonight I am going back through my blog posts and organizing them. I’ve updated my categories and putting relevant tags on posts.

It’s like filing for the digital age. Does that simile make sense?

I’m still a paper person at heart. I keep a planner, own a filing cabinet and all that stuff.

I was talking with a coworker today about changes in how we communicate via technology. She was bemoaning the fact that her boss at her ‘side job’ somehow manages to email her things that are intended to be texts.

It made me think back to those first days of having access to a personal computer in my home.

Let’s detour down memory lane…

It was around 2000, I believe. My grandmother had just purchased a new Dell desktop (complete with cow printed box).

EDIT: Kudos to Sheila Moss for remembering it was Gateway and not Dell. Your memory is better than mine.

I helped her set it up, installed AOL via a CD (early spam advertising?) and we were off into the wilds of the Internet!

She was so excited about being able to email her siblings! She took notes on how to do tasks and even now you’ll find some of those tucked into the desk drawers there.

It’s fascinating to see how things have changed over the years. It’s been fun to see my older family members adapt and embrace new things.

For example, when my mother got her first smartphone (to text when she was working in the hospital and/or on call). She used all caps when texting until I explained to her about the ‘yelling’ connotation. She was mortified that her docs might have been offended. So adorable!

Even now, I can see hints of those days coming for me. I don’t have much of a clue about how to work the game systems in my house and depend on M to keep close tabs on what Kiddo does. If I have to do something other than the basics then I have to consult Google first.

I’m also a bit 1996 about the idea of a digital assistant. I do not use Siri and have no plans to get an Alexa type device.

Remember when it was a big, scary thing to meet someone ‘offline?’ Now we summon strangers to take us places in their cars.

I’m too young to feel this old. Ha!

The Final Countdown

The end is in sight for summer, although the temperatures are not giving us a break here in East Texas.  As of last week we still had triple digits and the humidity here is still something I’m not accustomed to dealing with.  On top of that we were having air conditioner problems during that time.

I used every trick I could think of – covering the windows, keeping everyone misted and hydrated.  Fans were going non-stop in all the room, angled to promote air circulation.  One night I was so overheated that I dunked my sheet in the tub in an effort to cool down the bedroom so I could sleep.  It was miserable.

It turned out that maintenance actually overfilled the Freon (maybe that’s not the right name?) and it was causing the pressure to spike, then the ac would shut down.  It was an easy fix, once we got someone out to look at it.  I wasn’t thrilled, but since we had no elderly or small children in our household I understood that we were not a top priority.

I’ve complete the back to school shopping for Kiddo.  Honestly, he makes it pretty easy for me.  I order his actual school supplies via Educational Products Inc. Our PTA sends home a flier at the end of the year and orders are usually due by mid June.  They are shipped directly to the school so at Meet The Teacher night all his supplies are ready and waiting for him.  Last year the packages included a shoulder bag/binder instead of a backpack but it barely lasted the school year.

So he gets to pick out a backpack again for this year.  Three years ago we purchased one from Pottery Barn Kids and the quality was far superior to anything we could find locally.  That bag has gone through a full year of school use, on cross country vacations/weekend getaways, and it’s still in excellent condition.  But this year he has outgrown Spider Man and wanted something new. He chose a galaxy pattern.

His school wears uniforms and we take advantage of the sales at Old Navy.  This year I was informed that he would like only red polo shirts and khaki slacks, as they are ‘his thing’ to wear.  Of course, he told me that after my sister had purchased other colors to him to wear but she’s really great about including the receipt so the exchange was relatively easy.

This year will bring big changes to his schedule – he will start rotating through different teachers for core classes as well as electives (or ‘specials’ as they call them); we won’t have one main teacher. I’m slightly sad about the change since I really enjoyed the close relationships he developed with his teachers in previous years.  Having one primary teacher also made his ADHD symptoms easier to monitor in order to address changing medication doses, etc.

Just shy of four weeks and we’ll be starting the last year of elementary school!

When It All Works

I am a worst case scenario person. I feel that if I can figure out the likely end result, then I can come up with a plan to handle it accordingly. This tends to lead me right into worrying about the possible variables and outcomes.

Being ‘cool under pressure’ is not my skill set – NOT AT ALL.

The airbag light sensor light in my car has been causing me a considerable amount of stress. It’s not just the possible financial burden but the practical details, like being able to pick Kiddo up this weekend from his 3 week vacation with my family.

I am absolutely overjoyed to report that, as suspected, the clock spring was causing the light and replacement was covered under the manufacturers extended safety warranty.

Yay! Do a Snoopy dance, or whatever your happy dance looks like.

My personal happy dance is more like Carlton Banks, with a dash of white girl booty shaking thrown in. I was a teenager in the 90’s!

I was born prematurely, at 32 weeks.  That was almost 40 years ago so it was a bit of bigger deal in terms of medical advances.  They told my mother I had a 50/50 chance at survival and she signed the paperwork for me to be an organ donor, just in case.  All things considered, there were not that many long term issues that resulted from my precarious beginning.

I got my first pair of glasses around 5th grade.  They were large, plastic frames that I think they might have been pink?  Nothing unusual about that and until I was 16, I wore glasses full time.  The night of my junior prom, I knocked my glasses off my dresser and stepped on them.   After that, I began wearing contacts and had no problems for many years.  A little over 10 years ago, everything changed.

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Be The Voice

I refuse to gloss over this topic with an alliterative title.

It’s been a difficult week.  Two celebrities were found dead this week and both have been reported by the media as suicides. I had no emotional connection to Kate Spade but the outpouring of messages on social media brought many lovely tributes and reminders to seek help – listings of suicide hotlines, etc.  Those messages are helpful, but it seems to me that they are the bit of hope that people hold onto when it’s too late for someone else.

I saw a post (paraphrased) that if someone like Kate Spade, with all outside signs of success and resources to seek help commits suicide then what hope is there for those of us who are struggling and living barely within our means?  Medications are expensive and therapy even moreso.  There are many private insurance plans that don’t even cover mental healthcare.  Indigent and sliding scale programs have waiting lists that range from months to more than a year (I’ve been on both over the years).

The news of Anthony Bourdain hit me very hard.  The topic was already on my mind; and I’m more familiar with Bourdain than I was with Spade. I’ve watched his shows and read his books.  The news that his daughter was the same age as my son hit me the hardest.  I sat in my car over my lunch break and sobbed – all I could think about that little girl.

Mental health and addiction issues are all around me.  I’ve written about my personal story here previously.  The struggles of my loved ones aren’t for me to speak about in depth but I live with the constant anxiety that I will someday get that call that changes your entire world in an instant.

So what can you do for someone who is struggling?

Be the voice outside of someone’s head.  Send the text or make the call.  Leave the message and do it again. Be the voice that is pulling or guiding them back to life.  Be the voice of support; the voice of hope.  Be the voice to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves; for those who lost that battle. Be the voice for those who are left behind.

These words are my voice, sent out into the world. Can you hear me?