The Today Show chose to post my blog about filling Rye's backpack on their Web site!
It was published there yesterday. My thanks to BlogHer for pitching it to them.
Please check the post out and consider leaving a comment.
Copy and paste: http://community.todaymoms.com/_news/2010/08/30/4993456-hes-starting-kindergarten-what-i-really-want-to-put-in-his-backpack
Or click here.
I could get used to this.
What else should I write that others will really like? I'm taking suggestions. :)
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I just needed strawberries.
So I stopped at Hy-Vee, on my way to get my little all-grown-up-all-of-a-sudden boy from school.
I went in, skipped the shopping cart and found the strawberries (for Paige and Rye). I also decided to get fruit snacks (a treat for Rye) and Corona Light (a treat for me).
My hands full, I went to the cashier with the shortest line. I was happy she was older, so we wouldn't have to bother with a manager coming over to scan my beer and take my money.
The woman in front of me was paying when I came up and set my items on the conveyor belt. She had a daughter about Paige's age in the cart who I suppose was cute. But she wasn't as cute as my kid, and the cashier was ALL OVER HER.
Even after the woman had paid and was on her way, the cashier who I was waiting patiently for wanted to know the little girl's name.
Come on, I was thinking. I have three things. Just let me pay for them. I don't even need a bag. I checked the time on my cell phone. 17 minutes until school was out.
Finally, the cashier pulled herself away, saying, "She's a CUTIE!"
I sort of nodded.
Ring me up, I pleaded silently.
I pulled out my credit card, ready to swipe it through the machine when she read my total.
The cashier rang up the strawberries and the fruit snacks and paused when she got to the Corona. She leaned over the counter in between us and looked at my left hand.
Then she looked at me.
"I'm going to card you. Do you have your ID?"
Yes, I did, of course.
"I'm 30 years old," I said, and handed her my license.
She scanned the beer and gave me back my license. I slid my credit card and put it away.
I was in a hurry to go. The cashier held onto my beer.
"Do you need one of these?" she asked. She was holding Hy-Vee's Wedding Essentials magazine.
Are you kidding me? I thought. Uh, no, I don't need your magazine filled with overpriced bridal gowns, flowers that only die and rings that cost way too much. I'm completely over centerpieces and tuxes and glasses etched with the couple's name, too. And if you had any clue what the last year of my life has been like, lady, I sure hope you wouldn't be flashing that magazine in my face.
"Nope, I sure don't," I said. "I just got divorced."
Now, give me my groceries and let me leave, I wanted to add.
She smiled sadly at me, judging me, it seemed, and finally let me go.
Tip number one, Hy-Vee cashiers: A ring on my left finger doesn't prove I'm old enough to buy beer. If you're going to card a customer, please base that decision on her face, not her marital status.
Number two: Please, please don't assume a ringless finger means a woman wants to think about marriage. Trust me: Brides will find your magazine if they want it.
Just scan my groceries, and take my money.
That's all I need you to do.
There are plenty of others in this world to make me feel bad about things. I don't need you added to that list.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I told you he would be.
I knew he would be.
Still, I had to see it for myself. I had to see him come striding out of those doors after the first day of kindergarten ended yesterday with a smile on his face, a sort of pride in his step.
About lunchtime, I started counting down until I could go get him. One hour and 15 minutes.
It wasn't soon enough.
I'd done fine dropping him off. I'd actually loved the whole process. We all woke up as usual, had breakfast and got dressed. I was careful about making his lunch. I wanted it to be perfect.
I made sure he knew how to open the plastic sandwich bags I'd put his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sliced strawberries in.
I made sure I packed the right kind of fruit snacks. I discreetly cut a small piece of construction paper into a heart, decorated it with an Iron Man sticker and wrote, "Rye, I love you! MOM." I stuck it in his lunchbox, too.
It was the second thing he told me when I picked him up from school. It was a, "Hey, you surprised me with that, Mom! How'd you slip that one by me?!" sort of comment. I loved that he loved it.
The first thing he told me: "We had TWO recesses today!"
That's my boy.
Before the end of the day, I learned he and the other kindergartners had been loud at lunch, a boy in his class named Simon had gotten hurt but no one knew what happened, his teacher had read a story about going to kindergarten and he'd had graham crackers for a mid-morning snack. Oh, and they counted to 10.
But he didn't learn anything new. Not yet, he says.
Still, he made it. He did it. He was fine. He liked it.
And you were worried.
Today, my baby went to kindergarten.
And in 51 minutes - yes, I am counting - I can go get him.
I can't wait. I need to make sure he was OK. I need to ask how lunch went. Could he get the baggies holding his peanut butter and jelly and strawberries open? If he couldn't, did he ask for help? Did he do alright in the bathroom? Did he make a friend? How does he like his teacher? Did he learn anything today? When is P.E.? What about music? Were the kids in his class nice? How was recess? What did he play with? What are the names of the kids who sit at his table? Did his teacher read any books? What did he do with his school supplies?
Did he miss me?
Hey, I haven't even cried today. (That's because I cried for hours last night. I wish I was kidding.)
I go back and forth between knowing that my child is nothing but ready for this next step in his life, that it's exactly what he needs to continue growing and thriving AND from feeling like I want to cling to whatever strands of blonde hair I can grab ahold of to keep him from growing up - and away from Mommy - any faster.
What can I do anyway, though? Except cheer him on as he goes out into this big, wondrous world.
Here's to you, my baby boy. Go get 'em.
Getting divorced is not an easy thing.
Every aspect of it actually is awful. Emotionally, it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It's not what I set out wanting. It wasn't ever part of my life plan.
But it is done now, and I want you to know the girl who came out on the other side.
Her name is Veronica Daehn. She is a mother of two beautiful, smart, charming, fun children who she wouldn't trade for the world.
She is a journalist. A friend. A daughter. A sister. An aunt.
She is the owner of one cat, who is not for sale. Ever.
She is not the Veronica Daehn who graduated school with a 4.0. Nor is she the Veronica Daehn who won awards for things like hustle and spirit in athletics. She's not the Veronica Daehn who couldn't take a joke. She's not the Veronica Daehn who tried hard at everything she did.
She's just not that girl anymore.
She is changed.
This Veronica Daehn is older, wiser, less naive, more realistic, more understanding, a better friend - and she's working on her patience.
She is less involved in things that don't matter. She's stopped trying to impress people. She's working on not caring what others think (this one is hard).
She has regrets.
This Veronica Daehn knows we don't always get what we want - and she's stopped striving for that.
She is working on forgiving herself. She is working on forgiving others.
And overall, this Veronica Daehn is happy to be back, as a hybrid of the girl she once was and the mother she now is. She's paving her path as she goes, a bit more carefully this time, much more wisely, she hopes.
She's taking things as they come, perhaps a bit more skeptically.
Perhaps a bit more happily.