"Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh,
Totally motionless except for her heart.
Mud flowed up into Lump's pajamas.
She totally confused all the passing piranhas
She's lump, she's lump.
She's in my head. . .
Lump lingered last in line for brains
and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane!
Small thing's so sad that birds could land. . .
Is Lump fast asleep or rockin' out with the band?" - Presidents of the United States of America
I am such a lump.
I took Fifteen for a Moment to Saturday school today. The offense - smoking in the boys room? Hanging the Prinicpal's boxers from the flagpole? Nope, it was. . .I'm so ashamed. . .crying in the library. (note: author drips with sarcasm.)
During the friend-with-the-too-old-boyfriend saga (which has since resolved itself and all is right with the world again), which played out smack-dab in the aftermath of her grandfather's passing, she broke into tears one day in Spanish class. The teacher sent her to the guidance office. She sat waiting for twenty minutes before someone informed her that the counselor she was waiting for wasn't in.
Her English class had begun, but she was still quite distraught. She made her way to the library, where she sat crying for a while. She dried her eyes, regained her composure and waited for the bell to ring.
Her English teacher had notified the dean of her absence. I got the call in the middle of a funk of my own. "This is the dean and I have your daughter in my office. She skipped a class and will have to serve Saturday detention. If she'd left campus, we could expel her." While close, it's not verbatim, but I do remember noting the disappointment in her voice. I didn't argue. I talked to my daughter, decided she was okay, and wrote it on my calendar.
As I drove her in today, I kept thinking, "Why didn't I stand up for her?" And not because I took issue with driving her in on a Saturday, but because it was handled in such a cold and efficient manner, without regard for the fact that my daughter is a person. Zero tolerance and all (well, unless you're the Superintendent!)
I beat myself up over my personal shortcomings all the way home: I should have taken issue with the dean. I never did call my sister yesterday, it was her birthday. I wish I'd been in Houston to get my mom's cat out of the tree for her. I am such a lump!
Maybe, like a lump of silly putty, I'm just stretched a little thin lately. In the middle of yesterday's cat-in-the-tree saga, and while I was in Wal Mart for the second time in one day, Hey Nineteen called. "I called the dispatcher for the fire department near Grandma. Did they get there yet?"
"No. . .but thank you, son. Hey, is something wrong??"
"I can't talk about it. I am just a total screw-up." Click.
What was it now?? I wanted to call him back, but my phone was dead. The Kindergartner was looking for ways to spend her gift card and I had to pick up Fifteen from the mall and get home so she could get ready for a date and Fourteen needed help with an essay. By the time I got to call back, he'd left for class. I'd dropped the Mom-ball again.
I lay awake all night wondering what IT was. . .he'd gotten someone pregnant. . .he'd wrecked his motorcycle. . .he'd messed up his scholarship. . .with teenagers, the possibilities are endless. Short of his killing someone, I figured we'd work it out.
I called him this morning when I got in.
"The kitty has landed!"
"Okay, I was awake all night worrying about you. . .what is it? It's okay, you can tell me anything, I am braced."
"Mom, it wasn't anything. I just got yelled at. Don't worry about it."
Some days, being a mom makes me feel like my lumpy butt is being chewed by tiny teethy fish. And yet, with all of that mental activity, I still feel like a bit of a lump. Not really making much of a difference except in my own mind, confusing all of the passing piranhas. At least I can spell piranha. Piranha, piranha, piranha. . .ha ha ha!
3 months ago