Tuesday, May 31, 2011


she was honest
i have to give her credit

i saw some pictures on facebook
because my girls have to be my friend
but i saw these pictures
and could tell something was different
the look in her eyes
the distant smile
the disheveled clothes
i had a feeling that alcohol was involved

so i texted her to call me when she was alone
she did
i just asked her
and was thinking about other girls too
if there was drinking
yes there was
she told me
yes she had some
she told me
she said she wanted to be honest
she asked if I was mad

i wasn't
she was telling me the truth
and isn't that what I always told her to do
she was in a party bus
so she wasn't driving
and then
she was spending the night
so she was staying put
she made good decisions
she did
she was honest
she said she was in control
and had been in a good place
for about 3 hours now

she really was drunk
for the first time
honesty is the best policy
now that I know the truth
should I feel better...
because I don't

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lovely time with British Girls

More Fun
Summer is beginning

I help recruit families
in the dallas area
to host
our international staff
before they need to go to camp

the international staff
gets here early
instead of going straight to camp
we have them go live
with our families
to see what
American life is like

they arrive from
of course
south africa
or England

I get to help
make decisions
so I chose
2 girls from England
they were so cute

both girls
were blonde
and fun
and my daughters
fell in love
not just with their accents
but these people
they adored them

we took them shopping
out for mexican food
to the movies
to a dinner
at another family's house
to meet other staff members

we went to target
and bought silly things
for them to take to camp
we gave them t-shirts
and shorts
and cereal
i guess
they don't get Lucky Charms
in england anymore

they were fun
we had fun
my girls enjoyed this
little break

we want to go to camp
even more
I never thought
that could be possible

Friday, May 27, 2011

My daughter the Valedictorian

after 8 years of wishing
my oldest daughter got THE phone call this past Monday
She had the highest grade point average in her class
so finally
she was officially the Valedictorian of the Winston School 2011

Here is the speech she wrote
She spoke so beautifully
of the support
and trying times she had experienced in recent years
 She received a standing ovation
she deserved it wholeheartedly
I was in awe of her truthfulness
I am very blessed

When I was in fourth grade, I learned they had an award for being the best at academics. So ever since, because I have always been a hard worker and studious, I’ve dreamed of becoming valedictorian. If anyone asked me why, it would be very hard to explain. It was something I dreamed about at my previous school, a very competitive private school that constantly filled me with stress. When I began to excel at Winston, it was something I hoped was finally possible. And when I missed the first six weeks of school during my junior year because I was at a residential treatment center, I hoped I had not messed up my chances. To me, valedictorian has always represented the achievement of overcoming the odds, which is why I am proud to stand before you today. I have overcome my difficulties, and without Winston, it would not have happened.
At my old school I did nothing but study, or cry that I needed to study. I came home and passed out on my bed fully clothed from all the stress. My parents pulled me out of that school, something I will always be thankful for. They sent me to The Winston School, which is right behind my house, and that I walk to each day. I’ve always thought that was pretty sweet.
I felt better at Winston, but not all the way. This is because I had more problems than my learning differences, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD, which my peers have also. My main problem was my anxiety and depression, which could not be cured through a simple change in environment. My stress from the academics of school was lifted, because Winston’s atmosphere fit me a lot better. I loved that people were not asking me my grade on my last test every second, as this kind of competitiveness can get very taxing. The problem, though, was my anxiety and depression were causing me problems socially.  I had no friends. I did not even really start talking to people until the end of my 10th grade year. But when I did start to talk to people, I learned that our class is one great bunch of kids.
When I started to stretch my social muscles, our class of 2011 was always very inclusive. They are nice to everyone, and through this they taught me to be more social. I’ve learned how to approach people, and to not stay in the shadows. This is one of the reasons I will always love Winston.
Of course, it is not the only reason. Winston will always have my appreciation for how they helped me at the beginning of my junior year. I missed the first six weeks of school to go to a residential treatment center to work on my anxiety, depression, and anger. I was nervous about missing so much school, which I guess isn’t saying much considering that I have chronic anxiety, but it truly was driving me mad. Then, while I was at the treatment center, I got a card from Mr. Della Costa. This one card made me feel better. I was worried about teachers being mad at me about missing too much school work, but Mr. Della Costa’s card not only made me feel better about returning to band, but also about returning to school in general. Mr. D wished me well, told me how band was going, and said he would not start drum line until his student director returned. The last line said, “So hang in there and whenever you are ready to start band- come in!” And I did hang in there. I got out of the residential treatment center, as a much happier and calmer person, right before my birthday. I was back at school just in time for the second six weeks grading period, and everyone was very nice about my return.
My first day I walked in the school as if I was walking on broken glass, because I was scared to see anyone and hear what they were going to say. This worrying was unnecessary because the first person I saw welcomed me back and gave me a hug. People also knew not to ask me too many questions, which filled me with relief. My friends had even gotten a bunch of people to sign a welcome back poster for me. When I returned, my peers made me feel important. They helped me with my transition back to school.
Everyone at Winston understood that I was going through a hard time, and they were very accommodating. My teachers were understanding about the situation, and helped me get caught up in all my classes. I was very worried about the college process, and I thought my time at the residential center had ruined my chances of making it into a “good” college. Ms. Carlson, though, showed me that everything was fine and I still had the chance to go to any college I wanted. She also showed me that a good college is not defined as an Ivy League school, but the school that is right for me.
I felt sick a lot, so I would often go to Nurse Heck, who I met that year. She always helped me feel better, and she was always there to talk. Sometimes I would just talk to her for almost a whole class period, because she had the ability to calm me after any panic attack. I also had to leave school early, but the administrators and my classmates were always very understanding. Slowly, the Winston environment was helping me to grow.
The next year I was voted Homecoming Queen, and I must say I was probably the most surprised person at that football game. This had been voted on by my peers, and it showed how far I had come. Thanks to Winston I had friends, people thought I was kind, and I now had the confidence to stand in front of friends, family, even strangers.
This year, I have felt more confident and hopeful. Despite all the college and senior excitement, Winston allowed me to dedicate my time to Vogel Alcove, a childcare center for homeless children, two days a week during spring semester. I am sure my absences worried some, but to me they represent the first time I could emotionally put others ahead of my academics. This was an enormous step for me and thanks to everyone who allowed this to happen.
So I stand here today, as valedictorian. My goal was reached, but my feelings are different. I have worked not only on my learning differences, but also on my anxiety and depression, which I know some of my classmates have struggled with as well. I have made friends and grown as a person. To the Winston community, I will always be grateful. To my classmates, The Winston Class of 2011, if you guys can help someone like me, which all of you did in your own way, you can do anything. All of you are amazing people, who I know will go far in life. Also, speaking on behalf of the class, I would like to thank all the parents, siblings (in my case sisters) and extended family, because like my own family, you have helped make us become the successful adults we are today.
Congratulations Class of 2011, we are graduating today, having overcome one thing or another. Look back at your lives, and you will also see how far you have made it. We should all be proud of what we have accomplished.
Thank you!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

parenting another

i have 3 girls
so I adopted a boy
not just any boy
but a little brother
for me
not my girls

it is hard sometimes
because he needs a mother
even when she comes in town
she is not a mother
a typical mother
she only thinks of herself
and I can tell that
needs a mom
he actually needs a woman
he can trust
so I became that woman
on my own
and I told him so

this spring
he discovered he had a tumor
in his jaw
thank gawd
it was not malignant
it still needed to be cut out
and bone had to be replaced
by metal
and surgery was going to last hours
and more hours
in the hospital
and days recovering
possibly months

I wanted to take care of him
like I always do
I have been there
for nose surgery
emergency surgery
on said tumor
whatever he needed
he knew to call me

leading up to the surgery
he told me
his mother
was coming in
I freaked
in the 10 years I have known him
she has never come to town
he assured me he was fine
but I worried
that I would not be
I worried
that I would go off on her
I didn't
she helped me
understand him

that ended up being a good thing
I was nice to her
I listened to her
I helped calm him down
when he was bothered by her

it was time for her to leave
he was not better
his mouth was wired shut
so he could barely eat
he had to take strong medication
and he
threw up
that was the scariest thing
i ever heard

i drove them both
to the ER
and I spoke to her all night
she was scared to leave the city
she needed to get back home
to work

I helped make a schedule
someone was going to stay with him
at his house
for 3 nights
then he would move in with me
my family
my husband
my daughters
while that person
went out of town

he was pissed
i knew he would be

but I was not prepared
for how he acted
when he got to my house

like a toddler
like a child
who didn't get their way

all I wanted to do was help
he saw it as
taking away
his freedom
I had to let him go
I took him home
after 24 hours
he needed that

he needed to be in his own bed
i needed to trust
that he was okay
it is all about letting go
i will learn that soon enough

i parent 3 teenage girls
i don't need to parent
a 30 year old either
i can be his sister
his older sister
not his mother

that is good enough for me
and for him

Thursday, May 12, 2011


oh my gosh
am I going to make it
is she going to make it

Karen has been thinking
and been getting hints all year
that she is the
of her high school class

but the school
doesn't announce their decision
until the Monday
before graduation

Karen is frustrated
teachers have made comments
students have made assumptions
even some administration
have given hints
Jeff even called the headmaster
to ask
but she was more concerned
that teachers and administrators
had over stepped their bounds
than Karen
having an anxiety attack.

it is so frustrating
i know it is killing her
she can't sleep
she is anxious
and pulling her hair out
she is on edge
she is obsessed with this
she can't focus
she can't think straight
this is all she wants
she wants to know
if there is even a chance

I want to help
of course
the enabler in me
the one who wants to fix things
she will have to wait
like everyone else

i hate that.....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last Greenhill Luncheon

just this week
i was at my last Greenhill Parents Association Luncheon
i saw with friends
who say they will miss me
and i think they will
and i saw old friends
some spoke
others didn't
i saw some administration
who totally ignored me

which is sad
but is the truth
they won't miss me
or my girls
after all these years
i will be gone from this institution

a place i worked
a place i respected
a place i trusted
a place i let my children run free
a place i thought was safe

it was
yes it was
i felt safe there
i felt my children were safe there

all of that has changed
the saddest thing of all
is that many just don't care
they only see who is still there
who will put up with this sh*t
who will believe that it is their ticket to a "good" school

we now know
that a "good" school is not always what others think
the best school for one child
may not be the best for another

we also know
that our children should feel good about themselves
they don't need to forsake sleep for studying
they don't need to give up friends for books
they should have a life
that involves going to school
AND being able to play

we want our daughters to enjoy
this time
it is short
and should be fun

go to school
live life
make friends
make memories

there wasn't much smiling today
or so it seemed
everyone was trying to impress one person or another
where their child was attending college
or a summer program
or grades

i tried my best to stay out of those conversations
i know what is important