And lo, in the year of our lord 2013

 

I thought about this post all weekend, but I failed to come up with anything particularly spectacular.

Last month my sister had a baby.

This is nothing new, I mean I have a niece and nephew already – and not to sound too crass, but I mean, my kids are the shit so my nieces and nephews can't be too far from.

My sister recently(ish) remarried. A nice, normal guy who loves the piss out of her and is nice to people besides her, which is sometimes a rarity. He's a good egg. And when I found out they were having a baby I could not have been happier – for her, for him. For me because babies.

Children are spectacular, we all know. But having a child with someone you love with all your being and who loves you right back? That's…not even something words can touch.

I wanted that for her. And so when news of little Parker came along I knew what she was in for and I couldn't wait.

The weekend after her son was born, we went to visit.

He was everything I wanted him to be.
He was tiny, he was sweet.
He had her fingers and feet and his daddy's mouth.
He snuggled in my niece's arms like he already knew where he belonged.
He was – he is – perfect.

So for now I'll spare you the tales of my empty uterus and how SURELY I might have another little boy and holy crap he'd be so amazing and cuddly and little and ohmahgahbabies.

No, for now we can just say that my sister's family is complete. And that there is a little bundle of squiggly baby sized love who knew just where he needed to be, and he will probably never know how much joy he brought with him into the world.

 

 

 

 

What’s not known

I’m unsure how this is going to come out.

There are so many emotions and questions and whatever else that I just really don’t know how to put a filter on it all.

I’ve written before about the small town I live in. How it’s connected and homey. How I feel safe and rooted.

And that’s all still true. I see people every day that I grew up with, went to church (or skipped out on church) with. For better or worse, it’s all familiar. All things I know.

My kids are in the same school district I grew up in. The same buildings their dad inhabited. Sometimes the teachers have even been the same. I feel safe (or I have) knowing they’re watched over and protected.

But weeks ago, there was something…unsettling that happened. It was in the week following the Newtown tragedy, which made it more disturbing. I heard through gossip (another gem of small town living) that there had been an “incident” at the school my kids attend. A gun was mentioned. No one knew exactly what happened or why, but there was

this electric tension of scandal.

So I did what any sane parent would do and I asked the kid most likely to talk – Ava. I casually mentioned that I’d heard some things about a gun at her school, and all nonchalantly she says, “But mom, it didn’t even look real to me or I would have told the teacher.”

Turns out there was indeed a gun.
On the bus with my kids, in fact.

What in the actual hell did I do with this information? What was there to

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do? I figured surely a statement would be made, policies would be instituted…something would happen, right? There was no chance I was the only parent who heard or wondered. These people are charged with keeping my kids safe, they want me to believe they’re doing that, right? I of all people know how quickly things can get blown out of proportion and overreactions can happen…when it’s my family, though, shouldn’t I get to decide what’s important and what’s not?

But nothing happened. The administration of the school district was quiet and people went on about their business. I brushed it off, because despite my bark I am really quite a pansy when it comes to speaking up about things. Now, I’m ashamed to admit that.

Last week word comes around that a principal at one of the middle schools in the district (not our school, but the same superintendent) has been suspended “pending an investigation.” Soon after it’s confirmed that he was actually fired, following a complaint of some kind.

But that’s it. Nothing has been said. No reasons have been given. Rumors have flown and minds have wandered and horrible situations have been concocted and spun. A local news station did a story (you can see it linked here) featuring the school district’s attorney, whose house I used to go to for voice lessons. And whatever good they intended to do for their situation by having the attorney speak on their behalf…well, they didn’t do it. If anything it added more distrust and less confidence.

I do not aim to add to speculation. But this is the school system I trust with my kids. With their minds. Their day to day well being. All the things I miss while they’re away from me, I have given to these people. And based on recent experiences, I don’t really trust that they will tell me if my kids aren’t safe. I think I deserve to know if someone charged with protecting my children is capable of…hurting them.

So what can I do? Really, I’m asking. Because at this point we’re all headed to live somewhere in a bunker.