A Letter of Apology to School Moms

shutterstock_139565093Dear School Moms,

Yes, you! And you, and you, and you, and of course, you. Allow me to start off by saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry for so many things, and believe me when I tell you I have a lot to be sorry for.

You see, my son attended this elementary school for six years, and for six years I secretly judged you. I judged the coveted circle you stood in. I judged the inside information only you seemed to know. I judged your relationships with teachers, administrators, and yes, even students. I judged you because I didn’t know you, sure, but I really judged you because I was jealous.

I envied you walking your kids to the school gate while I commuted to work in traffic. I resented every forgotten lunch pail and homework assignment retrieved on a moment’s notice while I pounded a keyboard in my cubicle. I was jealous of your class volunteer efforts, chaperoned field trip memories, and presence at every student recognition assembly, no matter how small. I wanted what you had. I wanted my kid’s school to feel like a familiar stomping ground. I yearned for the camaraderie of my fellow school moms. I wished for my kid to be able to look out into a sea of parents and see me there every time. But I didn’t have those things, and your faces were the ones my kid saw.

Part of me wanted to know you, probably just so I could say I did. Maybe it was my inner 7th grade misfit hoping you’d notice me, maybe it was to boost my mom cred, or maybe it was to prove to myself that y’all weren’t worth knowing at all. It would have been easier that way, you know? If you ladies were rude or shamefully exclusive or only wore pink on Wednesdays, at least then I wouldn’t have felt like I was missing out on so much. [read more…]

I Can’t Save My Son From Junior High

shutterstock_61020073In life, there are universal truths: one plus one will always equal two, Gwyneth Paltrow will always be better, and junior high will always suck.

We don’t question these truths because we’re smarter than that, dear friends. We’ve lived enough life to know better. So as my son geared up to begin junior high this year, I knew we were in for a rocky road. Like any junior high survivor, I had fears, but I hid them under an encouraging smile because Boy Wonder had fears of his own and the last thing he needed were mine.

As my son exited the car on that fateful first day of 7th grade, I said a little prayer for his comfort. I knew his day would be filled with the uncertainty and frustrations of stubborn lockers, can’t-find-in-time classrooms, and friends with alternate lunch periods. And even though I knew these inevitabilities would rattle him, I held out hope for the possibility of it all. Maybe he’d find this brave new world somehow inspiring. Maybe he’d develop new and lasting friendships. Or maybe he just wouldn’t crumble.

As he shuffled to the car at pick-up that first day, his eyes were cast ever-downward. Something in my gut sounded the mom alarm. This wouldn’t just be a bad first day; junior high would be the battle of his short lifetime. And we both knew it.

For the first time in forever, Boy Wonder didn’t have it all figured out. He couldn’t commit the lessons and teacher specifics of each class to memory. He’d have to crack a book, get himself organized, keep himself organized, plan ahead, work hard, and do about a billion other things he had little experience doing. Elementary school had been a cake walk for this kid. Pulling A’s with minimal effort, school up to this point had served as little more than an inconvenient pit stop on the way to something better. He’d never been invested in his educational experience, but maybe that’s because he never had to be.

Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t push him hard enough in elementary school. But how do you push a kid to care? And further, when the grades are outstanding, why would you? You wouldn’t, or at least I didn’t, because there were always other, more pressing fires to extinguish in motherhood. [read more…]

Launch Some Awesome With a DIY Rocket!

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Looking for a fun DIY project that’s guaranteed to launch a thousand smiles? Well, thank your lucky stars – you’ve come to right place! With just a few simple supplies and the desire to blast off to fun, your kids can create their very own baking soda and vinegar rocket with the help of our […]

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I’m Afraid I Make it Look Too Easy

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You know how certain months hold special meanings for people? Maybe April signifies joy for some beautiful, heartfelt reason, or August represents a weighty month of despair. As we compartmentalize our emotions within the timeline of personal wins and losses, before we know it, we’ve crafted an annual calendar synonymous with emotion. That’s what November […]

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A DIY Your Kids Will Love: Turn Your Phone Into a Projector

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Have kids who oughta be in pictures? Then they’re sure to love this DIY project projector we created with the help of Meet Me At The Reck – my family’s new favorite online destination for laughs, crafts, and outrageous fun! This new video series from Maker.tv follows host Andrew W.K. and friends as they embark on […]

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The Practical Parent’s Guide to Surviving Tween Attitude

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Once upon a time I had a loving son. He was sweet. He smiled a lot. He looked at me with eyes so full of love and adoration that I couldn’t help but fall to pieces. We were a team. We were magic. And then he turned 10. It didn’t happen overnight, but my buddy, […]

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Is Running Out of Time Any Reason to Have a Baby?

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So a lot has happened to make me feel, *ahem* older lately. I had a birthday. My son turned 12. I celebrated my 20-year high school reunion. And while any one of these things is enough to make you wonder whether you’ve done Oprah proud, one big question continues to nag at my consciousness: should […]

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No, I Don’t Want My Son to Befriend His Bully

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It all started last year when BooBoo brought a rubber ball to school to play with at recess. After playing with it for a few minutes, a kid named Trevor confiscated it for his own amusement. Words were spoken, a struggle was had, and tears were shed. Trevor was swiftly reprimanded for his actions and first […]

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6 Spooktacular Ways to Celebrate Halloween as a Family

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Think Halloween is just for kids? Think again! Now, I know when we think of traditional family holidays, the usual suspects come to mind, but for many families Halloween holds a special (and spooky) place in our hearts. As the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season, Halloween offers all the spirited magic, yummy treats, and […]

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In Defense of Older Trick-or-Treaters

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“If you don’t tell me what you want to be for Halloween, you won’t get to go trick-or-treating.” I told Boy Wonder for the hundredth time. “I’m too old for that.” he said. “People don’t like giving candy to older kids. Last year they kinda made me feel bad about it.” “What? Who? How? Was […]

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