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Archive for May, 2013

Dear Teachers:

I admire you and appreciate you every single day. It takes a certain day of the year, though, to really remind me that your selfless, barely-paid work keeps me and moms like me out of straightjackets.

That day is Field Day.*

As soon as I set up shop in the Sack Race/Tug of War tent, I remembered that I vowed last year that I would never volunteer again.

Field Day must be like childbirth where you forget the pain and screaming until you are back at it. That’s the only excuse I have for volunteering again. I just forgot that it was akin to Lower Hell, otherwise known as the City of Dis, where active sins are punished.

Field Day at my children's school

Field Day at my children’s school

I took the morning off from work, thinking, “How bad could it be?”

It was bad.

So bad.

I’m not sure when I lost my will to live. It could have been after I told Ashton No. 14 to stop picking his nose (or that might have been Connor No. 12 or Jaden No. 9).

It could have been after I plucked fragments of the Tug of War rope out of my bloodied hands after telling the sixth group of jackals children to “Stop pulling! This side has already won!”

It could have been after my youngest child earned the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Tug of War Pileup Casualty.

I know this for sure: As sweat pooled in my bra and underpants, I thought, “Never again.”

My husband made the mistake of calling me in the middle of this. I verbally assaulted him. He may have already consulted an attorney.

The outer ring of the seventh circle of Hell (ie. violence against people and property) nearly welcomed me when I took a break to go inside to get water. A number of women were sitting in chairs in the air-conditioned snack room — their assigned volunteer spots — chatting about shopping. Their hair was still styled, clothes clean and dry, foreheads unsheened. I regarded them through rage-clouded eyes and restrained my fists of fury.

Back outside with a warm, begrudgingly offered bottle of water, I slogged through what seemed like 4,000 more sack races and rope battles. Time stood still.

Sack Race No. 2,147

Sack Race No. 2,147

After the last group of the morning had shoved and cried their way through the two “games,” it was time for lunch. My oldest child, who suddenly looked so much taller than he had that morning, asked me if I would eat lunch with him in his classroom. He took me by the hand and said, “I love you, Mama.”

And I remembered why I volunteered.

See you next year!
Beth

* A day that consists of trying to corral children into teams to compete in games that are supposed to be fun. These games devolve into pushing matches, crying jags, and squeals of “he’s cheating!” And that’s just the parents. (I’m kidding. It was just me.)

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Photo courtesy of Shane Marshall Brown

Photo courtesy of Shane Marshall Brown

Dear Shane and Jason:

Thank you so much for inviting me to your wedding. I haven’t cried at a wedding in years, but I cried at yours. Seeing wuv, true wuv made me emotional! Not that straight people don’t have true love too, but they don’t have problems making it legally binding.

(You obviously know how I feel about same-sex marriage, so I don’t need to go into great detail here.)

I just think if people could see what I saw, then there wouldn’t be any opposition. Love is love. Shane, look at your sweet face in this photo!

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I feel honored that I could be a part of your special day, meet a whole passel of fun, self-proclaimed “theater gays,” and witness something truly wonderful. It even offered a teaching moment for my boys.

Dominic: “Why are you packing?”
Me: “Remember I’m going to my friends’ wedding?”
Dominic: “Oh right. Which friends?”
Me: “Shane and Jason.”
Dominic (looking at me for a beat): “Is Shane the girl?”
Me: “No.”
Dominic: “Jason’s the girl?”
Me: “No.”
Dominic: “They’re both boys?”
Me: “Yes.”
Dominic: “They’re gay?”
Me: “Yes.”
Dominic: “Gay people can get married?”

Yes, Dominic. They can in some places, and they should in more.

Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you? (from “Cinderella,” Rodgers and Hammerstein)

I think you two are beautiful. Thank you for letting me share in your big moment.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Friends in South Carolina:

I need you to explain something to me. How is it possible that Mark Sanford is a viable candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat vacated by Rep. Tim Scott? I realize that this district skews Republican. I get it. But even Republicans can’t possibly want to vote for THIS Republican.

Let’s recap his behavior as S.C. governor in June 2009:

Sanford and his lady love

Sanford and his lady love

His wife, Jenny, divorced him. Smart lady.

Even people in his own party called him out.

Irrational behavior. Lies, lies, lies. (Sen. Jake Knotts)

Yet S.C. voters haven’t kicked him to the curb. In fact, polls indicate that he and his Democratic rival, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, are neck and neck.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch

Yes, she’s a Democrat asking for a traditionally Republican seat. Yes, she’s the sister of Stephen Colbert, which works against her in some circles. But COME ON!

You’re going to believe THIS guy when he starts talking about ethics and values?

I believe in second chances, but this is ridiculous.

So I ask you, my friends: How is Sanford a viable candidate? Please tell me the polls just made the race look close. Please tell me he won’t win the special election today. Please.

Hello?

Sigh.
Beth

*UPDATE: He freakin’ won!

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