Brief Update: Your Response Requested

Quick updates, friends, on this, the first day of school 2018:


2. Fell back asleep. 

3. Slept through my alarm.

4. Woke to the face of a child asking if I would, because this is the First Day and therefore a Special Circumstance, “do that thing where you at least look like you tried.”

Um. Pardon?

5. HARMED NO ONE. I shall throw myself an awards ceremony later, as per usual.

6. Did that thing where I at least look like I tried — aka, mascara + pants. 

7. Walked my babies into school ON TIME. Completed all the Parent Tasks. Lost my keys.

8. Searched the school. Saw my babies on the way. Said, “HI, BABIES! I LOVE YOU!” Except quiet, because there’s no need to embarrass them on the first day. “Hi, babies. I love you.” SO quiet. Like, zero decibels. “hi, babies. i love you.” I pretty much just mouthed the words.

9. Was told by the sweet munchkins I labored for FOUR DAYS to deliver to SHHHHHHHHHHH.


10. OK, fine. Whatever. Assured them I shall not proclaim from my mouth my love for them at school again.

11. Found my keys!

12. Stopped by the school counselor’s office — who’s also my brother and my babies’ uncle because it’s a Small Town, folks —and gently requested he make one teeny, tiny announcement over the loudspeaker to tell “CAI AND CAEL WOOLSEY” that “YOUR MOMMY LOVES YOU VERY MUCH.”

He won’t do it, of course, because he’s kind and that request is wholly inappropriate, so I shall follow up with the principal to let her know the counselor was unresponsive to my needs. I also swiped a stack of Parent/Counselor Comment Forms so I can keep him apprised of My Thoughts and Helpful Suggestions throughout the school year. That should keep me busy for a while. 

In conclusion, the school year has begun, and it’s going to be the Best Year EVER. 

Also, you can pray for my children and the school counselor.

Also-also, how are YOU? I need updates, please. What items have you lost lately? Are you wearing pants? Do you at least look like you tried? If not, let’s hang out. 

Also-also-also, if you have any Helpful Suggestions for a middle school, I have some forms I need to complete. Just saying.

Love to you and waving, waving,



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64 responses to “Brief Update: Your Response Requested”

  1. Forgot about the mascara and pants part. This week I procrastinated laundry long enough that the only clean pants left are my “party pants,” which are super comfy and garishly clashing plaid polyester pants that my aunt made for me. It’s actually kind of a reward to get to the point of having to wear them…so comfy. I went to the store in party pants, mismatching socks, and sandals, because…I tried on other options and this was the best choice for my mental health and well being. Mascara happened for the first time all year two weeks ago Sunday! Putting on makeup and/or jewelry is one of my awards-ceremony-worthy activities.

  2. We’re still living! Living the life. Glad to hear about all you other mommies living the life, too. It’s a fun community, all you mommies, whom I get to read and laugh and write with when we have time in the middle of the night.

    We’re too young for structured school (thank goodness because I’m not ready to let them go yet) so here’s our latest adventure: we found a giant caterpillar in our yard–picture a caterpillar large enough to eat a mouse. My daughter named it Bessie, my son wanted it inside all day, and my baby tried to eat it. Needless to say it HAD to go back outside and has now “turned into a giant moth and flown away.” Or been the main course at a neighborhood bird feast, but I didn’t tell my kids that possibility.

  3. I dropped off my baby at kindergarten last Tuesday, then left town for a work conference the rest of the week. Thank the universe we have a beautiful village to step up. It was a great conference, but handling that, regular work (one-woman show ftw?) a family stuff while out of town is exhausting. Real pants part of the weekend, but zero hair or makeup effort.

  4. I just started school with my youngest (yeah, we homeschool) Malachi, who is 12. This year will be different from all the others because we also have in residence at our house Anya, who is 6, and Ellie, who is 2. They are sweethearts and they are living with us right now because their mama is in the hospital getting chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant because: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma struck her poor lovely body twice. Their papa (our son) is in the hospital with her because he is a prince and loves her so. SOoooo that means that I NEVER look like i tried, because I am tired and sleep-deprived and cry some nearly every day, and spend lots of time railing against this fallen world, cancer, our toxic environment that is making so many of us sick, but mostly the fact that my lovely daughter in law–one of the best persons on earth– doesn’t deserve a minute of this = no mascara where it belongs. (My son is a close second in that contest, being guileless and good and generous and kind and patient, and please don’t ask me where he obtained all those qualities, because I haven’t a clue.) The mascara? Maybe around my jowls, which (by the way) are something else I rail against (thank you very much, gravity, NoT). I just subscribed to your email list because we mamas need to stick together. Blessings on your school year, Beth.

    • Oh, Amy. I’m so sorry. What a season of life you and yours are experiencing right now. My heart breaks with yours. Sending you loads of love and waving in this inexplicable darkness…

  5. We had our grandsons for the last three days of their first week of school so their parents could run away, or do a rafting trip or some such thing. I forgot how much work it is to get them up, fed and out the door looking somewhat presentable. Try to explain why they can’t wear yesterday’s clothes with the dirt stains even tho it’s their favorite. Should I mention they both had soccer practice, at different (overlapping) times. Thank goodness I have a spouse so we can each be responsible for one! My point is, I’m exhausted, this is why we have our babies when we’re much younger.

    • You have a newborn AND PANTS? You are a ROCK STAR! <— and this is not written in sarcasm font, either. You deserve major kudos, friend. Being a parent of a newborn is relentless. Waving...

  6. We’ve been in school for a month now. For some reason, the school decided that the first week of school would be a fantastic time to send home a fundraiser. I sent that stuff right back and told the kid that we would not be participating in that nonsense. Now, spring fundraiser selling cookie dough – I am all over that. But this discount card insanity is a big NOPE.

    Now we have just come back from a day off for Labor day and we have a landforms project due next Friday. This is 4th grade crazy, and all the sheet says is that all 7 landforms must be shown, and it must be 1/2 sheet poster board or a shadow box, and we can’t print pictures from the internet. This is … not enough info for me. Also, what the hell is an isthmus, and why do I need to create one? Naturally, my child has grandiose ideas involving REAL water and tiny animals (gators, snakes, birds) for the swamp area, and it sounds like his plan will take up at least a good 100 square feet after finished, and we just do not have the time, money or patience for that. So. Yeah. 4th grade is off to a great start.

    • FUNDRAISERS ARE THE LITERAL WORST. I nope all over those. The last few years, between 5 kids, 4 schools, various sports and extracurriculars, we would’ve had to participate in 500billion fundraisers. That’s the actual number. I counted. So nope. We make straight financial donations if we can. Otherwise, it’s a big, fat zero. We talk to our kids about how to earn the money for the “prizes” they “might win” if they participate. And when we donate $, we know the WHOLE amount goes to the school/team/organization instead of 50% or 30% or whatever the cookie dough racket is these days. The neighbor kids know, too. They come to our door and ask if I want to write a check, “because we know, we know — you can make cookie dough cheaper yourself.” It’s good to be known!

      Also, that ithsmus sounds like a nightmare. Horrifying.

      • So much this! I despise fundraisers and will always just write a check so the organization actually gets the whole amount and I don’t get cheap crap from China that will inevitably end up in the next garage sale. I was delighted when my son’s 5th grade class gave the option of participating in 2 fundraisers or just writing a check for $25 to pay for the special field trips. The teacher even looked at me like I was crazy when he offered to let me buy something for $25 and I said “no thank you, I’d rather the school have all the money”. 😉
        The only exception I make is for raffle tickets where all the prizes donated are from local businesses and services. That one is definitely worth entering!

        Also, also, I have reached the point where all 4 of my children are in school full time and I have gone on a walk with mom friends 2 mornings already this week and tomorrow is my first day back as a substitute teacher. Eeeek! In the mean time, my mom had knee replacement surgery the day before school started and so I’ve been babysitting her and I finally got her moved home from rehab yesterday. Nothing like bookending your summer with both parents in the hospital (my dad died in June).

        All that to say, this school year is going to be full of new! and exciting! adventures as we all journey to a new place in life. Happy September!

  7. My youngest started middle school last week and Holy Freaking Attitude. I’m trying to keep a sense of humor about it. We went out together tonight and bought her a journal so she can write about how much she hates me in it.

    Also, I lost my phone last Friday, and last night as I was falling asleep, realized that I probably took it out of my pocket in the staff bathroom at school (because it only took me three times of dumping phones into the toilet to change my ways) and didn’t pick it up again. I emailed our secretary this morning to see if the custodians had turned it in, and she said, “Yep; come and get it!” Phew.

    Helpful things to tell school counselors–hmm. How about asking why your kids can’t take band all year AND take Spanish all year AND be in every additional class you can think of that’s only offered once during the school day. Counselors LOVE scheduling challenges. Or you can pick some reasonably sensible school rule, or even one that isn’t great but isn’t a big deal, and complain about it vociferously. “WHY can’t my kid have their phone on in class? How will I get in touch with them otherwise? WHY can’t they wear slippers? I won’t sue you if they slide down the hall and crash into someone!” You get the idea.

  8. My last baby started his 3rd year of HS today………in another state where he lives with his father. He spent the summer with me, we laughed, we talked, we took a couple trips then I took him to the airport and waved as he got on his flight. I don’t let him see how deep the hurt is because I want him to know his fathers love and he didn’t create this situation So this week, this day, like all others, I check in and encourage from the side lines. No alarm, no school papers, no first day of the school year opportunity to embarrass someone (it was a favorite of mine)
    I know where my son is and I know he is safe, well adjusted and happy. It’s more than many parents have so I hang on to those facts and wave like crazy from the darkness. Thank you for making me smile and laugh with you creative words and shares.

  9. Tuesday was the first day of training my replacement at work, and I was actually on time (in 5 years that’s probably happened less than 10 times). It didn’t take long to discover that my replacement is much better and faster than me, which is why I am leaving the job (before anyone fires me). Good self-image, what’s that?
    Today was my day off and I slept in past noon. By 3pm I finally put on actual clothing but it wasn’t clean since I need to do laundry. It’s dinner time and I STILL need to do laundry. The bedding is the wash and my new goal is to have it clean and back on the bed before bedtime.
    Luckily, my youngest baby graduated in June.

  10. Your story is 100% true fact, Greg! But your grandma sure loved those boys to the moon, as well as their sisters. And you could tell she loved you a lot, too.

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