Like any (okay, most) self-respecting snobby working mom, I love to diss scrapbooking. For years I’ve wanted to pitch a story to New Times (my dayjob) about what I’ve come to call “the hierarchy of craft”. Scrapbooking’s at the very bottom, with beading (beading that requires no skill, just shopping and stringing — by the way, my craft of choice, along with hoarding craft supplies which I HAVE turned into a fine art) just above it.
But I always chicken out. Sort of like how I never got the nerve to pitch the idea about book clubs as the adult mean girl’s stomping grounds. (I think the New York Times Style section finally did it a little while ago. Damn.)
Digression, per usual. My point is that this morning I was shoving stuff into the girls’ annual boxes (the closest I get to memory preservation, I keep a box for each girl for each school year and put a lot of stuff — not everything but highlights in it) and thinking about how I do sort of wish I scrapbooked, and about how the school year is officially half over.
Christmas Break (let’s call a non-secular spade a non-secular spade) has begun. A time of reflection, at least a 5 minute window of it as I shove stuff into boxes, behind closet doors and under beds, in anticipation for the onslaught of our annual cocktail-party-that-with-kids-has-turned-into-more-of-a-cookie party tomorrow.
Sophie’s grown so much. She still waxes and wanes with the full moon — probably always will, I hope so — but I can see real growth. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappear in a sea of late nights and hot chocolate these next two weeks.
And Annabelle. Going through her pile of papers, I was tickled. Not by the math homework and spelling tests, but by the little scraps tucked in — her fashion designs, notes to and from friends, drawings of animals doing nutty things. I love that kid. She is so comfortable in her skin. Doesn’t come from me. I know Ray gets some credit. Her teacher, too.
I can only hope Sophie holds on at this school til second grade, so she can have the fantastic Mrs. Z. A couple weeks ago, Annabelle had a stomachache. “She just has to poop,” I stage whispered to Mrs. Z, warning her this might come arise as a topic.
“No problem,” she stage whispered back. “I’ll send her to the bathroom. Sometimes I send the kids with a book.”
LOVE THAT WOMAN.
(And apologies if I’ve already mentioned that story, but it’s so good I’ll say it again! Also apologies to George Constanza and that particular Seinfeld episode.)
Mrs. Z. is a busy woman — she just graduated with a masters in something education related (I fear administration; she’d make a super principal but I want her to wait til she’s had Sophie!) and she has a family to watch out for, but still, there was a note in Annabelle’s back pack when she came home yesterday.
The class just finished reading “The Tale of Despereaux,” Mrs. Z explained in the note, and she’ll be seeing it this weekend at a nearby theater. She named the time and invited anyone from the class to come along.
No surprise that Mrs. Z and Sophie’s Ms. X are close friends. I heard Bill Bennett waxing on CNN the other day about how really, above all, teacher quality is what counts. I was horrified to find myself agreeing with this neanderthal, but how can I help it, on that point?
I’m not sure he was thinking about a teacher thoughtful enough to send my kid to the bathroom with a book. But still.