Friday, May 23, 2014

Rehab for Tired, Old Moms

I wasn't the best mom in Indiana.

There, I said it.

I had my reasons. For starters, I was sick with chronic Lyme disease for most of those five years. Tired, ill, and depressed most of the time.

My town never had the feeling of community. They were reserved and cautious, the kind of folks who saw that glass as half empty. You were judged to be untrustworthy until proven to be acceptable. In all of my five years, I'm not sure that I was ever "acceptable."

I tried to volunteer, get involved. But even at the schools, I would sign up to help kids, and invariably, I became a teacher's copy girl with no child interaction.

I became close to my oldest sons' friends, and made our home open and welcome to all of them. But when it came to the schools and the neighborhood moms, I never found a place for myself there. After a while, I just stopped trying.

Sam and I vowed to do better in Pittsburgh.

And Pittsburgh, in turn, has been better for us.

It's a town where people are happy, welcoming, friendly. You are judged to be a good person until proven otherwise.

Case in point: Sam's awesome school. I've had so many opportunities to work with the kids. Field trips, class presentations, concerts, art shows. Real interaction.

This week, I was heading up the southeast region for Travel Day USA.

Augusta for the Masters, complete with blooming azaleas.

The real bushes were too expensive, so I made my own using tissue paper flowers.

Jesters hats and masks for New Orleans style Mardi Gras.

Sunshine and sand for Florida.

The kids had a great time today. I had a lot of wonderful mom helpers, and the teachers were so appreciative of our efforts.

Sleepovers and play dates. Piano classes and art classes. Bike rides and walks, just talking with the neighbors.

We vowed to do better, and we have.

Who says you can't teach an old mom new tricks?