Tuesday, September 30, 2008

does anyone know anything around here?

a million dollar photograph for sure

downside of doggie daycare, if there is one:  driving in to find my little darling chocolate Labrador tied to the fence in the corner.  means one thing:  she was in another fight.  hasn't someone somewhere said that Labradors are friendly, if not friendliest?  her nemesis today is a little darling chocolate Labrador that looks just like her.  well, that wasn't the whole story, as if that wasn't enough:  she was tied in the corner because after she was bad as the chocolate industry, she escaped.

over the past 36 years I have picked up my many children from daycare, preschool, kindergarten, primary school, junior high and high school (yes, to their chagrin).  I picked them up from after-school sports, from the library, from the downtown Plaza.  in other words, I have been schlepping for quite some time.  mind you, I don't mind.  I always kind of liked seeing them from a distance in their world, and I liked letting that first glimpse be a recognition, like, "Hey, I know him/her!"  and letting that recognition turn into a swell of pride, because you know, I have the most beautiful children, brilliant, capable, etc etc etc.

of course there were days when my vehicle filled with tired, crabby and very vocal grumps.  did I feel any less proud of them?  no.  yet there were days when we arrived home and all of us were tired, crabby, hungry and vocally horrible.  still, I maintain, it was always fun in a way, to pick them up.

one day I drove to the elementary school with apprehension rising through my bones.  I had received a phone call that my 5th grade son had been in a serious fight.  have you ever read Tillie Olson's short story, "I Stand Here Ironing"?  in a nutshell, I drove the 15 minute drive going over every possible angle starting with a pointed, 'where were the yard-duty people'?  I even skipped into my daughter's unjust fight 7 years earlier.  seriously, I probably argued for the whole drive with the administration, teachers and staff.  regardless, I still had to go inside the building to retrieve my son, who was being suspended for 3 days.  he was quiet, and I saw in him a barely discernible relaxing when I walked into the room.  after the formalities and paper signing, and picking up his brother, and getting into the car and maneuvering through the crazy parking lot, I said to him gently, "are you all right?"

"I'm not the one crying, am I?"

well, that chocolate Labrador is his,  Meat Pie is her name.  she has a tendency to hold grudges and to take things into her own teeth.  my job is to pick her up.



Sorrow said...

I sat here reading this, and relating so much to it, and when I got to the line" I'm not the one crying here" I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair. I still have tears in my eyes...
I have a Heinz and a Schipperke, they can give me looks...
and i know when they recognize me from across the yard..

Ces said...

I love your surroundings. I have been to Northern California only once. The view of Mt. Shasta driving down from Oregon was divine. My husband and I hope to go back next year to see the redwoods with our children.

kj said...

what an awesome piece of writing!

and what a healthy view of the way things work!


Bimbimbie said...

I'm reading this with one ear to the radio it's talking about school bullying ... I can't help thinking every child should spend some time learning from a canine *!*

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