Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December diary

*Holiday party at my retreat ministry last night. A board member had prepared a ritual of jumping over brooms for the boss and myself. She jumped toward the door. I jumped toward the office. It was a nice event and good to ritualize the big threshold each of us is crossing as she moves into a part-time consultant role and I move into the director's seat.

*Today, however, she was in a predictably foul mood. This is not an easy process for her -- letting go of the reins of the organization she created. And she is not entirely letting go. I am stepping in with my eyes wide open. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. Que sera, sera.

*The boy and I made an advent wreath together and have been enjoying lighting the candles and eating by candlelight each night that he's here. We have a deck of Advent discussion cards that we read from, which has been fun.

*I'm interviewing folks for the office manager position which will begin when the boss moves out and I get her office. Nice people. But I need someone with better computer skills than I've seen so far. Anyone out there want to move to Asheville for a low-paying, part-time job in a beautiful, funky little city? You'll have a great boss!

*My Christmas tree is up -- little organic one from a neighbor (have I mentioned that I love my neighborhood?) -- and it is mighty cute if I do say so myself. Also, white-light snowflakes on the porch.

*School situation with the boy's teacher has not really improved, so we're making the best of it by compensating at home. However, I made a new friend recently, who used to teach and is married to a teacher and they both were entirely appalled by my son's teacher's methods and the principal's defense of them, so I did feel somewhat justified. No need to go into details here, but basically she's all about punishing children for not reaching perfection on certain benchmarks. Not satisfactory passing grades. Perfection. Long-term punishment. We're talking months. There is not one person to whom I've explained the situation, except for the principal, who is not completely appalled. The neighbors/new friends/teachers really want us to take the issue to the district office, as they find her practices "bordering on abusive," but ex and I don't really have the energy or stomach to follow through on it.

*In spite of everything -- move, divorce, shitty teacher, sensory integration issues -- the boy is doing very well. He seems like a happy kid. A parent I don't know stopped me on the sidewalk the other day to tell me what a good boy he was. Out of the blue. It made me so happy to hear that from a stranger. He is a good boy.

*Ex and I continue to get along exceptionally well. And on those days when it makes me wonder whether we should make another effort at getting back together, we'll have just enough snippiness to remind me of certain character flaws that I really don't want to deal with again. I take them as little signs from God. Really, I do.

*Have tried out a couple of other churches recently. Yes, I've become the All-American church shopper. Met a lovely Episcopal priest this past week and she and I are having coffee next week.

*Life is good. In spite of crazy boss and mean teacher and loneliness and other things I could complain about, the truth is, life is good. I am healthy, my son is healthy, my parents are near-by and supportive, my separation is going smoothly, I am employed in a flexible and meaningful job, I live in a great neighborhood and I'm making some lovely friends.


pj said...

LJ!!! In all seriousness, I would simply love to be your office manager (Asheville, feminist spiritual retreat, etc.) -- if it didn't mean uprooting my family, which I don't think is a possibility at this time. Oh well...

Your son's teacher sounds like a b(w)itch. It's weird that the principal would defend her. Makes you wonder what's going on behind the scenes.

I'm glad you guys are happy, though! You seem as if you always try to see the good in things, and I think it pays off. (Trying to be less negative myself these days.)

lj said...

Well, PJ, apparently I'm trying a bit too hard to see the good. Ex called this a.m. to say that son was in tears at breakfast today saying he was sad about everything. This in the midst of a conversation about Christmas gifts. Not having Christmas as a whole family is going to be rough. I guess I'm glad that he can cry and admit he's sad instead of acting out in other ways. But talk about heart-breaking. Wah! I want to cry, too.

Diane said...

((lj)) sounds hard right now.

Jane R said...

Big hug to you across the miles. Glad I checked in.

Jan said...

((LJ)) Your honesty is refreshing. I'm sorry it's hard, was hard, and will be hard for awhile. But you shared little miracles like the stranger saying what a good boy your son is. Yay.

pj said...

I'm back to throw in my (((((LJ))))).

I'm sorry your little guy is feeling sad, and I hope it's a temporary aberration. But I agree: it's good that he can express it.