Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Such a Relief

Today, I signed my contract for school!  I'm under continuation of service status now, which is life tenure-lite.  Basically, they need to give me a reason if they fire me, and they need to give me a month's notice. 

I have a hard time believing that I've been teaching for three years now.  This is the longest period of time that I've ever held a job.  Usually by now, I'm itching to leave.  But really, I'm doing alright.  I have big plans for the kids next year, and I'll be teaching a new class for the first time since my first year.  It'll be busier, but more fulfilling overall.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Becoming a Godmother

*B* and I have been asked to be godparents for a very close friend whose son was born in January.  She will be baptizing him Catholic, so we can actually fulfill the roles if I am the godmother and *B* is a witness.  I've been doing a fair bit of research on my duties in the church in this manner, and I'm very excited.

The mother of this child is not herself particularly religious.  She was baptized Catholic, but I'm pretty sure she never had communion, and I know she wasn't confirmed.  I take it as my job to instruct my future godson in the faith in a way I was not nurtured as a child.   Though we live a country apart right now, I envision sending him his own Bible and letters (emails) about how to pray and lead a good life.  When together, I look forward to taking him to Mass and explaining the liturgy.

One thing I've realized as I've done my research on being a good godmother is that our children will have no one to be godparents to them.  This cuts me deeply.  My brother would have been a choice, but he was not confirmed and has no real religious belief.  We have one other friend who is Catholic.  We've known each other 20+ years, but I'm not sure she'd be a good choice as she's religiously sound, but not domestically stable.  *B*'s family is not religious in any manner, so there are no options there.

For now,  I'm going to invest my energy into praying for my future godson.  I think the only thing I can do is to ask God to send me someone in the future that could show the same devotion one day to my future children.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What Family Means

When I was younger, my cousin and I were very close.  She had some "attitude issues" and could be hard to get along with, but overall we were friends.  Sometime about five years ago, she was effectively disowned and moved far away.  My family hasn't seen her since then.  She will call sometimes, and I found her on Facebook, so we keep in touch a little bit.

When I was in grad school, she'd call me occasionally, asking for money or trying to sell me stereos at a good price that I was pretty sure were stolen.  She didn't stop asking until I explained to her that I couldn't make my own rent (which was 100% true at that time).  She hasn't asked me since then, but she asks the rest of the family at least a couple of times a year.

A few months ago, she had a baby.  I knew about it before she had it, but no one else did.  She told her mother about him when he was a week old.  The father was deported, so she's raising him on her own, living on welfare. 

I'm having a hard time balancing how my family treats her with how I should treat her.  I know that she's manipulative and has deeply hurt her parents in the past.  On the other hand, I feel so bad that her son will grow up without ANY family other than his mother.

I also feel like this is a warning sign that any false move on my part will put me in the same boat.  Rather than family meaning unconditional love, I walk on eggshells all the time.  Did I forget a thank you note or haven't called in a couple of weeks?  Ticks go in the negative column.  I have to pull something big to get back into good graces.

One of my biggest fears is incorporating the negative characteristics and habits of my existing family into my newly formed family.  I never want to put my kids - or anyone else for that matter - in the position of having to choose between who they are, their dreams, and their family.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garden Goings-On

Relief At Last

Our lives are finally coming back around to normal.  Not that I know what normal is given what's been going on the last few months.  After the wall was fixed, we saw that there was water damage on the floor.

My father-in-law came over, ripped out the subfloor, and he and *B* replaced it.  I'm so thankful that I have such a handy family!

We decided that, since we needed new carpet anyway, we'd paint the room any color we'd like.  My mom suggested a brilliant idea - a focus wall.  We agreed on green, but we were very nervous when I first got it on the wall.

Because our room was originally bright (read: neon) yellow, the green looked absolutely gray.  I persevered though, and I'm so pleased how it turned out, especially with the gorgeous carpet we had installed:

We wasted no time in getting things put back.

Evie supervised :o)

 In the end, I think it turned out pretty well.  

The picture doesn't do it justice.  It reminds me of a spa - so clean and peaceful.  Given the awful beginning, we need the rest!