Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I am so angry right now, I can hardly see straight.

Mikro has been taking an art class that he really loved. Lately, he winds up coming out of the class to find me upset or in tears, He has become the target of a bunch of older mean girls.

Some of the nasty things to roll off their tongues include:

"You need psychological help."
"You have psychological problems."
"You have no life."
"You're a zero."
"What are you-- You're nothing,"

and a host of other petty insults, all directed at my kid, who is a nice little boy who was taught better than that. I think they target him because he's a homeschooler, and the rest of them go to public school or catholic school. I've told him to walk away from them, to tell them he doesn't like their behavior. And never to call names or hit (especially a girl) if there is any way to walk away.

Today was the no life/zero incident, and it was the straw that broke the camel's back. Mikro gets sent out to find me because he is upset. I had to pack up my laptop to go and talk to the teacher as requested. I pack up, start heading over, and Mikro comes over and tells me my presence is no longer required. He's going to sit in another room and use the computer.

So, the mean girls continue to make art and giggle together, while their victim is exiled. I'm done. I tell him to get his stuff and we're leaving. We get to the car, and I realize he does not have his project. So I send him to get it, and follow.

He goes in and I hear him telling the teacher he won't be back. So I poke my head in and say "I don't think it's productive for him to be here any longer."

Teacher: "He's not having fun anymore."

Me: "If you were tormented and tortured every week, I doubt you'd be having much fun either. I'm sorry, because he really enjoyed the class."

Teacher: "I've spoken to the girls. It's all in fun, they need to tone it down and he needs to be less sensitive."

Me: "He's done. I'm not going to bring my kid here every week to be bullied. Come on, Mikro, let's go home and have no life together. That was rude, girls, just rude." And off we went.

I am angry that the catty brats stayed and finished projects and were able to run off the nice kid. This is what always happens with bullies-- it is always made to be the victim's fault for being sensitive. No. It's the fault of the person acting like an jerk.

Just like women don't deserve it for being dressed in a sexy outfit, and black kids don't deserve it for wearing a hoodie, nice kids don't deserve to be abused because they aren't hardened to being treated like crap.

The fault in every single case lies with the abuser, not the victim.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Field Tripping Recently

We've had a few field trips recently... Let's see... We saw The Magic School Bus musical at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, then went to the playground and had lunch with homeschooling friends. Then we headed across the tip of Manhattan to Bowling Green Park, where Mikro ran off some of the stir crazy before I took him to get some soup and wait for his dad to get out of work.

After Kev joined us, he led us on a little tour of the financial district, including some cool weird stuff we had never seen before, like the glassed over archaeological dig on Stone Street, which shows the foundation walls of a 17th century tavern, and the nearby cisterns.

Another day, we attended the Education Expo at NYU's Kimmel Center. There were workshops for parents, teachers and kids to choose from. Mikro went to an art workshop and made a collage, then a theater workshop where they taught the kids about improvisation and storytelling. Next there was a build your own bog with carnivorous plants class with folks from the New York Botanic Garden. And another theater workshop which involved singing, dancing and improv. There was also a vendor area with information about summer learning opportunities, enrichment programs, and some schools. I found a couple of interesting possibilities to follow up with about field trips, if life ever calms down. There was also a cool exhibit of technological curiosities from the Museum of Interesting Things. I think Mikro's favorite part was that his best friend showed up later in the day, and we left together, walking to Union Square. We stopped along the way to watch a street performance, and then met up with one of my oldest, dearest friends at an Indian Restaurant. A full and fun day.

Some of our planned March excursions got cancelled due to family medical drama, but I'm happy we got to do a few fun and educational things together as a family.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

I'm not gonna lie-- the last month or so has been insanely stressful for our family (heck, the last 10 months haven't exactly been a picnic....) And there were some moments where I thought the chaos would drown us. But I am very happy to report that things seem to be moving (slowly) in a generally good direction (though not without bumps in the road). I've been doing these happiness posts to try to remind myself to focus on the positive things. I know I haven't done one in a while, so I guess we're due...

Things That Are Making Me Happy:
  • Kev started at an IT consulting job a couple of weeks ago. Hurray! The contract is to provide professional services to a huge financial services industry place, that is actually likely to be around for the long term. It's more corporate than he's used to, but so far, he's doing well there, and seems to like the people, and vice versa. It's in lower Manhattan, where he first started working many years ago, so it's like revisiting the old neighborhood for him.

  • Mikro's ailing grandparent has gone from being in hospice care, to a rehabilitation facility, to on the brink of being able to go home. Hopefully some of the stress that has been hanging over our family will start to dissipate now!
  • Old friends who have been there for us through it all. I don't know how we would have gotten through the past year without three of our oldest friends, who were there to lend an ear, distract us with more happy pursuits, and just be there without judging us in our less than finest moments. Thank you, D, C and V. You made it bearable.
  • Walks along the river.

  • Making music, writing songs, listening to old favorites and singing along. Having the Clearwater Festival to look forward to in June.
  • The beautiful spring weather we're having. The birds are back, flowers are popping out in the garden, and it feels so good to go outside and bask in the sun, like a lizard under a heat lamp.

  • Making art alone and with Mikro. Painting, pottery, drawing, and cartooning in somewhat bad taste have all helped keep me sane and brought me comfort through some horrendous stress. Watching Mikro enjoy creating paintings, drawings, paper puppets with articulated limbs, and lots of LEGO critters has been a joy.

  • Books. I've read some really interesting stuff lately, about music and the brain, the nature of happiness, and some fairly dark fantasy featuring musical themes. All useful distractions, and food for thought.
  • Writing. Poetry, lyrics, journaling, blogging and occasionally editing the beginnings of my mystery novel all helped.
  • The deliberate choice to ferret out and latch onto the few good things among the whirlwind of bad, and to keep trying to work things out, even when giving up or falling apart would have been so much easier. I've certainly known since my accident that everything can go horribly wrong in a heartbeat, and often that is a very overwhelming feeling. But I'm learning to fight it. So while all of this has been painful, I guess it has prompted some growth. I'm proud of the fact that Kev and I have faced it all together, and looking forward to us coming out on the other side of it stronger for weathering the storm.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Pat's to You; Happy Anniversary to Us!

It's 21 years for me and Kev, and Mikro has been begging for green hair for awhile. This is wash-out-able stuff from Manic Panic, and he enjoyed his flourescent faux hawk. We had a picnic near the river (before my car decided to die on us).