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74 of 365/2- My last parent/teacher conference EVER!
Image by Pahz
Seventeen years ago, my eldest child entered Kindergarten. I have not missed a single parent/teacher conference since. The disabled guy never went to these before he was disabled because he was at work (briefly, in the Army, she turned five his last year in and after that, over-the-road trucker. Then, the stroke and he never went).
Early on, I used to make him go. He’d sit there and smile and nod while the teacher talked to me. But, that early in the time following his stroke, he was downright cranky and hard to deal with. And I was learning as we were going and I decided to pick my battles. Getting him to eat enough each day was a battle I was willing to fight. Getting him to shower daily was a battle I was willing to fight. Forcing him to go into the school every three months- not one I was willing to fight.
So, I did it all. Every single one. And there was one year I had three kids at three different schools. I hated parent/teacher conferences. Not because of my kids- hell, no. My kids are fantastic. Even the boy. He had a few years where his thing was not to turn in homework, but to ace all his tests and pass the class with a solid C. Perfectly average grade.
I hated conferences because they were inconvenient and after elementary school, not geared for any kind of ease for the parent. And that’s fine, really. Because even in middle school, the conferences didn’t bother me. March 3, 2006 was parent/teacher conferences at the middle school. I had a 7th grader (the girl pictured above) and 8th grader (the boy). The older kid was a junior in high school that year. At 7 AM, I walked out my back door to take my old wooden cane to the shop so the disabled guy could paint it for me. I was going to give it away. I slipped and fell on the ice. It wasn’t even proper ice. It was a thick layer of frost that looked like fluffy coconut frosting on a cake. I tore up my right knee for the 8th or 9th time in about 20 years. I was screaming in agony and calling for help. The pain still makes me cringe. The kids came running. The disabled guy did not. Kat (the oldest) got a patio chair for me to lift myself up on and Jase (the boy) went into the house and got the set of crutches we had.
I still went to parent/teacher conferences at 8 AM at the middle school. Except the teachers came downstairs to the office to see me so I wouldn’t have to traipse all over the school to see them. At 930 AM, after dropping the kids off at home, I drove myself to the ER.
And now we know that day was the beginning of the end. That was the real start to everything else that culminated with my getting my knee replaced in 2009 and finally being diagnosed properly with fibromyalgia. (and between March 2006 to December 2008, I gained far too much weight because I was unable to exercise).
So, my March 2006 conference at the high school- on crutches. May 2006, I was using the cane that I had planned on giving away. Every subsequent parent/teacher conference was using one cane, till 2007 when I started using two canes. 2009, March’s conferences were right before the knee-replacement surgery- so two canes. May 2009, I got out of the hospital at noon on a Tuesday (I had been in overnight for the "manipulation under anesthesia" which is a tame way of saying, "we’re gonna knock your ass out and bend your knee for you to break up those adhesions"- which is a nice way of saying "scar tissue"). So I got out of the hospital on that Tuesday and that Thursday, I was at the parent/teacher conferences in a borrowed wheelchair.
What bothered me about the high school’s parent/teacher conferences the last five years is that they would change up the entry point. The conferences are in the "big gymnasium" (they have two gyms, a big one and a small one) and the teachers are set up at tables in alphabetical order. Easy-peasy-rice-and-cheesy. Except that it was a lot of standing and waiting because it was open to all from 4 PM to 7 PM. But, the first couple years, they had the entry point right there at the big gym doors. Go in, get your paperwork, sign in, go in and that’s it. Then one day, out of the blue, they had us going halfway up the length of the school to the entrance to the small gym to sign in and get our paperwork, then walking all the way back down to the big gym. Plus, I had to go down two ramps. Using two canes. I was in agony already, from having walked from the parking lot to the proper doors, only to walk all the way back up to the other entrance then all the way back down again. It was ridiculous.
When I asked about it, the staff at the sign-in table would say it wasn’t true, that they had always signed in at this door. "Bullshit," I’d reply (I didn’t care anymore), "I’ve been here X-number of years and this is the first time…" or whatever… they would even mix it up over the course of the year! So I’d park near the door only to find out I had to schlep all the way back to the other.
I came to loathe parent/teacher conferences.
And now… I am DONE!
216.365 8:30 AM shower
Image by Snowflakesarewhite
8:30 AM shower and get dressed
For most people with a chronic illness, showering is something that costs a lot of spoons.
For me, showering costs me a lot energy. It takes a lot of energy to stand up for such a long time. It takes a lot of energy to wash my hair because I have to lift my hands above my head. The heat and the humidity also costs a lot of energy, since I get close to fainting (or actually faint) if the water is either too cold or too hold.