What we do for love

What in the world have we come to in America? We can commercialize anything. I was reading a publication produced by my Congressman the other day. It stated that America is the home to less than 4% of the World’s population, yet we are the consumers of 25% of the world’s goods….no wonder we are so fat.

So, this is my first official entry. My husband did my real first one because he created this blog for me for Valentine’s Day. Ahhhh….let’s hear it….how sweet. I guess he called it “I’m so funny” because I think that I am, and he likes to tease me that way. He thinks I am funny too, just not as much as I think that I am funny.

A little background and then back to Valentine’s Day. I am a 31 year old housewife…yeah, stop reading, I can only be BORING. My husband, whom I call, LG, but has a “real” name that I am not so crazy about, LeGrand. I only like his name because it is his; it is not a name I would ever wish upon my children. Although, if we ever have a son, he will probably have the misfortune of having his dad’s name at the middle of his. We have been married since Aug. ’97 and have three kids…Abigail (5), Sophia (3), and Isabella or Bella (19 mos). My husband is in his second year of Law School at UT and we are as poor as poor can be. So, most of my entries will probably be about this wonderful predicament of poverty.

Going back to the commercialization of Valentine’s. Abigail had her first school valentines party today. Remember we are POOR, therefore, Abigail goes to a “No Child Left Behind School”. Today I went in for Abigail’s school party. I am somewhat of a regular face. Only one other mom and I ever volunteer. All the other parents are either working or it seems that they don’t care as to whether or not their kid ever learns anything. Mind you, I know that education is a huge focus of mine.

On with the story. Many of the children in Abigail’s class often go to school with dirty clothes on and/or hair that hasn’t been brushed in days…. not their fault, by the way. I think that all of these kids are just awesome, but they do have their problems….mostly their parents. (not that I am perfect by any means) At least 40% (numbers could be higher) of the kids at Norwood Elementary eat the FREE breakfast that the school provides because their parents can’t even manage to feed them before school. My guess is most of the kids get FREE school lunches also.

Only 5 kids in the whole school participated in the free summer reading program. Abigail is the only one in her class who EVER gets Tigger tickets for actually reading at the open library day at the school. So, for the majority of the year, the parents of these children are doing close to nothing to show their kids that they love them.

But, today, wow, you would think that these kids were the most loved in the world. You would not believe the junk food that the parents sent in for this party and the valentines that these “poor” kids brought. I guess I should be happy that the parents are doing something for their kids and the kids really were having a blast, but I find it sad that the only thing we can do for our kids on a holiday about love is buy them into the ground.

Leave it to Americans to ruin a holiday that was named for a Saint. Kids don’t make their own Valentines anymore; the schools only allow pre-bought treats; there are no more handmade mailboxes or the nice letters that the parents send in. All of this stuff is way too much work. Going to a party at the school to actually celebrate with your kids is too much work, but we can all buy each others’ love…or so it seems.

Yeah, we don’t have room to talk. You’re 100% correct in your assumption that we let Abigail have the free school lunch. But, we are poor, remember, and for a good reason….education, not just because we are too lazy to go and get a job. We are poor enough to be on welfare but we are not. But, we do get the free school lunch. And we are the awful parents that let her go to the “no child left behind” school because we are too lazy to drive her across to a “good” school that we transferred her to.

But, I tell you what, every morning when she eats that bowl of cereal at home instead of at school, she knows that she is loved. Every time I make the huge effort to get a sitter for my two younger kids and go into her class to help her teacher, the smile on her face tells me that she knows I love her. When she’s bathed and has brushed hair and clean underwear…she has to feel something warm fuzzies coming from her Mama.

Well, this first entry is kinda mumble jumble. My mind is a little fried today. This morning I got to go to the TN State Dept of Human Services to renew our TennCare, which thanks to Governor Bredesen we will most kindly be kicked off this year. Then, I went to my daughter’s school and witnessed the Valentine phenomenon. Then, we delivered Valentines to my girl’s little friends from the neighborhood and church.

I then had the joy of finishing off the errand day with a trip to my local Health Dept. I went to get my refill on my birth control. Yes, I do know what that is. Well, what was supposed to be a really quick trip turned out the exact opposite. I should have known. This is normal when you get the “free” services for the poor that the health department provides. I left with my prescription in hand a totally frazzled hour and 1/2 later. The nurse practitioner (because when you are poor you never get to talk to an actual doctor) had the nerve to tell me my blood pressure was high…..duh, I just had to reel in my three wild animals in your lobby for the past hour.

The longer I am poor, the more I realize why there are parents out there who have seemed to give up. After being treated like poop everywhere you turn, you eventually will feel that way and act that way. I have been fortunate not to buy into that thinking yet. I hope that I can come out of law school with my pride restored.

What we do for love.

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2 comments

  1. Hey Al! OK, I laughed and wanted to cry throughout reading this message!! Law school is SO frustrating, and I can’t even imagine going through it being married with 3 kids!!! Just remember, when he’s done, LG will get a GREAT job, and you won’t have to be poor any longer! Just tough it out for ONE MORE YEAR!!!
    Love you!
    ~Marisa

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