I did not go to my child’s school to read in my pajamas today. Does this make me a bad parent? I’m going to vote no.
I did have his dad pick him up some new non-flame-retardant-sprayed pj’s at Hanna Andersson yesterday (for the “it’s organic and in the mall” price far above Costco rates) so that he’d have something decent to wear to his school’s Reading is Fundamental Pajama Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Earlier this week, I did provide his class with organic, fair-trade hot cocoa for their “how-to” project. I also sent in almond milk and gluten-free granola on Monday for the first part of the how-to project (how to make cereal, if you can believe that) and then let my son stay home on Tuesday when he woke up stuffy and feeling tired. Maybe it was the homeopathic remedy he’d just started the day before or a reaction to virus-die-off from the first of twice-daily massaging of On Guard essential oil blend on his feet per (naturopathic) doctor’s orders.
Last Wednesday, I went on a field trip and brought him a gluten-free snack (and hat and mittens, which he’d left at school) and then emailed the nature center with some suggestions for non-artificially dyed gummy worms (like YummyEarth and Surf Sweets) along with some links about why I care about food additives, gently explained, of course.
I took him to the chiropractor last week and to the acupuncturist this week in the hopes of strengthening his system so that a month from now he won’t suffer the nearly-closed-eyed allergies he has for the past two years, forcing him to stay inside for more than three weeks during the onslaught of tree pollen and spring pesticide spraying.
So I’d say that missing a nutty day of reading at school is probably okay, except, of course, if they gave out more treats he couldn’t have. I am not a derelict mom. I just can only do so much. Pajamas and reading at home I can do.
But I did miss bedtime last night for the fourth time this week. I’d tutored twice and gone to a Holistic Moms motherblessing another night. Still, I decided it was important to get out to see author and Gargoyle literary magazine editor Richard Peabody and poet and first-time novelist Rose Solari read at One More Page Books, a great little shop in Falls Church that I’d never managed to make it to.
I had, however, seen both authors read before, but it felt different now that I am considering myself a novelist. For years, I’ve filed away information at writing conferences and in classes, but I feel like it’s finally nearing the time to actually use all those insights.
And to use all the observations I’ve made over the years that are now speaking to me about how they want to morph into fiction. It is still a surprise and a delight to feel blessed with the necessary task of writing. I’m so glad I made it to the reading to hear about both of their processes and experiences as writers.
After chatting briefly with writing teacher Hildie Block, who has been a great resource since I first took a class with her now six years ago, I scooted out in search of new yoga pants so that I can look decent a yoga class I’m having for myself and a small group of friends this weekend in honor of my 40th birthday on Monday. But before I headed into the stark florescence that is Marshalls, I was called to compose a poem, hours before the closing of a contest at Split this Rock Poetry Festival. All I had was lime green highlighter on the back of an old flyer under the orange parking lot light, but it was enough. I typed it up and sent it out at 10:22.
It was a long week, but at the end of Thursday, I felt good about it. And maybe my toddler insisting on taking a book into her daycare on Friday also helped me feel okay about staying home from my son’s Reading is Fundamental pajama day.