25 September 2012

Mad Letter

"Mom, are you going to write my teacher a mad letter?"

A mad letter? Why yes, I'm sure I have quite a few mad letters in me just waiting to come out!

Most likely he was thinking of my conversation with Walter after picking up a pizza on Sunday.  I will not name the pizza establishment because we love it and will continue going there...and I reserve my right to continue to complain about this one issue every week. But I will say at this particular place, they make the pizza in front of you and you take it home to bake (got it?).

Allow me a chance to vent the frustration we have with this pizza place. 

Our kids only eat pepperoni pizza (maybe cheese, but that would get plenty of grumbles). Asher has been known to refuse to eat a pepperoni pizza because his slice had a half piece of pepperoni from where I had cut the pie in pieces. This is a ridiculous approach to pizza, but we accept it because the idea is for us to have one grumble free meal a week, which is pizza on Sunday evenings while watching a show.

I can tell this post is going to get way long, I apologize, but I'm going to explain my story!

So I call ahead to order our pizza when we leave church so it will be ready for pick up by the time we get across town to run in and get it on our way home. When I call, the kind PM employee will state the special pizza of the day and I will often choose that. But I will ask for half to be pepperoni and half to be the magnificent combo of sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, mushrooms and whatever else they include in the on sale combination of the week.

Sometimes they state they intend to charge me extra for half to be just pepperoni and the other half to be sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, mushrooms... In this case, I usually choose to get all pepperoni and forget the sale sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, and mushrooms.  But sometimes there is no mention of charging me extra so I go ahead with my half pepperoni/half sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, and mushrooms request.

This inconsistency in sometimes charging me for the substitution and sometimes not charging me drives me crazy in itself. Not to mention that they want to charge me more for actually taking less toppings (rather than having a whole pizza of sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, and mushrooms, I am asking for them to only give me half of those yummy toppings and half just plain pepperoni).

But this week, I ordered the pizza with half sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, and mushrooms, and half pepperoni and there was no mention of extra charge.  When I arrived to pay for the pizza, the PM employee informed me she was going to charge me extra because I had an extra topping.  We both looked at my pizza and I saw half of it with sausage, deli pepperoni, Parmesan, red onions, and mushrooms, and the other half with sad looking plain pepperoni and I laughed at the idea that the side with just pepperoni was going to cost me more because it was an "extra" ingredient.

She must have understood the ridiculousness and without further argument took off the extra charge.

Still! I arrived back to my family in the van ranting about the crazy logic and inconsistency of sometimes wanting to charge me for this "extra topping" and sometimes not. And how crazy they are for wanting to charge me more for taking less ingredients!  I proclaimed that I was going to write a letter to the company describing my problem.  My only hold back was explaining this all on paper in a respectful succinct way.  (And you might agree I do need some work on explaining this problem after reading this post.)

Asher heard all of my expressions to Walter and obviously internalized this idea of writing a "mad letter."

So when I began getting frustrated over not understanding why he urgently needed headphones for school which he has not yet used, he suggested I write a letter to his teacher wondering why she was "wanting all of the moms to go out and waste money."

In fact, he finished his meal, asked to be dismissed, and immediately went to work writing this mad letter for me.

So now all we need to do is get a stamp on that envelope and send it on its way.

And all I need to do is copy and paste this pizza frustration into a new mad letter document and send it on its way too!

22 September 2012

staying for now

Seriously? It's the end of September and I am just returning to you, oh faithful blog friend?  I think about you all of the time and what I want to say on you, but somehow those ideas remain ideas and I wonder if I should give up this whole blogging and writing thing for this season or if once I stop I'll never return?

I've stopped before and when I come back I can't believe I ever stopped writing. There's an energy that comes out in this process that my brain forgets when it's not experiencing it.

Like running. I haven't ran in over a year, really? that long! In fact I don't even have good running shoes right now. I fondly remember that feeling of release when I get out there for a good run. Once I start I think I'll never stop again.  But I do. I have.

I believe someday something will click. Maybe my love of being yelled at during bootcamp will end. I might pick out some expensive new running shoes or maybe the lure of fresh air and alone time will entice me to get out there again.

Something like that could happen with writing. That super cute bird journal in my newest favorite color might persuade me to pick up a pen again. One of the kids could say something adorable that I must remember, or God might fill my heart with an insight I would be a fool to allow myself to forget.

Or I might simply have to force myself to do it. When it becomes work does that mean I need a break? Should I let it go when I have to force make myself to sit down and not get up until something productive happens (productive does not equal browsing recipes I hope to make or finding craft projects I only dream of doing).

What do you do when there is not enough time to be creative? Is it worth forcing through the block or would it be better just to take a break?

Not sure, but I think I will miss you if I let you go...so for now you will stay.


05 September 2012

Preschool here and there

Amelie hung up her bag on her hook and enthusiastically talked about playing at the sand table. Wearing her new bubble skirt and coordinating striped shirt with flowers, her headband matched one of those blue flowers. Adorable and so excited she didn't look back for a second.

Because she attends preschool at our church the classrooms are ones she frequents on Sundays.  The same yet different. Different kids, different teachers, activities reserved just for preschool fill the room. Asher met one of his best friends his first year of preschool and I wonder which of the five classmates will be that special friend for Amelie.

Nerves and excitement are running high here, but one thing we aren't nervous about is the opportunity for her education. 

My mind boggles considering the number of preschools in town.  With classtimes available to fit any schedule and meet whatever religious or secular choice I want, there are many many possibilities to choose from.

My mom told me today of the preschool registration she participated in this week.

On the other side of the world, hundreds of moms lined up in the muddy rain hoping to secure a spot for their child to attend preschool.  For them, preschool isn't about sandtables, gym time, and snacks.  Instead it marks the beginning of a child's opportunity...or not.  Being registered and having a spot in a quality school where fees are affordable and two nutritious meals a day are served means their child has opportunity and hope that others don't have. 

Hearts are broken, tears are shed, parents get angry.
The stakes are high.
The number of available chairs simply can't match the number of kids who want to come.

I wish I could fill the extra spots in Amelie's preschool with Ethiopian boys and girls.  I wish the opportunities could spread around just like that. 

I wish everyone had access to a first day of preschool.

Thankful today for the gift of education for my children.