Thursday, September 07, 2006

PTA Meetings and Indie Rock Super Heroes

I am just barely getting one entry a month in here...

School has started. I am officially a mother of a first grader! What a trip down memory lane this has been...blacktops and school lunches, pencil boxes and walking in single file line down the hall. Music class and art class. P.E. I don't think much has changed in the twenty five-ish or so years since I was a first grader. The night before the first day, I took it upon myself to collect all the energy of all the awkward children in the whole universe trying to get to sleep the night before the big day. This resulted in a pretty intense emotional break down...but I recovered, somewhere around 2 am in the bathroom, repeating affirmations that I would be positive and strong for my daughter the next day as she began this new phase of her life. And it worked. The next morning, cool as a cucumber, I walked our excited six year old to school, bags under eyes and coffee cup in hand. I was a nervous wreck most of the morning too, hoping she wouldn't feel too lost in the sea of 500+ children, hoping she would feel welcomed and cared for and safe... And I just felt so relieved when the bell dismissed the little fish, and I saw her come out of her classroom decorated with a huge, confident smile.

And being the new American Mama that I am, I went to the school's first PTA meeting. Oh lordy. So I go there and am shocked that A. Everyone is so nice to each in no one really says how they feel or if they do it is couched in so much fancy smoochy moochy language that you have no idea which side of the fence they are trying to say they are on. This is a BIG change from our kita meetings in Berlin where someone inevitably went home with they feelings hurt, especially the sensitive Americanos like me. and B. The whole flippin' meeting was about money and fund raising...and we aren't talkin extra cash for a few rose bushes in the front yard, we are talkin money for the basics - for the teachers to buy supplies, for different programs to function with the proper materials, for computers and other equipment, etc. Holy craziness. I knew this was public school, but holy frickin' where's the tax money, baby? If they could just scoot one half of one percent of that war money this way, our kids would be so much better off. It just takes a little. So this was a shocker for me, coming from land of the government money everywhere. I-mazing.

And on a totally different note, last week, I went to see Shellac, who are my new super rock heroes. This was one of the best shows I have seen in ages. I saw them at the Cats Cradle, which is a good size club in Carrboro, and which, for such a small town, gets an amazing line-up of shows. For all two of you indie Mamas reading, here is what is coming up...Sufjan Stevens, Mojave 3 (makes me feel old), Lambchop, Portastatic, and M.Ward, Rogue Wave, and Built to Spill. Very exciting. So, Shellac, ahhh...I was in math rock heaven...

And speaking of music, while watching the VMA's last week, I wondered (seriously) if I was too old to start training to be a back up dancer for hip hop acts. Now lets be honest, those are some amazing movements that those ladies make, and I kinda want to do that.

What else? Oh, yeah, we are going to NYC soon!!!! It will be the first time we have gone away without the little ones and I can't wait to go there and imagine what it would be like to live there. I know I will have a crisis about it, but I will try to remain positive a la the first day of school and keep in mind the following: 1. I am not a millionaire, so life in NYC would be kinda rough. We would have to work our asses off to make ends meet, and spend a fortune on rent for a teeny tiny apartment in probably a shitty shiny part of town. 2. We have a big house. 3. We have a yard. 4. It is clean here. 5. The public schools are good, even if you have to sell wrapping paper to fund the French program and 6. We only live an hour from NYC and airplane tickets only cost about 150$ so we can go whenever we want to get a little city fix. Okay, I'm gonna write that down and put it in my wallet, so that when I am walking around the awesome city and I feel that gut wrenching pain to live there, I can find myself a nice spot in a cafe and pull out that list.

Time for some sleep. School gets us up at 6.30 these days. Ouch.

Mama Jens