The Fankhauser Family poses for the Eddie Bauer catalog.
Today marks the ninth anniversary of the day my mother passed away. It’s strange to think that it’s been that long; so many things have changed since then. We moved and became homeowners, had a second child, I lost my job and am now back in school full-time. So many things that she was not a part of, and that’s just in my life. My sisters and brother, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends — we’ve all had to go on without her.
Someone — I don’t remember who or when — told me after Mom died that the grief doesn’t lessen with time, it’s just that the moments of grief get farther apart. Whoever said that was right. In those first few months after she passed away, those grief moments came barreling at me from all sides, often surprising me with how they made their way in. The obvious moments, of course, like tucking in Chester at night with the quilt that she made, finding cards or letters or pictures from years before — all of those moments brought what seemed would be unending waves of sadness and anger and frustration.
But there were also the moments that didn’t make sense, like a commercial or an offhand remark overheard at work that had nothing to do with anything.
By popular demand (mine), another installment of Things I Never Thought I’d Say As A Parent:
No, I really don’t want to see how slowly you can climb up the stairs.
The strike has ended here in Kent and tomorrow my boys both start at new schools. Chester moved into the “highly capable” program last year, which meant he was moved to a different school along with a few kids from several other schools. However, due to technical blahbedy-blah the kids from his home school (Park Orchard) will be feeding to a different school this year. So tomorrow he starts at his third school in three years.
If he hadn’t gotten so much out of the program last year, we wouldn’t even bother with it this year — he’s doesn’t do terribly well with change. But the folks I talked to at the district office didn’t really seem to care that we had any concerns about that or have any openness to suggestions. Probably the same folks that were handling the bargaining this year. Ba-dum ting! Thank you, kids, I’ll be here all week.
Today was the “full force” rally by teachers and parents at the district office. I took the boys toward the end of the rally because I didn’t think they’d last the two hours. We apparently missed the Teamsters truck, but there were hundreds and hundreds of people.
It was a good opportunity for the boys to see the scale of this strike. We took Peanut to the parents’ rally after the court hearing on Wednesday, but by that time most folks had gone home. Today they saw the hundreds of teachers lining the streets on both sides and we talked about how this is really affecting a lot of people and not just the teachers at our school.
After the rally I was walking the boys to the car and my cell phone rang. On the other end was a friend of mine asking if I would be available in about 40 minutes to meet with a group of parents and Superintendent Vargas and the School Board President, Jim Berrios.
Haircuts rescheduled, throw the boys out the car window at grandma & grandpa’s, and I was there. Dressed for a rally on a hot afternoon rather than a meeting, but formality has never been a strong point of mine, anyway.
A while back, while I was preparing a message for Crosspointe at Kent Covenant Church, I did an experiment where I asked for your thoughts. It was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again.
Filed under faith, writings
Wednesday night I sent a copy of my post below to the school board and Superintendent Vargas. Thursday morning, to my surprise, I received a response from Dr. Vargas. In the interest of the same transparency I asked them for, I’m posting his response here.
Yadda yadda disclosure: I am stating these opinions as a parent and not as a PTA member.
Kent School District is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment free from harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and bullying. Employees, volunteers, parents, and students can expect to be treated with dignity, respect, and understanding. [Kent School District Parent Handbook]
As a parent of students at both Park Orchard and Meridian Elementaries, I’ve been concerned about the bargaining process since I first began hearing rumblings about a strike in May or June.
I sympathize with what the teachers are asking for, but I also understand that the district does not have unlimited resources. Both sides are faced with difficult decisions, and I do not envy those who have participated in the bargaining process.