SHELF LIFE: My Pandemic Diary: March 6, 10, & 11, 2021

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Today does not feel good. My anxiety is so high it’s like a physical overtaking. My skin is pulsing with it. Turns out Sophia is being bullied at school, specifically, in wrestling. She sat on the couch and told us her truth last night.

Through tears she detailed how these girls are being absolutely horrid to her. Her face softened as she let it all out. Her energy lightened. Tears brightened her eyes. And I thought how beautiful she looked. Anyway, momma bear in me wants to go up to that gym and crack some perfectly coiffed skulls. But adult me who has both bullied and been bullied, knows this is life and you gotta learn how to deal with these buttholes sooner or later. Because bullies don’t go away when you graduate high school. They just get craftier as we age and tell you you’re being ‘problematic’ on Facebook.

Speaking of which, I had to unfriend someone this morning who snidely posted he wished everyone could be as perfect as me. This, in response to me asking for clarification on the strange use of ‘awhile’ in Pennsylvania Dutch. I legit don’t understand its unusual placement in their sentences and my question was sincere. Anyway. Unfriending seemed the fastest, most healthy way to deal with that. This, of course, from the same person who said Texas has the most advanced power grid in the country when I moaned about the hard freeze. Anyway. Buh-bye. And back to Sophia— It explains her acting out.

I’ve already emailed the coach. I don’t expect him to ‘fix’ it but a good leader won’t knowingly allow this bullshit to happen under his nose. That’s not a TEAM. Anyway.

I feel like I’m doing Lamaze breathing trying to keep this anxiety from bubbling out my ears and nose. Writing it down helps. I encouraged Sophia not to quit, and to her credit says she doesn’t want to. Which means she has to figure it out. She also deep-wept about how hard it is to navigate virtual school while physically in class. She’s a one on one, hands-on learner and this whole year has been so hard. So I’ll email the counselor to see what I can do to help her there. I can’t do the work for her, but she needs to know I’ll do whatever it takes to set her up for success. Getting her to want it seems to be the hard part. Jesus take the wheel.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

You know what’s awesome? Good leadership. When you present someone with a problem and they fix it.

The other day I emailed Soph’s wrestling coach requesting an immediate callback. The callback wasn’t immediate but I repeated everything she told me plus a few of my own thoughts. That yes, this is high school. Kids can be cruel. They need to learn to deal with difficult people. But all platitudes aside, bullying is never okay. He listened. Then he validated. He asked for names. And I think that was my favorite part. Everyone is so protective of privacy and feelings these days that serious issues get tiptoed upon rather than dealt with. Not only did he say he’d handle it but he expressly let me know he would not allow the behavior to continue. And to let him know ASAP if the situation didn’t improve. 

“I know how to handle this without making it worse,” he said. 

And I totally believed him. 

Soph came home the following day with her chin lifted and a smile on her face. Coach gave a stellar speech before practice asking his team if they knew what cancer was. How serious it is. How it operated, spread, and thrived. What it did to a healthy body. 

Soph told me they were all petrified, looking at each other concerned he was about to drop some bad news about his health. But once they fully understood how cancer can poison an otherwise healthy body he said, GOOD

“I don’t allow cancer on my team. You act like cancer, you’re OUT.” 

And that was that.

And now my child knows a teacher has her back. You can’t put a price on that. 

Christopher and I got our vaccines yesterday. The first round, anyway. I feel a little weird today, not gonna lie. But it also feels good to get it done.

Today is the first day of Abbott’s mask free mandate.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

So last week this guy calls the library asking if we have the few Dr. Suess books in question. 

Yes sir, we do.

“What do I need to do to get a library card?” he asked, urgency in his voice. 

I explained requirements. He tells me he lives in San Antonio (first alarm bells) then tells me he really needs these important books. So I transferred him to the librarian to discuss a TexShare card. But something stirred uneasy in my belly. I went to a supervisor and said I think we should put the Suesses in question to ‘Room Use Only’ to protect them. She considered it a second then said she didn’t want to deny patrons the privilege of taking them home.

Then more calls came in. 

Did we have the Suess books? 

Were we going to pull them from our shelves? 

Surely we’d ban these overtly racist books? 

My unease grew. That night I texted the children’s librarian apologizing for the late hour but it was really bothering me. Please can we make the Suess books ROOM USE ONLY? To protect them? People could still read them but we knew they’d be safe on our shelves? She said she was open to that. 

So today I answer the phone and it’s a guy asking what happens if he lost some library books. I asked his name to look up his account as he says, “Yeah, I left them on the bus and don’t know if I can get them back” right as I see it’s Mr. Rush Down from San Antonio to check out four suddenly valuable, about-to-be-rare Suess books. And my head about exploded. 

  1. I fucking knew it.
  2. There’s no bus.
  3. Don’t be stealing library books.

More than one colleague wagered the books were already on Ebay with $1,000 price tags. The books, wherever they are, will clearly be marked SMPL and I hope someone somewhere does the right thing. On a municipal level, he won’t get away with it. He’ll have to pay for the “lost” items, and it won’t be cheap given their new value. And if he doesn’t, the courts will do their thing. Still. 

Growl, huff, boo, and HISS. 

I do not like this here, there, or anywhere.

……………

You are reading selected entries from my Pandemic Diary.

Read previous entry HERE.

Next post HERE.

Or start from the BEGINNING.

8 thoughts on “SHELF LIFE: My Pandemic Diary: March 6, 10, & 11, 2021

  1. Kathy Green

    I loved your story about Soph and the outcome was fantastic. I understand that protective mother bear feeling and hooray for her coach. Thanks for making us aware of the Dr Seuss books and I hope they find their way home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda

    I’m glad you were able to get help for Sophie, bless her heart. High school was harsh for lots of kids, what a great coach.

    Like

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