All Frenzied on the Mid-Western Front

I think I said it before, but I'm a sayin' it again – I'm so glad this week is over.

Without revealing too much about my children's lives, one of them has become overwhelmed with the treatment he's getting from bullies at school. At the same time, his homework has become so grueling he's fallen a bit behind, resulting in a situation that's snowballed into an oversized beast. Putting the two elements together makes for one very stressed child. A very sweet, very quiet, very sensitive, and very picked on child – the last one who deserves being treated the way he is.

Needless to say, if I found myself in the vicinity of any of these bullies I'd leave no doubt in their minds how I feel about them. Part of me wants to get their names and numbers and give their parents a call, but the right way to go about it may be letting the school employ its "zero tolerance" policy first. I'm afraid I couldn't keep my cool, to be honest. It's probably better I give the school a chance to correct things first.

If the middle school is anywhere near as vigilant as the high school (another story entirely, this one involving treatment my daughter and her best friend are currently enduring), I'll be satisfied things will at least start to move. But if things escalate? I wouldn't hesitate getting aggressive in pursuing these little bastards, holding their parents accountable for the monsters they've created.

I've made a reputation for myself at both the elementary and middle schools as the parent who tolerates no injustice. I don't know how many times I've spoken with both principals, on everything from the safety of school crossing zones to bullies and questionable or religiously-biased assignments that don't belong in the public school setting. My kids joke about their principals dodging my phone calls and emails, but underneath I think they really appreciate it. Coming from such ambivalent parents, I know what neglect feels like. It's the last thing I want my kids feeling.

Speaking of my dysfunctional family – the one my doctor refers to as WHACKED, on a good day - I'm being stalked by a relative, even after I've told her I don't want to speak to her ever again, because what she did – or, in this case, didn't do – can never be forgotten. I'm getting emails, letters, packages … So far no phone calls, thank goodness. 

A life spent looking over one's shoulder isn't nearly as fun as it sounds. Plus, once you hit your 40s, when you look over your shoulder you're lucky not to get stuck that way. Very inconvenient, especially while driving.

No wonder I sometimes feel the urge to stand in the middle of a field and scream, scattering the wildlife and making the ground tremble. I wonder if the National Geological Survey (or whatever they're called; I can't be bothered to check) would register it as an earthquake? Methinks it's a distinct possibility. Just think about that! I could cause a whole area to be evacuated!

Oh, the power.

But hey, aside from all this fun, more homework than I know what to do with, and getting through every day without sticking my head in the oven (Sylvia, go check if the cake's done baking … There's a dear.) stuff's been great! Good thing I can laugh about my endlessly "eventful" life. If I ever decide to record it – as my doctor has all but begged me to do - I'll have enough material for at least three volumes, if I use lots of adverbs and similies and such. And God knows there's no limit to how much time I could spend writing – long past the point readers lose consciousness. Look out, Marcel Proust. Turn down the blankets and pass the madeleines – there's a new brand of melancholy in town!

Now, tell me the truth … Haven't I made your own crazy life look a whole lot better? And that's without at least a million details I could have filled in, but held back for the sequels. Imagine if I'd really divulged. Then you'd be kicking up your heels in relief you're not me, running joyously through flowery meadows, singing and turning cartwheels, listening to the distant sound of a blood-curdling scream, knowing all is well with the world.

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