Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kind Children Are Kind

About a month ago, the kids' school had Field Day. Field Day is where there are a bunch of different stations and they have silly things to do at each station. One station, they loosen their shoe and see how far they can kick it, another station, they balance a bowl of water on their head and try to fill the bucket across the way... you get the idea.

This year's Field Day theme was The Amazing Race so each station was either a state or a country. (At one station, the man asked the kids, "Do you know what country this is?" and a boy yelled out, "The Suburbs!" How true!)

I got to hang out in the morning before I had to start work so I got to see D2's class play at Field Day. They all trooped out to the big field in single file and the last kid stopped at the edge of the field. I held out my hand and said, "Come on! Let's go play!" At first, he took my hand but then he looked up at me and pulled his hand back. D2 looked back to see; he and another boy came back and got the hesitant child. D2 looked at me and said, "This is E. He's never been on the field before - it scares him." D2 and the other boy (B) each took one of E's hands and coaxed him onto the field. That's when I got it (not the brightest bulb, I know) - E is a Special Needs child.

D2 and B slowly but surely got E over to the rest of the class. D2's teacher told me that D2 was always very nice to E and they usually hung out and played together with 2 other boys at recess. E's mom showed up and she was telling me how sweet D2 is to E and that at the end of the day, D2 always makes a special effort to come and say goodbye to E. She went on and on about how nice and patient D2 was with E. It was makin' me all misty!

Later, when E got a bit nervous (all the kids were all over the place and he seemed to get confused as to where to go), he found D2 and walked up behind him, putting his hand on D2's shoulder. D2 looked back at E and said, "It's OK, we're just going this way." and led E to the next station.

About a week after this, I came down from my break at work (the kids were already in bed) and Dave handed me a letter from school. It was from the Special Needs teacher. It asked us if we would be willing for D2 to participate in a group that taught social skills to Special Needs kids. The group would meet once a week and our child was chosen because his teacher said he would be good at it. Of course we said yes!

Dave handed me the envelope the letter it came in and D2's teacher had written on the outside:
To the parents of D2: If you wish D2 to participate, I know he would enjoy the group. He is so good with E and he too can benefit by interacting socially with this small group of 2nd graders. Thanks, Ms. M

Ok, so that totally made me cry! I'm such a dork! It's not like any of the kids are ever mean to E, but most of them don't play with him or anything. D2 and B always plays with him.

I was telling this to the women in my knitting group and Tina pointed out that when people talk about their kids, they say they want them to be doctors or lawyers and stuff but when it really comes down to it, what they really brag about... what's really important is that their children are kind and good. She's so right!

Proud of my kids, Ruth!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Purses! Foiled Again!

I am not a purse girl. Don't get me wrong, I love a good knitting/project bag and I have several! They are all very cool and I love them all dearly! But when it comes to my actual purse, it's like the Highlander.... there can be only one.

It takes me forEVER to pick a purse and once I find one I truly love, I buy it and use it to death over the next 2-3 years. I never got the appeal of having different bags for different outfits and having to switch all your purse contents every time you switch purses. If I did that, I'd always forget something really vital, like my wallet or something.
I tend toward smallish purses. I had a huge, overstuffed purse all through high school (as was the style in the '80's - everything was big!) and I'm convinced my left shoulder is still a bit higher then my right from those 4 years of trying to keep that giant, heavy bag from dragging on the ground.

Once I got out of high school, I ditched a purse altogether. Whenever I went out with friends, to dinner or the clubs, or whatever, I'd only take some cash and my ID, tucked neatly in my jeans pocket. If I wasn't wearing jeans (ever so rarely), I'd get a friend with pockets or a purse to carry my ID/cash for me!

Years ago, while still in Tucson, one of my favorite purses got stolen. While working at the spa, I stopped taking my purse inside with me when I caught a client going through my purse. Seriously. I finished the massage, went to get his water and while standing outside the door waiting for him to come out, I heard the cabinets being opened/closed. I opened the door and there he was, standing there with my purse in one hand and his other hand inside my bag! I looked at him incredulously and he stammered, "Um, I was just looking for something." I said, "Well, I'm pretty sure it's NOT in my purse. You can go now." So I started keeping my purse stuffed under the front passenger seat of my car. It was a small one so I could get it pretty far under there. But it had a long, skinny strap.
I had a client that requested me all week and on that Thurs. I had brought a book about stretching that I told him about. I parked, stuffed the purse under, went inside and a half hour later when my client was showing up, I remembered the book. I went out to my car and as I walked up to it, I thought, "Did I leave that window open??" and as I got closer, I saw my window.... on the ground next to the car. I went inside and called the cops.

The cops said that the same robbers had hit 4 cars in the shopping center at the bottom of the hill from the resort. They said that the thieves didn't leave any fingerprints, they pried something into the edge of the window, popped it out, reached in and stole the purse/wallet/sunglasses whatever inside without really touching anything! I guess they saw the purse strap coming from under my seat and did their thing.

I was pissed! Not only did they steal from me, they took my ID (a trip to the DMV is always fun, right?), some pictures that I didn't have other copies of and.... my purse! I was going to have to go on a hunt for another purse!

Strangest thing....
6 months later, I get a call from a cop saying they found my purse! It was in some bushes of an elementary school near the spa. He said he'd bring it by when he got off work as it was on his way. I said OK, but after I hung up, I got all freaked out thinking that the spa and my house were nowhere near each other, much less "on the way" from.... well, anywhere! Maybe that wasn't actually a cop calling me! I was pregnant and worked myself up pretty good. I called Dave but he couldn't leave work and so I called my friend John and he came over. Of course, there wasn't anything sinister, it was just a cop being nice! I got the purse back but it was ruined from being out in the elements for 6 months and EVERYTHING was still inside! Even the credit cards! The cop said the thieves were probably just looking for cash.

The last purse I bought, I thought I had it covered. I saw a seller on Etsy that can put just about anything on fabric with her fancy embroidery machine, so we pm'd back and forth a LOT and I thought I'd have the perfect, custom-made purse coming to me. It was going to be black with my 5elementknitr logo on the front in blue thread. I was really specific with the dimensions so I was pretty disappointed when it showed up wrong. It looked like a tote bag. I don't like tote bags for purses (for knitting projects, they are just fine!). I had to pay to send it back and she made adjustments. When it returned, all she did was chop 2" off the top and sew it back together. The middle pocket was stretched weird because she didn't take it out and make other adjustments. And I was never really happy with the logo - it looked.... well, not perfect for sure. I'm not really a perfectionist but it looked.... sloppy.
I bought that purse about 6 months ago and last week, the strap broke. That's another thing, when I got it back, the sewing on the straps look really crappy - haphazard and sloppy. Well, last week those crappy stitches came apart.
So I'm on the search for a perfect purse again. My dream purse would be Jordana Paige's Knitter's Satchel but about 1/3 the size. I love the shape and the pockets of that bag but it's GIANT!
I've been looking for awhile now (plowing through Etsy's vast array of purses). I like this vintage one because it kinda looks like a bowling bag and I am also rather enamored of this vintage one, but mostly because of the insides. I think the one I'm actually going to get, however, is the new Namaste bag.
It's just about perfect! It's the right size, the right price ($39 at Dreamweaver's Yarn) and I love the blue color and the fact that the strap has options (hip slung or over the shoulder!). They carry my Stitch Savers so I think I'll email and see if they want to trade.
Hate shopping for purses, Ruth!