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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Little Rays of Sunlight? Day 22 of My 52 Days of Summer

I have been feeling rather down this week. With all the problems in the swim club I have just had a really had time getting out of the dark cloud. Then this week Allen's car died. We thought he had it fixed when he and his friend put a new radiator in (and got it changed quite easily!) but today it seems to have a new problem. Hopefully it's something that our mechanic can quickly fix - maybe they just didn't get things hooked up quite right.

Tonight our crazy kids decided to try some more independence skills and they took the bus downtown to go to Shakespeare in the Park. This left me home alone for the evening as Allen was off on an appointment. It was really great to have some time to myself. Luckily, I listened to a really interesting podcast today. It was about women in the church and the importance of women having a voice in the church and easing the pain some women are experiencing. It was about people and the things that they go through when they are ostracized or excluded from a group that they were a part of. It really helped me work through some of my feelings about the swim club's issues.

A couple of points I really liked about women in the church:

  • Elder Ballard's book, Counselling with our Councils, says: One of my main purposes in writing this book is to encourage priesthood leaders to invite the sisters to more fully participate in developing solutions to the difficult problems facing members of the church. 

  • If you are within an organization and you damage relationships you lose your ability to bring about change.
Oh....to add to the kid's story. After Shakespeare in the Park somehow they ended up at Olympic Plaza (not sure how that happened....they're not that close together!) and there was a festival there. They called me to see if they could stay. Seems they didn't have enough change for the bus ride home (although, Peirce seemed to have a different story in the background). Allen picked them up after his appointment. Phew!! Glad to see they didn't get kidnapped and shipped to some third world Latin hovel.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Football/Swim Club Avoidance Day 21 of My 52 Days of Summer

Today was Peirce's pay day from all his hard work at the stampede. Allen was going to drive him to pick up his check - but Peirce ended up demonstrating some of his cheeky non-charm and Allen told him he was on his own if he was going to talk like that. Instead, he decided he'd try taking the bus. It was quite an adventure. He has never gone that far on the bus, and hasn't gone alone. He did it though! When he got home, he was a much nicer kid too. :)

Tonight there was also another swim club meeting. The board decided to do their information night after all. I was actually pretty relieved to have something to do so I'd have to miss it. I need to step away from all this craziness as I'm having a hard time not internalizing and rehashing everything. Allen went. I don't know if it went too well though. After, when we were home, he really didn't want to talk about it much. He said there are just so many people with hurt feelings, on all sides, that it just makes him sad.

Tonight the kids and I volunteered at the football game. It was a lot of fun. Jill and I worked in a pizza stand. Peirce was disappointed to see he was responsible for condiments. Jill took pity on him and let him swap spots with her now and then. We had a lot of fun. I'm really glad I get to do this with the kids.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day 20 of My 52 Days of Summer

Last night we attended another board meeting with the swim club. This time the board finally attended. After business was conducted, they opened up the floor to questions.

It was ugly. The board was defensive. Their speeches were filled with emotion and punctuated with swear words. They were accusatory and talked down to the people in the room. They said that no one (no one?) steps up and does anything in this club. They said we had no right to question their decisions. They were defensive and mean and frankly, rather frightening.

After, I was talking with someone about how this could all get to this. What were the red flags along the way?

I thought about the times I heard people complaining in the bleachers or in groups on deck at meets. Mostly, I stay out of those conversations. Maybe I should have said something to them though. Maybe I should have encouraged them to talk to the person they had issue with rather than talking about them.

I thought about a time when I went out for dinner with a bunch of parents and kids after an away meet and how one mom responded when I walked into the restaurant. We were the second group to arrive. Two women were there and there was a long row of tables that had been put together for the group. One mom, seeing me enter, quickly let me know there wasn't room for us. I just shook my head and asked the waitress if we could pull one more table over. Really, I should have had a conversation with the mom who was so bizarrely rude.

I thought at times when people in the club have been exclusive. Last year where there were a bunch of people (the gang, as I call them) all wearing the same t-shirts at a meet. Turns out the story is there was a parent who was unhappy with things in the club. She had talked to someone about it and made a comment about how they were all high and mighty like a gang in tuxes or something like that. So, in response, this group all bought t-shirts that were tuxes and wore them all weekend at the meeting.

I was stunned. If student's did something like that in our school we'd be working hard with them to help them learn the problems of being exclusive. How do you deal with it when adults do stuff like that?

It all left me feeling sick. Today my heart is racing and I feel like throwing up. I need a day to just sit in a park and stare at the horizon.