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Don't Borrow Trouble

Posted Jan 11 2009 4:20pm
I really think it's okay not to deal with something until you are ready to. If it is not time to hear about that thing, then don't.

I'm going to a Parent Advisory Board meeting at Nat's school at the end of the month, for the first time in years. I was thinking about how maybe six years ago I attended a Parent Advisory Board meeting at Nat's school, where I got an earful of stuff I was not ready to hear. I had gone to see what I could do about helping raise money for the school with an eye towards improving conditions for the teachers. At the time I was incensed about how fast the turnover was there; Nat would get a new teacher every 6 months, it seemed. This was the worst possible situation for Nat, who really likes stability, for the most part. My idea was to encourage the teachers there to unionize so that they could demand better pay. Coming from a family where my grandfathers were socialists and union organizers, and my parents were in teachers' unions, I had always heard about the good side of unions, how they improve the conditions of the workers. I believed in unions and I still do. (This caused a very weird situation for me when I was suddenly Management, on the School Committee!)

Needless to say, my union ideas made most of the people at the meeting go blank. The fundraising they wanted to do was much more benign: to sell Yankee candles and give them to the teachers for a coffeemaker, that kind of thing. So be it. I dropped my pinko ways and focused on Nat again.

One thing that I heard there was about the residential conditions at the school. Wow, I did not want to hear that stuff. All I could think was, "Thank God Nat is living with me." It's not that I heard anything bad, only stuff like rapid staff turnover, too many staff people going in and out of the Houses, etc. But to me Going Residential was such a terrible step, I could not even bear to hear about kids who had. I could not imagine how parents made such a decision.

Well, now I am one of them. It happens. You get to a point where you can deal with the scary future because suddenly the scary future is NOW. And it now has a context. Like Nat, I need a context to fully understand something; I can't just listen to random facts.

But when you are ready, you will know. Or you become ready, and you stand strong and you take it. Because you have to. Because you can. As my mother would say, "don't borrow trouble, it will find you soon enough."
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