We had no school today, presumably because the district calendar makers hate parents' everlovin' guts. I don't know where our little school district's offices are, but after I write this post I'm Googling them, driving over, asking where the calendar maker sits, and leaving an unwrapped Baby Ruth on his chair.
I will include a note that says, "Any sociopath who decides the best place for kids to spend Halloween Day is at home -- where they can insist on wearing a Spiderman costume that has to be zipped and unzipped forty three gazillion times because their little bladders just can't handle all the excitement and anticipation of the day -- deserves a bit of poo on their chair. Love, hugs, and kisses, DeNae's neighbor whose name I can't remember right now."
My 16-year old is spending the day as a werewolf, which is fortunate for two reasons: One, it's just a mask and rubber gloves, and two, he can manage his own bladder issues. When you've been around the parenting block as often as I have, you learn to look for these features in both Halloween costumes and 16-year olds.
On to November. And a story.
When I was a 16-year old -- and therefore in full control of all bodily functions except spontaneous hormonal bawling -- I went to work at my dad's bank. I had a super difficult job which required highly specialized skills.
I stuffed statements into envelopes.
This meant that I took the statement, ran the cancelled checks through a magic machine that counted them all, collected the checks at the bottom of the magic machine, folded them into the statement, and placed the whole kit n' caboodle into an envelope, making sure the customer's name showed through the little plastic window.
Now, here's the sad part: I absolutely, unequivocally, stunk at this job. Hands that could fly through anything Rachmaninoff the Sadist had to throw at them could no more keep a statement full of cancelled checks together long enough to stick into an envelope than rocket straight to Neptune and give Pluto a big thumbs up on that "not a planet any more" disappointment.
The best news my supervisor could receive on a given weekday afternoon was that I couldn't make it to work because I had play practice or a piano lesson or -- and this is the more likely scenario -- all those pins she was sticking in her DeNae doll were finally paying off.
On the day I left my bank job to begin studying music in college, the rest of the bookkeeping department heaved such a collective sigh of relief it actually lifted the roof off the building and rotated it 15 degrees.
No one complained.
I was incredibly fortunate to have found my talents and my niche, and while studying to improve those skills, I was even more fortunate that, after dating a number of young music majors who went on to happier times dating each other, I married a handsome accounting major, whose training and abilities would actually pay the bills.
Never mind that he pulled something of a bait n' switch five years later by becoming an FBI agent. I was up for the adventure, and besides, I thought his gun was kinda cool.
We've been together for 26 years, and have raised or nearly-raised four kids without a single one of them becoming an ax murderer or talk show host. We are ridiculously proud of those statistics.
Lucky spouses. Lucky parents. Lucky kids.
Not everyone is so lucky, however.
A few sobering stats:
- 40% of children under 18 experience a parental breakup.
- 28% of children now live with just one parent.
- 90% of single parent families are headed by women.
- Single mothers' median incomes are approximately 25% of those of married couples.
When the hosts of the luncheon introduced the fundraising plan to the 25 or so bloggers in the room, and then said they hoped to raise $7,200 total, we all kinda giggled.
Clearly, these kind-hearted gentlemen have no idea what we mom bloggers are capable of doing together.
The Vice President of the college confided that they are several scholarships short of meeting the needs of all the women who come to the school looking for a little bit of training and maybe a dash of hope.
I'm confident my readers could, by themselves, raise that $7,200. As a group, just putting that widget ("Megan's Story" on my sidebar) on our blogs for a month and talking about this wonderful program -- of which 100% of all donations go to the scholarship recipients -- I believe we could raise ten times that amount.
Just click on the widget. It will introduce you to Megan, a remarkable woman I met last Friday, and who is one of many success stories to come from the Oaks scholarship and LDS Business College. If you would like to add the widget to your own sidebar, click 'share.' You can also add this to Facebook.
Look. I could go to LDSBC from now 'til doomsday, and no one would ever be able to train me for work in a bank. But women far more talented than I, who are just looking for the opportunity to show what they're made of, experience miraculous changes in their lives and the lives of their children because of this school and this scholarship.
Give if you've got it. Share the opportunity if that's all you can do. And let's take care of a few moms this month.
A little bit of hope goes a long, long way.