Late last year the state alerted us that Little Angel requires, according to it and its diagnostic tools, licensed skill care ’round the clock. The state likes it if the primary caregiver can go to school to become licensed and if so, it will pay for the schooling. So I did it: I took a super-intensive course and February 21, 2014 I took and PASSED the state exam. Look at me! I’m a nurse!
Back in the ’90s I did a PhD but never, ever refer to myself as “Doctor” and greatly eschew it from others. However, you can bet your bottom dollar I am now calling myself “Doctor Nurse” and telling people that while I am licensed to cure if you fuck with me or my kids I will cut you instead.
Today Big Angel’s grade hosted a Hoedown — they have been studying the Frontier and development of the Wild West, which is very near and dear to my heart. This glory of expansion is unique to the USA — yes, yes, I am well aware many other cultures and nations have also experienced growth and development, but the whole cowboy / Western culture is truly American. I read somewhere that the British have Shakespeare, the French Molière, the Russians Tchekov, and America has the Western. Driving in the middle of our country excites me — the vastness of it, the petrified wagon ruts, the various Trails (Oregon, Mormon, etc.).
petrified wagon ruts near Guernsey, Wyoming, USA
Near Kearney (strangely pronounced “carnie”), Nebraska, is a museum I just love, the Great Platte River Road Archway Museum.
It crosses Interstate 80 (an east-west multi-state highway), and has one of my all-time favorite quotes tucked inside on a pillar:
The cowards never started.
The weak died on the way.
Only the strong arrived. They were the pioneers.
Driving miles and miles along the Trails, visiting the Forts, the Pony Express stations, the historical museums, and really thinking about it gives me great pause and admiration.
Big Angel was so excited for me to attend the Hoedown where we’d get to dance the Virginia Reel together. I loathe going to his school when parents are involved because I just detest the local mama cabal. It is oft-times hard to believe these are (allegedly) adult women, their mean girl, catty, clique-y behavior is so repulsively jejune, and I cannot brook it. In some ways my skin is just too thin, but of course in others I am like a rhino I can deflect just about anything. Guess that makes me human. And honest. But I sucked it up and put on my Frontier gear (although I dressed more like a Ralph Lauren version of a Native American because I did not feel like shaving my legs for a flounced skirt — nuh-uh) and walked up to the school. Nearing the entrance I heard a mother in the distance yelling, and a mother in front of me greeted me by name (though for the life of my I’ve no idea who she is), saying “you’re being summoned.” I turned to look and did not recognize the woman: she called out her name and I was flummoxed — her hair had gotten so long!
Well, it turns out it’s a wig and Mary Frances has been quite ill. Quite ill, indeed. I love this woman. I just adore her to bits and pieces, and poof!, just like that something I’d been dreading turned into an absolute serendipity and filled me with happiness. Of course I’d been delighted to go and listen to Big Angel and his classmates regale us with songs and then dancing, but there was just something so warm-fuzzy-ish about reconnecting and sitting with this abso-freaking-fabulous mama. We are le meme age (45), but together we are like that special time in a teenage girl’s life where she and her dearest girlfriends are non-stop chatty and touchy-feeling, constantly patting the other or randomly hugging, where everything is “super!” and giggly with exclamation points. I remember having such close girlfriends but it’s been a long time. Life, age, obligations, anti-depressants. Ha!
Mary Frances herself has been in nursing school but, understandably, had to take a break. She and her son’s father are divorced and she doesn’t live in our town, so she doesn’t engage much with the school. It had, embarrassingly, been months since Mary Frances and I had visited, and I erroneously assumed she was just crazy-busy with the end of nursing school concomitant to being a single mother who also works. Wrong, but she told me it was okay that I hadn’t known about her illness because she just wasn’t up to socializing, and I can believe that. She’s been exhausted and working fiendishly on getting better. I hope she does. I like her so much.
And I got to dosey-doe with my favorite Big Angel. It was a lovely afternoon after all, and I was, yet again, an idiot for being uptight beforehand. One of these days I might learn. Might.
In the meanwhile, it was Macaron Wednesday chez nous, and it turns out I’m not really a macaron gal. Big Angel is seriously a macaron fella! Good for him.