Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time, or Lack Thereof

Much happening, not much time for writing. Later.

But there were some humorous bits in the police log.

Sunday June 14

6:38 p.m. Caller reports blown transformer on fire on W______ Street. Utilities notified.

6:51 p.m. 911 call to report power out. Officer informed caller that 911 is for emergency only.

[I guess it's all in how you say it. Same issue: one thanked, the other chastised.]

Wednesday June 17

8:58 a.m. Caller reports squirrel will not let her out of home. Animal ran around side of home upon officer arrival.

[Let's review food chain basics. You, dear lady, are likely 5'4"-5'6", and over 100 pounds. The squirrel is a couple pounds, max. Humans can eat squirrels in a pinch - or regularly in certain areas of the south - and IT won't let YOU out of your house? Also, every house in the area has such a thing as a side or back door.]

Friday, June 19, 2009

High Drama

Many doing at the police station this week. The selectmen have overturned the town manager's decision not to renew the police chief's contract. We're learning that a recently elected selectman (by an extremely narrow margin) does indeed have an agenda. People are taking sides. I want to just stay out of the way.

Thursday June 4

8:15 a.m. Investigation of suspicious acts directed to gas station owners on T______ Street.

[That same guy from last week's police report, I guess. ]

2:31 p.m. Report of male party sitting on the side of the road in high grass. All okay.

[Were those last three words mixed up? Should it have been "high on grass?"]

10:02 p.m. Caller reports loud party near H_______ Landing. Officer reports noise is not a party, youths taking boat out of water.

[Those darn youths trying to take appropriate care of property! And having fun while they do it!]

Friday June 5

10:19 a.m. Caller reports motor vehicle all over the road on S_____ Street. Officer stopped operator. Out testing front end for repair. All secure.

[God forbid a resident might want to make sure their vehicle was generally safe.]

Saturday June 6

12:23 p.m. Caller reports two motor vehicles parked in front of no parking signs on P_______ Avenue.

[Such brilliance for persons attending a school graduation.]

Sunday June 7

5:27 p.m. Caller reports parents on field, child ejected from game. Request police. All parties spoken to and told to leave. Police car standing by until all parties have left the area.

[Those 3rd/4th grade baseball playoff games are getting tense!]

Tuesday June 9

6:05 p.m. Suspicious motor vehicle on T_____ Street. E-mail sent and detectives notified.

[E-mail? Really?]

Wednesday June 10

2:37 p.m. Caller on A_________ Way reports he was assaulted by his brother.

[Within a couple years, this may be my boys. Sigh.]

6:35 p.m. Caller on W________ Street reports cut off finger. Ambulance transported to hospital.

[Ouch. Apparently time to check the dismemberment table in your insurance policy.]


Someday I will tell C what an asshole he's being to me right now.

Adolescents suck.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Big Gulp

I had an interesting conversation this afternoon. With a project editor at a publishing house.

So, um, I'm writing a table of contents and a sample chapter for a book proposal.

Oh. My. God.

Not a done deal by any stretch, but it's interesting it's gotten this far.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Quiet Week...

...for the police log, that is. Oh, we had the now expected animal issues - dogs, raccoons, horses, swans. The Animal Control Officer is working overtime, it seems.

The police station itself is a hot mess, however. The chief's contract is not being renewed, letters and such are being "leaked" all over the place, and there are lots of accusations going back and forth in the comments section of the town paper. Part of me is glad there is another controversy in town to deflect attention from the school start time thing (so maybe we on the implementation committee can do our job in peace!), but part of me thinks that Prozac in the water supply isn't such a bad idea. Calm down, people!

Anyway, there were just these bits that caught my eye in the police log:

Thursday May 28

12:42 p.m. Resident of C----- Street complains of speeding vehicles in the area day and night. Advised patrol of the same.

[Day and night, I tell you, day and night!]

Tuesday June 2

2:24 a.m. Suspicious person walking on C------- Street. Officer shuttled party to P------- line.

[What do you want to bet that in that town's police log there's a similar entry time stamped closer to 3:00AM? Each town's police picks up the "suspicious" person, transports him/her to the next town line....kind of effective, really, for the person trying to get somewhere.]

Wednesday June 3

11:48 a.m. Report of a male approximately 30 years old in green sedan yells swears out to owners of gas station on T------- Street every morning at approximately 8:55-9:10 a.m. Patrols notified.

[So the gas station overcharged yet another resident on a repair, it seems.]

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

An Odd Feeling

Hubby just called to tell me that C's surgeon, Dr. G, the one who saved his life twice, has left the hospital for other endeavors. I'm suddenly kinda choked up.

Of course people move on to new things, and it's unrealistic to think they will stick around forever, but it was a comforting feeling knowing those incredibly skilled hands were right there if we ever needed them again - though hoping all along we never would.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Trying to See the Bigger Picture

It's amazing sometimes what life throws at you. If you had told me that I'd have to deal with some recent stuff, I likely would not have believed you.

My family is all physically okay, thank goodness. We still are sorting out emotional fallout from the thing with S and that friend, mostly for M and me. A is not allowing P and M to see each other, and she's shutting me out firmly. On some levels, I can understand it, but at least for M and P - well, they had nothing to do with anything. I'm becoming very adept at excuses to M why he can't see P, but I hate lying to him.

Even if P and M are allowed to be friendly again, I suspect my friendship with A is lost. This makes me very sad; I don't open up to new friends easily. It takes time, and my friendship with A was several years in the making. But thinking about that evening at our house and what I interrupted, I'd act in the same way again. I protected my daughter, and hopefully her son is getting help.

However, this is a small town. I don't know if she intends to avoid me altogether from now on or what. It could make for some very awkward moments, and especially with scouts. Scouts isn't my favorite thing, but M loves it. A is his den leader. I don't know what will happen in the fall.

This whole situation makes my heart feel heavy. I know I did the right thing, but it's a lonely feeling.

In addition to all that, what happened over the weekend just makes me angry.

C broke his wrist over the weekend. He was playing soccer in another town, and after successfully defending the ball, he was intentionally fouled hard after the play was over. The injury happened breaking his fall from that foul. The kid who fouled him similarly (intentionally) fouled another of C's teammates in early May, resulting in...a broken wrist. Apparently that kid as some anger management issues. Anyway, after coming off the field, one of C's coaches managed to align the bone, then my husband took him to the ER. Upon leaving the field, the coach for the other team told C to, "Stop whining." Lovely. C's coach says he intends to file a formal grievance with the league.

I know C could have gotten hurt at any time while playing soccer, but since it was the direct result of someone else's malicious actions, I''m just pissed. And this injury, at this time of year, doesn't just affect the rest of the soccer season (and baseball season). It affects sailing season - and C really, really loves sailing. He had planned the next two summers of lessons to maximize his chances of getting on the high school sailing team (we're one of the few public schools in the country that has a high school team). Sailing starts in two weeks, and C was scheduled to learn a new boat this summer. I just had to withdraw him from first session. We're keeping our fingers crossed for second session, but honestly, it doesn't look good.

Someone noted that in these kinds a situations, new interests necessarily rise to the surface. I hope that's true. The break is on C's right side, and of course he's right handed, so writing is out for a while. But his left hand is fine...and when he plays French Horn, it's his left hand that presses the keys. So I'm looking into a summer music program for him instead.

It's two weeks until school is out. It's a mad dash and endurance race all at once. There are field trips and awards nights and ceremonies and this and that and the other thing. My college reunion is this weekend, and I'm finding I'm nervous for that. Our walk for the hospital is this weekend, too. Then Father's Day, a couple weeks of juggling before our summer sitter is available full-time, Fourth of July, and so on. I feel like it's September already! Yes, summer is that full already.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This Week in Suburban Law Enforcement

Friday May 22

3:03 p.m. Party reports two youths took two bags of cans from the transfer station. Officer dispatched to residence.

[We like our trash, and we don't like anyone stealing our trash. If you steal our trash, we'll call the police so we can have our trash back!]

Saturday, May 23

10:02 p.m. State DPW truck with lights flashing and no one around reported. State DPW notified.

[Sounds about right for a state department of public works crew. The lights are one but nobody is home.]

Monday, May 25

10:08 p.m. Caller reports motor vehicle pulled up to neighbors house and is hearing loud voices. Officer reports person taking pictures of dragon for scavenger hunt.

[A local firefighter welded together some scrap metal to make a dragon sculpture. He even created a little habitat/display area for it in his front yard, with lighting. He dresses it up on a regular basis to reflect upcoming holidays or events. Today it is wearing a cap and gown.]

Tuesday May 26

8:25 a.m. Swans in road on C_______ Street causing traffic problem. Animal control notified.

2:54 p.m. Carrier pigeon found in yard on S_______ Road. Animal control notified.

7:42 p.m. Caller reports hitting duck on T________ Lane. Area search negative.

[It was a big day for the Animal Control Officer. Three of the five police log entries were animal-related. The police officer's union is currently trying to negotiate a raise; perhaps the ACO officer is the one who deserves it more!]

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

When the Big Guns Back You Up

And now back to the whole school start time issue.

My town is mentioned in an analysis piece in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association. Seriously.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

We Talked

I met A at the local Chinese restaurant last night to talk. It was hard, but good. She is taking this very seriously.

She gave me a letter D had written. D apologized for being in a room with the door closed with S, but not the rest of it. It's a start, I guess.

A is trying to get an urgent appointment with a therapist - one I recommended a few weeks ago, actually. D and his dad, J, have a challenging relationship, and there have been some school struggles, which is why she wanted the name in the first place. I think I was right not to say anything to J on Sunday evening. In fact, he still doesn't know. Although I feel uncomfortable with that knowledge, A explained her reasoning, and I can't argue with it. She wants to tell J in a therapist's office, in a safe place. There are many levels of family issues being revealed in what has happened. J is very results oriented and really doesn't know how to relate to D. Apparently J has already talked about sending D to boarding school, and A worries that this event will seal that deal. D is still A's little boy, she still thinks there's room to help him figure it all out at home.

(J reminds me of my dad in some ways - and not the best parts. All about the results, not the process, difficulty relating at times. When my brother was an adolescent, my father had a hard time relating to him. They ended up sending him away to a boarding school. It took decades for the relationship to be repaired, and I am not sure that it was ever fully repaired.)

I am still very upset with D for what he did, but I want him to get real help, not be sent away. If boarding school is the right thing for him, I want it to be for issues separate from this, for the "right" reasons. I'm very concerned for A. I tried to reassure her that I do not blame her in any way and I have a lot of concern for D, and care for the whole family. I offered to talk to J, when he learns of it, to reassure him of our concern, that S is okay, that we don't blame him or A, etc.

She said that she told D that the families would be taking a break from each other for a bit. I didn't press her on that. I'm not sure if that will be mean M and P, too. I don't know how that will play out.

I reassured her that I think S is okay. For S, hopefully, this is a weird blip. We may have dodged something big, but the point is we dodged it (I am trying to hold on to that thought as much as I can). Hopefully for all of us.

In terms of my immediate family, I feel better about things. I feel like we handled it as best we could - though my husband and I will be feeling some emotional fallout from this for a long while. I am concerned for my friend - very concerned. For her things may be just beginning - and I can only hope that in the end it will be for good. Even as I redouble my efforts to protect my daughter, and talk appropriately to my sons and daughter, I'll try to support her as I can, as she allows.

On the way out of the restaurant, I was preoccupied (obviously). There was a large group in one corner that I hadn't even noticed. As I walked by I never made eye contact with anyone or looked in their direction, but recognized two people out of the corner of my eye and realized it was this gathering of people from our former church called, "God on Tap." Just as I realized that, this voice rose loudly out of the otherwise low-level din, and I heard, "..and we're all enjoying this time together!" It was the rector, R. Asshole.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I Don't Know What to Do

We have these friends - family friends. A, the mom, and I are good friends. We walk together regularly. J, the dad, is a pal, too. P, their younger son, is M's best friend. A is also M and P's Cub Scout leader. D is their other son, a little older. He's a grade behind C. C and D are buds when their are together, but not friends on their own. D and P are like S's other brothers. She loves them like brothers. She loves A. We've all be pretty friendly for years now. A is an emergency pick up name for my kids for school, and I for her kids. Our cats are related - and we care for one another's animals during vacations and such.

Yesterday, my hubby spent most of the day in a boom lift taking out dead trees and branches in the yard. Our neighbors, the SPs were a great help. At one point, M called P to see if he wanted to come see the equipment. A brought P and D over and they spent the afternoon here hanging out. We arranged for A, J, D, & P to have dinner with us and for the SPs to join all of us for an end of the day drink.

So all the grown ups are in the porch chatting when M realizes one of our cats is nowhere to be found. The kids all start looking for him, thinking he got out, though we searched indoors, too. After about 1/2 an hour, M is distraught. I'm trying to console him, as is P and C. I look around for D and S. Does P know where they are? He thinks the front yard.

Nope, not the front yard. Not the study. Huh.

I go upstairs and S's door is closed. I open it. S is startled, but she and D are in there.

S is not wearing pants. I ask S why she doesn't have her pants on, and she say, "D told me to take them off."


I walk in further and D leaves. I ask again what happened, and S says, "I wanted to play with D and he told me to take off my pants.

I verify that S still has underwear on. I tell her quickly that the only people who can tell her to take off her pants are Mommy, Daddy, her doctor, and sometimes a babysitter. I ask her to put her pants back on and she can't play up her anymore tonight.

I go downstairs. D is sitting in the family room (his parent still on the porch), rigid, eyes like saucers. I motion for him to please come talk to me. In the living room, I ask him what happened, and he doesn't say a word. I ask if he told S to take off her pants. He shakes his head "No," eyes still wide. I reiterate strongly, quietly and quickly that it is never okay to go into a young girl's room and close the door and that it is never okay to ask a girl to take off any of her clothing. Ever. He walks away.

I was shaking. We have a house full of people and I don't want this to explode inappropriately in front of the neighbors, C, M, and P, who were not a part of it, and J has a little bit of a temper, etc.

A few moments later, I get A's attention. I pull her into the dining room to tell her what happened. I play it down a bit. Everything is fine, S is okay, I say. She is obviously upset. I tell her I spoke briefly to D. I tell her I wanted to say something now because I didn't want to blindside her in the morning. I tell her we'll get through it. I reassure her. I pour us both more wine and we go back to the party, with a close eye on D and S's proximity to one another.

I get a chance a little later to tell my husband. He says he heard D ask S to go up to her room while he was helping M look for the kitty.

We continue with our evening and have a mostly fun time. I don't think we let onto J that there was something else going on. When they leave, I say goodbye to them all - even managed to high-five D. A and I said we'd walk on Wednesday as usual.

We get M and S to bed. The kitty is found. My husband and I talk. What bullet did we just dodge? Holy shit. I have more wine. I go to sleep.

I was up early this morning. Distressed.

This morning on the way to school, I try, in a light voice, to ask S what happened with D again. She tells me that D asked to go up to her room, that D said they needed alone time, and that after playing a few minutes D asked her to take off her pants.

She suddenly seemed shy and embarrassed about it. I reassure her that she did nothing wrong. Nothing at all. Lots of hugs.

I tried calling A this morning on the pretense that we wanted to let them know the kitty was found. She hasn't called back.

I feel sick to my stomach. I feel like I failed my daughter by not teaching her specifics like "don't take off your pants for anyone!" yet so relieved that I got there when I did.

D is old enough to know better. It was a classic power play. S sees D like a brother, essentially a trusted grownup.

I have a call into one of the school psychologists I know for advice and possibly a referral.

I don't know what to do from here, if anything. I want to address it appropriately, but not make it more than it is or has to be for S's sake. I feel at such a loss.