Most impending 8/29/05 commemorations haven't done to me what this one is doing this year. My brain seems to have shattered in more directions than I can count. A quasi-diagram of my brain on Katrina remembrance follows, with some assistance from my Twitter stream:
First order of business must be to clean out my pantry and kitchen cabinets. I have an infestation of spiders and small flying insects that said spiders love to eat. I dread this more not because I can't handle the insects and arachnids, but because I'll have to go through canned goods I got when I first started to freak at the prospect of the 2006 hurricane season. Even though I knew that when the time came, we'd be in a car and vamoosing, I tried to stock up anyway. Coming across those cans again won't be pleasant.
I griped on Facebook about the kid not starting school on the right day because of the remnants of a tropical depression possibly dumping loads of rain on the area. Yes, school's start postponed due to the fear of rain. Friends from NYC said, "School starts when???" Um, yeah, mid-August. "But...but...it's still summer!" Summer for you...avoidance of these absences for us.
And speaking of the schools, here's a dilemma for you: you applied to get your child in a top charter and were waitlisted. Resigned to sending your child to the neighborhood charter, you resolve to make the best of it, establishing a good relationship with your child's teacher and volunteering for other school duties. The top charter calls: your child's in. It's great news, and you make the decision to go with it...but not only do you have to spend money again on another school supply list, you feel guilty concerning the commitments you made to assist the neighborhood school. Nothing says you can't still volunteer there, but if you put in the volunteer hours at the top charter and at the neighborhood school, atop your work bringing the money into the household and your care for your child, things will get crazy. Welcome to life for parents who care, five years after the floods.
Random Twitter thought: There are so many sobriety checkpoints being set up these days, it makes me wonder how everyone'll cope with 8/29/10: drugs?
Make your plans, people....for sleepovers.
I find it much easier to get visibly upset over how Title IX is being implemented in elementary schools. My upset over the oil disaster, however, is very much like the oil that is still in the Gulf: it coats everything, and what it doesn't kill will slowly, over generations within weeks, months, or decades, make its way up the food chain of my emotions and mutate into some action, either reckless or calculated, when even I least expect it. It's like how I felt in the week after the storm, only the feelings are not mitigated by some sort of grudging progress we're doing ourselves.
Even Spike Lee is down on BP. They spoiled a perfectly good ending to his new film, which was apparently going to be the Saints' Super Bowl win. Problem is, Tom Benson had jumped the gun there when he announced that over 1000 regular seats would be ripped out of the Superdome to make room for more luxury boxes and a larger press box. I keep wanting to scream at every woman visiting the NFL's Saints' ladies boutique on Magazine to remember the 1200. Then again, I am coveting this appliance:
Somebody let me know when they're giving them out as a promo gift at the Dome. I want the mark of some true champions on every piece of toast I eat.
So, after five years, I need more hugs and ice cream, certainly, and some definite reinforcement that, time after time, there's no substitute for many things. Nothing can duplicate how I felt when I saw my son crossing the street by himself for the first time, looking both ways most carefully and then stepping off the curb into the uncertainty of the road....only to arrive safely at the other curb to me. And nothing feels like that same feeling, in ways large and small, in the here and now everyday in New Orleans.
Cross-posted at Humid City.