Letters – School Time

Letters To Myself📪 Letters To Myself ~

Everyone in my house is on pins and needles, and not in a good way. Nerves are frayed, heated and ready to explode over every little thing that doesn’t go exactly right. And for no other reason than, we don’t have enough.

It doesn’t matter what it is we don’t have enough of, because we seem to be lacking in everything. Patience, kindness, respect for each other and money most of all are in short supply.

I’m still after my Man to finish his taxes so we can apply for food stamps. He still tells me “I’m working on it”. His answer to having no milk or cat food for 2 days, was to take an old refrigerator that has been sitting on the trailer for two years to the scrap yard. 

Well it’s about f’ing time he got rid of the old fridge. I’ve only been asking him to trash it for the full 2 years. But the scrap only brought about $17. It was enough to make do and get milk and cat food. Some people would say, if you’re that hard up why don’t you get rid of the cats. My answer, I’ve already given up enough. The cats bring my son and I moments of hilarity and calmness. I know my blood pressure comes down when my cat sits in my lap while I’m looking for a job. So getting rid of the cats, or the dog, isn’t going to happen.

School here doesn’t start until the day after Labor Day and I like it that way! Every time over the summer that we’ve been fortunate enough to get a little money in, I’ve made sure we picked up one or two things for the coming school year for the man child. When we got in the money for one of the last jobs my Man got paid for, we had enough to get at least half the supplies. That was about a week and a half ago. But we still had several things left to pick up. And no way in sight or any indication that we might come into a way to get it. 

Yesterday my sister called out of the blue to say she gave us $100 for school supplies for our little man. To be more precise, my Mom wanted her to put money in our account for school supplies.  That was an out of the ordinary nice gesture.

Sadly we had to spend some of that on prescriptions for his parents. Imagine being a diabetic and not having your medication for 3weeks. Everything else seems more important and you have to make choices. And since we live 20miles from the nearest pharmacy, add gas to that expense. This past week it was obvious that I couldn’t go any longer without it. It’s seriously affected my vision, I can’t think clearly and I’ve gotten confused easily when I’ve been in the middle of doing something.  So while we went out to finish off the school supplies $40 of it went to prescriptions. But it’s going to take days for them to kick in and I’m hoping the damage I’ve been through isn’t permanent. And before someone says, there are prescription programs, it’s important to note that not all medications are covered under those programs, and those that do cover us, we’re already on. 

Scripts in hand, we then hit the store for the supplies. The biggest thing on the list is a new book bag. The man child started having back problems a couple of years ago because his school backpack was too heavy. Our pediatrician said it was time to get him a rolling bag so there wouldn’t be long lasting damage while he’s still growing. I have back issues because of my years of horse riding, falling, etc. I understand how debilitating it can be and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

About the same time (2009) CBS reported a story “Kids’ Book Bags Can Be Backbreaking“. In their report, they commented that “The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that last year, nearly 4,000 kids went to the emergency room because of back pack injuries.” And “Doctors say kids’ backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 10 percent of their body weight, but many kids carry up to 50 percent of their weight in their bags.

From this study and recommendation to today, the suggest guideline of 10% of a child’s body weight has been deemed inappropriate for primary school children aged 7-12 years old. The suggestion comes from a 2013 recommendation from a National Institute of Health (NIH) review.

Yet with all this information, a majority of schools ask parents “Do not send rolling book bags to school”. And when you push to ask them why, the overwhelming answer is, because they leave streak marks on the floor. I’m sorry? You’re worried about your floor? Screw you! You’re floor will live, my son’s back will not. And if you push harder to find out why that’s a big deal? Because the cleaning staff has a hard time cleaning up the marks. Ok, wait a minute. You’re telling me my son, who is still growing, can suffer through back pain, because your staff, who is being PAID to clean, can’t clean scuff marks off the floor? WTF?

Our son’s backpack last year was so heavy on some days that I could barely lift it. Thank heavens we had the foresight to make sure he had a rolling backpack. It took us spending extra money to visit his Pediatrician during the past 2 school years, to get a medical note that said he had to have a rolling book bag. It is absolutely ridiculous that we have to do that. This year, wear and tear over a two year period nearly destroyed that book bag and it was time for a new one. And I don’t give a crap what the clean staff has to go through! 

Now we don’t have much to spend on anything, so that means we go to discount stores whenever possible. We have two retail discount stores in our area. And we went to both. Neither of them had rolling book bags. I was seriously annoyed and dismayed by that. We ended up looking in the suitcase section to find something for an alternative. One store had something that would work for $15 dollars, along side the $30 and $40 carry on luggage items. We drove the extra 10 miles down the road to the other discount store. Again, no rolling book bags. In their luggage section, we couldn’t find any for less than $30. I was so annoyed I said screw it, let’s go back to the other place and get our supplies there.

So back we went. Thankfully we were able to get everything we had left on the list for $51. With the $5 in gas we spent before we even headed to the store, our scripts and the supplies, we now have less than $5 left of that $100. It’s frustrating and fills you with anxiety. I thought we’d be out of this mess by now, but the economy keeps kicking people in the teeth. Not only us, but many of our friends. All of us who used to be part of the upper Middle Class. Who are still pounding the pavement looking for work. Any work! Who because we own a home, we don’t qualify for aid. We’re still stuck in the middle from being wealthy or getting by, to homeless. We’re in the middle; or perhaps it’s the new definition of middle class.

When we left home today I told the man child I don’t want to hear any sentence that starts with “Can I have”, “Can we get”, because the answer is going to be no. We are getting what we absolutely have to have and nothing else. I’m getting so tired of that. When he asks for a bag of Oreos, I’d like to be able to say yes. But today when he asked anyway, the No wasn’t a pleasant response. Nor was his whine when he got upset by the No.   

~ Victoria Lynn

VR-Hanko ~ All Rights Reserved ©

 © 2013 Victoria’s Rose ~ All Rights Reserved.


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