In the Weeds . . .

March 19, 2024

Call is over!

I made it through! But um, wow. Things have kind of piled up to an extent that is mildly horrifying and spring break is coming up and just . . . yeah. I am in the weeds. However, I know from prior experience that:

a) I will eventually catch up

b) it will probably take longer than I think

c) probably nothing too terrible will happen as a result

One might be tempted to blame the call week, but the school switch situation (for next year) has taken up much of my extra time and mental energy over the past few weeks and still isn’t entirely done with. But we are getting there.

Some cool things to share

I didn’t do a “5 on a Friday” post last week! Not sure anyone noticed, but I have since accumulated a few things that feel worthy of sharing.

1- Jetpens: How to get the neatest handwriting of your life – soooo interesting (for me, anyway) to see the person behind the handwritten “jetpens font”!! I always wondered . . .

2- Atlantic: The cystic fibrosis breakthrough that changed everything *gift article* . I felt so emotional reading this. Not a short article, but worth a read. I knew about these new medications but this was just so nuanced and featured the real human experience that accompanies the breakthroughs.

3- Kacey Musgraves has a new album! Love love love what I have heard so far. (I know I’m weird but I still love full albums. Sometimes I do playlists but more often queue up a full album on Apple Music to listen to while driving.)

(Also have to say I’m enjoying Ariana Grande’s new one too!)

4- Strands is my newest NYT game. So now I often go straight from Wordle –> Connections –> Strands. I am probably the worst at Strands of those 3 but maybe I’ll get better.


  • Reply Sarah March 19, 2024 at 6:39 am

    I’m so glad you have made the school decision! Thank you again for normalizing how much this takes out of us. (Btw: my husband asked “is this a mom thing to worry about schools like this?”) I wanted to strangle him, because as he spotlighted, it’s a mental load he hasn’t had to carry but he would have also, always, put our kids in our zones public school and moved on and I have been the one to explore other options along the way. (Special needs have made this plan more complex.) I would be curious if you and your readers think this is a “mOmS voLunTaRiLY oPtiMiZiNG tHeIR KiDs’ liVeS” thing or a “uh, no, we’re exploring and responding to their actual needs” thing that could be led and completed by any parent.

    • Reply Coree March 19, 2024 at 8:27 am

      That’s so interesting. I definitely agonise over school in a way my husband does not. And I really need to adopt his zen approach because we do not have another option beyond the mediocre public school in our town – you go to the school you are zoned for and we can’t afford private alternatives (like truly, truly, we couldn’t pay our mortgage and pay tuition).

      But the school, and the fact that my son is pretty bored, deals with boisterous kids all day, destroys my soul, while my husband is quite chill about it. I was in the classroom yesterday doing an activity with the kids and left shaken by how wild it was.

      • Reply Dana March 19, 2024 at 10:14 am

        The mental load of dealing with school choice and the length of time the process takes and the resulting uncertainty… huge stress for this mom at least! It is hard when we want the best for our kids but don’t have full control over achieving that.

    • Reply Chelsea March 19, 2024 at 10:27 am

      I’m on team “very glad for school options”. We waited too long to move my oldest to a different school because of my preconceived notion about what private school was like. At the point he was so miserable in our (wonderful) public school (and on his way to getting kicked out) that we started exploring other options, we both knew we had to make a change. The only question was if we could find something that would be a better fit and, good news, there was! We were able to find a school where he is MUCH happier. He still doesn’t like school, but at least he can be himself and have reasonable accommodations where he is. But I hear you about feeling like you are swimming upstream with all this. My DH rode the “he’s going to grow out of it” train for years after I was sure something was wrong, and it took a lot for him to finally come to accept that was not the case.

      OTOH, my younger two are doing marvelously in public school. If we only had them, I’d wonder why anyone would leave!

    • Reply Yet Another Heather March 19, 2024 at 5:06 pm

      I’m always interested to see how education decisions play out in different families. My personal experience (shared with most of my IRL friends) is that there is a lot more mental and (actual tasks) being carried by the moms. However. I work in K-12 education, as do a lot of my friends; our husbands mostly work in other fields. So is it a gendered, family thing? A thing that K-12 education itself is largely seen as “women’s work”? So many threads to pull at.

      • Reply ARC March 19, 2024 at 5:46 pm

        @YAHeather my husband is in the same industry as me (tech) and obvs neither of us is in K-12 education by profession yet all the school stuff has fallen to me. But in our case it’s because I’m the ‘researcher’. I grew up experiencing a few different school options (public, Catholic, private college) that my parents researched to find. He mostly went to his zoned public, and then a high school magnet. It didn’t really occur to him that we could find “better fit” schools for our kids until we were well into parenting. We’re in a state where school choice is vast (any public or charter in the state) and our kids have done public, online charter, charter, private, and homeschool here. Some of it is tailoring to what the kid needs that year (COVID year we did a specific online school bc they knew what they were doing with young kids, this year we’re homeschooling one to work on her executive function), but some of it was also pulling kids out of a bad situation. I love that we are able to make changes as needed, but also don’t take it lightly because it IS disruptive to the kid even if they end up in a better place.

        • Reply Sarah March 20, 2024 at 7:54 am

          The “researcher” role rang some serious bells with me. Thanks for this. We have also done private preschool, homeschool, and public school (one fully gen Ed, one with sped pull out). Right now I do a hybrid, and pull my one who needs extra support out early a few times a week to do educational and occupational therapy. She gets most of a school week in, gets some sped services there, and then also does the 1:1 that school can’t provide. Always interesting to see how others work it. And frankly, pretty heartened by this thread and all the moms who are working so hard to find their kids what they need.

    • Reply ARC March 19, 2024 at 5:41 pm

      Such an interesting question @Sarah, re: optimization. My older kid is in 9th grade and has been to 6 schools plus homeschooling since she was preschool age. Some of it was us not realizing as new parents that nothing was going to be perfect, but some of it was finding out some schools really were a TERRIBLE fit. We’re privileged to have had choices, but now we live in a “school choice” state where you can send your kid to any public or charter school and I’m grateful for that, for others who don’t have the $ to bounce around private schools. I don’t think *anyone* sets out to disrupt their kids’ lives intentionally so the bar is pretty high to make a move. That said, our younger one has benefitted from what we’ve learned too so her schooling has been a bit more stable.

    • Reply Amy March 19, 2024 at 9:32 pm

      I don’t see it as “voluntarily optimizing”, like I’m trying to create some bespoke kid. I see it as taking advantage of opportunities that we have to provide our children with the best education we can give them (in our case, an excellent independent school and the finances to be able to afford it). Any school, of course, is going to have to be “good enough” in some areas; the important thing is to figure out where you want it to be the best choice, and where it can be good enough.

      But really — if my kids aren’t thriving and learning and becoming well educated citizens in our local public school, and there’s a good private alternative in town, and we can make it work financially, then to me that’s a no brainer.

      • Reply Sarah March 20, 2024 at 7:55 am

        Agree, and I think you raised a good point re: meeting needs vs optimizing to create a bespoke child.

  • Reply Gillian March 19, 2024 at 7:06 am

    Trikafta is amazing! In addition to helping people breath it takes their CF associated diabetes away too!!! I feel like these leaps in medicine don’t happen that often, but boy is it so amazing to see when they do.

  • Reply KGC March 19, 2024 at 11:23 am

    Research related to CF is what I do all day every day and I cannot overemphasize the impact that the modulators have had. I got interested in CF in high school when I read Frank Deford’s book about his daughter, Alex, who died around age 9 in either the late 1970s or 1980. I recently re-read the book and was reminded again of just how far the field has come (and WOW it hits different now that I’m a parent myself!). Still work to do (not everyone can take Trikafta) but it is such a cool community to watch celebrate their success!!!

  • Reply Sidra March 19, 2024 at 11:43 am

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that article. When I started grad school to become a genetic counselor the CF gene had just been identified.

    • Reply KGC March 19, 2024 at 12:04 pm

      Hi from one GC to another =)

      • Reply Sidra March 19, 2024 at 12:14 pm

        Hello! So nice to connect with another GC in this community.

  • Reply Anna March 19, 2024 at 11:57 am

    I had a friend die of CF when she was 22ish. About 15 yrs ago. This blows my mind and is so incredible to see. I knew they were working on this but to read the firsthand account is so heartwarming.

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns March 19, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    My friend’s niece has CF so I am thrilled to read about the advancements in treatment.

    It’s tough to deal with something demanding with call on top of other emotionally fraught situations. You will get caught up but I hate that “I’m so behind” feeling. That is how I felt last week as I had a lot going on at work and I was traveling and had so many meetings. Bleh.

  • Reply Irene March 19, 2024 at 3:03 pm

    What a great read. I am so thankful for medical advances and the work on CF is really amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    The emotional decisions about things like school are so draining. I find it SO hard to make these decisions for my children. It’s such a responsibility and hard to trust you will know if things are not right in a way you don’t worry about things that just affect you directly. We are currently at public school and it’s going pretty well but I am not sure what we will do about middle school. It’s a really hard time…

  • Reply EW March 19, 2024 at 8:25 pm

    The Spelling Bee is the best NYT game ever. I love the three you already do!

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