Yesterday evening, Bear’s school held a science fair. When Bear saw Gary and me, he walked up to us brandishing treasures from his pockets: two toy cars, which he proceeded to drive all over Gary’s arms, chest, and legs. When I became the imaginary driver of one of these cars, it ran off the road amidst wild shrieks and much exaggerated simulation of losing control of the wheel. Have I mentioned that Gary and the kids are hilarious?
Everyone met in the school cafeteria before separating to classrooms to see the kids’ experiments. Wow, what a gathering that was. The town the kids were taken to is not a small town in the idyllic, cozy little town style. No. It is ass-backward, ignorant and inbred territory. It is difficult to distinguish males from females, since most of the town is grossly obese and long ago morphed into androgynous, unattractive lumps covered in mandatory camoflauge clothing (if leaning toward male) and outdated, Kate-Gosselin-wannabe butchered haircuts if female.
Teachers chomped gum like cud, and so many people there had a dull-eyed, disinterested expression. And these are educators, coaches, parents?
Bear and his science partner, a little girl, performed their science experiment by mixing baking soda and vinegar in a bottle, then attaching a balloon to the mouth of the bottle. We did the same experiment in the front yard together once. When the results were not terribly impressive, we tripled the amount of the ingredients until the gases burst the plastic bag we mixed them in. Since we were in a classroom that I am assuming the teacher would prefer without a bubbling, vinegary mess on the floor, we didn’t alter the recipe terribly much this time.
The kids hear so much garbage, smack talk, and lies about us, I am always concerned how comfortable they feel when Gary, me, and Gary’s ex are all in the same place. Bear, thankfully, seemed to feel just fine last night. He gave me a kiss and a hug when we were leaving the school, and as always, he told Gary to make sure we get home safely. He doesn’t like that we have the hour-long drive home, and he asked Gary to call him when we got home.
Spending time in that town is like walking through dog shit and getting it stuck to your shoes: it takes a while to shake off the feeling and the smell of it. As Gary and I headed home, I was again saddened by the environment in which the kids are trying to learn and grow. There are far better schools in the town they lived in before the divorce. Being taken to that hick hellhole and having their lives hindered, just to make someone else happy and responsibility-free, is nothing but sickening.
Kids should never be the sacrificial lambs for someone’s selfishness and pettiness. I suppose only good parents got that memo.