Sunday, September 27, 2009

Uncle Yup-yup Stops By

Yes, Yup-yup is back. A couple of weeks ago I was up early with the baby and heard the cry on the street. "Aw, no," I thought. A while ago I asked The Groundskeeper if he knew what had happened to Yup-yup--it was quiet around here for months.

"He did something really bad," The Groundskeeper told me. So bad that even if he wasn't in jail, he wasn't going to hang around here. "IF he comes back here people will be looking for him." So that's all I knew.

But I guess the heat is off now. Maybe a week or so ago there was a knock at the door and Yup-yup was there, looking for an odd job (or a handout). Sarah and her niece were here in the house--Sarah had been doing homework--and I was about to send them home.

"Well, Uncle, want to see my new baby?" I said to him.


I had the girls leave--I escorted them past Uncle Yup-yup--I'm afraid that was a little scary for them but they managed it well. Then I went and got BJ out of his bassinet and went out on the front step. He was awake and his eyes were wide open.

"He's going to be a leader," Yup=yup predicted. (I did not let him touch the baby, just look.)

Then Yup-yup launched his pitch. "Maybe this isn't a good time right now..."

"It sure isn't," I said. I also explained I've had a financial setback. "Maybe in a few months I'll be looking for outside help again. I'll let you know."

I have not seen him since, but I doubt that will deter him for long.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quick Sarah Update

Well, Sarah stayed home from school today. She was out in my backyard in the afternoon with some of the other kids. "I had a fever this morning, so my mom let me stay home," she told me. She looked very happy.

Some of the neighbors are getting worried about her. Late last week and yesterday morning I could hear her from inside my house, up in the baby's room, sometime around 7 or 7:30 a.m. when it was time to leave for school. She was making a horrendous fuss, screaming "No!" and crying. This morning Jay-Z's aunt told me people across the street were worried her family was abusing her. I explained what was going on to her and to Picasso's mom, which hopefully will get the word out so no one calls the cops or DCFS.

And, yes, I slept through the mural celebration last Saturday. If any readers have news to share, feel free to comment.

Last night I was out on my front stoop chatting with a friend visiting from out of town. A couple of our local beat officers drove by in a large police van. "Is that your baby?" asked the officer on the passenger side.


"We were wondering where you've been. We miss you at the meetings. There's one tonight."

"I'll probably be back by December."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mural Celebration Saturday

Here are the details for the mural celebration. Mothers for Peace/Madres por La Paz and Precious Blood Ministries are sponsoring a celebration of the new mural at 49th and Throop (by the railroad viaduct), from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday September 19. Mothers and youth worked together to design and paint the mural, which features a host of quotations from famous peace activists: Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi, to name a few.

I'll try to get out there and get some pictures tomorrow if at all possible, but life with a newborn means there's no telling whether we'll get there or not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Upcoming Events

This Saturday September 19, there will be a celebration showcasing a new mural recently completed on 49th Street east of Ashland (I have to get the exact address, sorry). Oscar Contreras and the mothers against violence worked with local youth to design and paint the mural. I'll try to get some photos if I can.

On Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m. at the Chavez Lower Grade Center (4747 S. Marshfield), the UNION Impact Center will hold registration for fall youth and parent classes. Registration is free but space is limited. Youth programming includes soccer, art, guitar, video and photography. Parent programs include aerobics (women only), women's support and leadership, and art for the whole family. For more information, contact Rafael YaƱez at 773.600.1601 or email Classes begin September 22.

CORRECTION/UPDATE: Some class programming has changed slightly as of September 17. Guitar is now a family class; art has been dropped. A parent class in dance has been added.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sarah Update

Well, I don't know how Sarah felt about school today, but she's over here now working on homework. She got to read Robert Blake's short story Akiak for homework tonight--it's a good story. She doesn't seem to be freaking out about doing the homework, so that's a step forward.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maritza Seeks Help for School Phobia

Dear Readers:

This afternoon/evening, Abuela and I sat out on the step with Sarah, her neices, her mom and her big sister and had a big chat. Sarah has started at Orozco but she is having a lot of anxiety about it. The orientation went ok, but on the first day of school she got so nervous she threw up. The second day it happened again. Today her mom let her stay home and called me for advice. They're going to try to send her tomorrow but maybe she will just talk with someone and not go to class. On Monday her mom intends to speak with her teacher.

I asked Sarah to tell me about her experience. She said the building is very big and unfamiliar and they didn;t really walk around it during orientation. She made some friends during orientation and two of them are in her class, but they sit pretty far away from her. I gather on the first day the bus was late--it's supposed to pick her up from Chavez at 7:45 but it didn't arrive until 8:20, so she was late to class. Perhaps that was also a factor. She said she got nervous when the teacher gave homework, although when she got home and tried it she found it was pretty easy. She clearly misses her friends and teachers at Chavez andwants to go back there.

The problem is, as Tom Wolfe said, you can't go home again. Her mom tells me Mr. Correa has left Chavez and things are very disorganized now. She's also heard the stories about drugs and gang recruitment in the upper grade center (Sarah wouldn't be there yet, but soon) and she won't have her daughter go there. This sounds like a fairly titanic struggle of wills between mother and daughter. Sarah, like her mom, is a pretty determined person, but it's not in her long-term best interest to go back to Chavez. How to help her understand that, I'm not too sure.

If anyone has tips on dealing with school phobia, new school anxiety, etc., we are all ears here on Marshfield Avenue. Thanks!

Windy Citizen Share