I’ve been busy…
busy unexpectedly ripping a kitchen floor out because of water damage,
busy ignoring the drywall dust ALL over my laundry room and finding irony in the fact that my clothes actually enter the room to get clean,
busy getting out of town for a long weekend so the hubby could (unexpectedly) tile the kitchen floor,
busy returning to clean grout dust off of EVERY surface and enjoying the new floor,
busy doing less gardening than I should,
busy hosting dear friends for food and sewing and fun and chatting,
busy reviewing papers to see what was learned in school,
busy being sad about my oldest baby graduating from FOURTH grade. How did this year go by so fast?
My cousin’s wife Shannon told me at the beginning of the year that fourth grade is a game changer…they change SO MUCH in so many ways. You think you have more time with them when fourth grade starts, then it ends, and they’ve matured and changed and grown and inched away from you just a little bit more when June arrives.
I didn’t believe her then.
I believe her now.
I started to cry when his teacher sent an email about a zoo field trip this month. There was absolutely nothing in the email that should have led a non-hormonally charged woman to begin crying. Except I’m a mom of a fourth grader who can get on a charter bus at 6:45 am for a field trip to a zoo almost three hours away and return home at 5:45 pm exhausted and weary and thrilled that this milestone has passed. (I was the one exhausted and weary and thrilled BTW.)
I HATED fourth grade. Mrs. Hallow threw Amy B’s desk against the blackboard just a split second AFTER she jumped out of it. Her books went flying. It was shocking for so many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Amy’s mother was the Police Chief of the neighboring town.
I learned that kids die too when a neighbor kid who was in the other fourth grade died along with his mom in a car crash.
Fortunately, Jack thrived in fourth grade: the teacher, the curriculum that incorporated kinesthetics and art regularly, the reading.
At least I have all summer to prepare for fifth grade. My favorite grade.
It is so easy for me to walk away from this blog for a week at a time. Particularly when I fall into the ruts of “life” which is to say barely keeping my head above the chaos around here.
Days are nicer which means going outside to play with a 15 month old. In case you don’t know, this involves picking up and dropping balls repeatedly. Then, doing it again. It also involves pointing at squirrels and birds. (This I like.)
Soccer practice started last week, then it snowed twice.
Rediscovering the sofa table under all the junk.
Thinking class prep is about an hour, only to finish three hours later.
Planning April Fool’s jokes.
Unfortunately, it is has also been a difficult week with family near and dear to me. The kind of difficulty that makes you want to yell and scream and cry, but instead you walk away and cry instead because you realize that the divide is large, oh so large.
I’m not good at walking away silently. I prefer to let people know exactly where I stand (stood) before I start walking away.
But, this time I’m learning something because someone else’s silence is deafening. This silence screams approval of the trespasses. It is crushing in its effectiveness.
So, I am silently walking away this time though it goes against everything I believe in. It goes against fighting for what I believe in.
Well, I’ve been gone a while. I survived two December birthdays, four Christmas celebrations, 16 hours in the car traveling with an infant, a new bag design, a fun little party with friends, back-to-school for the boys and back to teaching for me.
Whew! I’m pooped!
Actually, today was the first day of me back in the classroom, and for the first time in a long time, I feel on top of things! I so enjoy meeting new students on the first day. Two truths and a lie never seems to get old on introduction day.
Now, on to other things, namely a few words on the Reverb10 project.
I enjoyed the prompts for the first 17 or so days. They really stimulated some great thinking on my part which lead to some good blogging (I think). Toward the end of the month though, the prompts seemed to cover the same ground for me. This was the case for my Reverb10 partners, Katie and Sara as well.
For me, having a baby late December of 09 really was transformational. This is not something that I expected quite to the degree that it happened because she was the second, not the first.
Maybe it was the drama that followed my girl into the world.
Maybe it was the fact that she arrived a long 9 years after my first baby.
Maybe it was that my circumstances were so drastically different this time around (married, at home versus single, working full-time and in grad school).
Whatever the reasons, once I covered certain ground, the prompts just seemed to cover territory I already covered.
It was really fun to read the prompt in the morning and mull over it throughout the day.
It was really fun to write.
It was really fun to read what others had written.
So here’s to more writing and more reading in 2011!
Skipping Step 4 is one of my biggest pet peeves ever. I struggle with it every year. The struggle is repeatedly gifting a person who never jots a quick note or calls to say thanks. This is particularly difficult if I’ve handmade something, or gifting to children who don’t write or call because parents don’t require it.
Isn’t it the thought that counts? Even if you hate it? Because when I made it or bought it for you, I thought you’d like it. That’s why I took the time to make it or buy it in the first place.
My kids write a LOT of thank you notes in November/December because of where their birthdays fall in relation to Christmas. And mostly because they are very, VERY fortunate to have so many people in their lives who care about them.
They do not get to combine a thank you note for Christmas and their birthday gifts.
They would not write the notes if I didn’t require it. They don’t complain anymore because complaining means they don’t get to play with the gifts until the notes are done.
Every year, I can see how much their view of a proper thank you note changes. One sentence (K or 1st grade) to a couple sentences, to added illustrations.
I imagine the intended opening his or her thank you note and noting these changes too.
I imagine this because I note these changes myself. I love the voice mail messages. Almost more than the notes. But, a child’s scrawls are quite wonderful too. It’s a tie.
Someday, my kids will thank me.
I know because people have shared with me that they are the only children who write them thank you notes, and it gives them great delight to receive them.
See the button over there? To the right.
Reflect on the past and manifest what is next.
Little did she know that my last 18 months have seen such upheaval, such joy, such sadness and such declaration.
Little did she know that I was already preparing to mentally trek the inner journey it requires.
Little did she know that a public commitment would actually hold my feet to the fire.
Little did she know that a public forum will force me to think through and write through.
Little did she know how thankful I am for the challenge, and for her.
I’m anxious to see what will unfold.