As I close out this 31st day of slicing, I find myself appreciating the challenge once again. There’s always something about completing a goal you’ve set for yourself. But even more, the payback I have received as a teacher as a result of writing ever day is priceless.
Experiencing first hand what we ask students to do over the course of the school year has value. It reminds me that there are days you don’t feel like writing. Days where things just don’t flow. Days you stare at a blank screen (or page) and feel zero inspiration.
There are also days where you have too many ideas to choose from. Days where there are so many ways a story could unfold. Days where the writing just has a rhythm.
Remembering that you’ll have to write each day and finding a way to collect stories throughout your days and weeks and practicing calling upon them at a later date is first hand research for us as teachers.
Once again, I say thank you to the SOLSC team for infusing such value into my life as an educator! Until next year!
She lays, regal almost, amidst the ever-greening blades of grass. Face turned toward the sun, eyes partially closed, soaking up each ray of sunshine.
Is there anything more glorious than the sign of strengthening sunlight? I think my dog would argue there’s not.
I’ve been using this washing machine for six years. We inherited it when we moved into our house. And I’ve been complaining about how I hate it for all six years. It stinks in summer when we hit those 3 really hot and humid weeks. It’s more efficient, so it doesn’t fill with as much water. The top locks after the cycle starts, making it a pain to add that forgotten item of clothing. Big things, and all the little things, drive me crazy in regards to this washing machine.
Then, suddenly, this week I randomly read through all the cycle settings again. “Bulky Items” caught my attention. How have I never seen that? What does it do differently? I decided to give it a try with some towels, choosing to pause it halfway through the cycle and wait the exorbitant amount of time it takes to unlock the lid and provide access to the interior.
Lo and behold - a drum FULL of water. As in, almost to the top. This. This is what I have been missing. For six stinking years!
I know at some point as a new homeowner I read through all the options of the washing machine. Clearly I was overwhelmed with learning all the “new” that came with purchasing our first home. How I never revisited such an obvious label I have no idea.
I think I’ll let just part of my grudge toward this washing machine go. Perhaps there’s something else I have been missing...
Adam is obsessed with the number 3 (or free as he calls it). He has come up with five different ways to show three on his fingers (rotating through which finger he is holding down, which he does in rapid succession while repeating ‘free’). But his favorite is asking for the three year old version of items.
“Do you have a spoon for free?”
“Is there a scissors for free?”
“Grandma, does you carseat fit free?”
For the past two weeks we (which mostly means my husband since I can’t help with the painting portion of this task) have been repainting rooms, and the boys have been begging to help. Today the stars aligned, and a bottom portion of a wall was being painted during daylight hours. Today, the boys got to help paint.
Of course, this required the three-year old version of painting clothes. A three year old paint roller. And three year old safety goggles.
“I need one for free,” was the phrase of the day. Thank goodness we have been preparing for free for a while now!
There are those moments when your children say something that warms your heart, and you know you’ll cherish it forever. And then there are moments like these:
As my 5 year old released me from a hug, I saw my 3 year old heading over for one as well. He gives simply the best “tight hugs” as he refers to them. Never having been a cuddly baby or toddler, I’m cherishing this stage of him enjoying giving out hugs.
He threw his arms around my neck, my own arms encircling his waist. He squeezed his absolute hardest and snuggled his cheek against my neck. I closed my eyes and sat in the moment.
He said, “I love-”
You might predict his next word to be “you.”
But you would be wrong, just as I was.
“-TV!” he finished and ran out of the room.
There are those moments where your kids say something so sweet it hits you right at your core. And then there are moments where they keep you on your toes, forcing you to chuckle at the fact that life isn’t always so glamorous. But it certainly is beautiful regardless.
I walked into school, my brain already running a checklist of things I needed to accomplish before I left for the day.
Clean up preliminary 5 day in person schedule, email teachers, finish ACCESS testing student, email teachers regarding ACCESS schedule after break, grab materials to take with me in the afternoon… the list went on.
I nodded, waved, or said good morning to colleagues as I hurried down the halls.
Rounding the corner to my room, a 4th grade teacher popped out of the door, and we almost collided.
“Hey! Good morning. Sorry about that!” I said as we laughed, and she followed me through the doorway.
Still focused on how much I could get down before picking up my student at 8:40, we chatted about the door.
A huge smile on her face, unable to contain herself, she interrupted, “Look!” And she jutted her chin behind me.
I turned to look. There was the round table with the plexiglass divider and books stacked in front, just as they had been two days ago. I turned back to her with my eyebrows raised, clearly missing something.
“Look,” she insisted again.
I swiveled my whole body this time, taking in my side of the room. Normal, typical, usual, my desk. Oh my goodness, my desk!
It was covered with joy and personality. A complete surprise baby sprinkling to make up for the fact that the planned baby shower kept having to be moved. ‘
So here I was, on the last morning I’d be in before break, a half day at that, being showered with love by coworkers who refused to give up. I’m so glad they didn’t, because this surprise made my week.
To the nurse who stayed by my side during the three attempts to place a needle through my abdomen into our baby’s umbilical cord for a transfusion:
Thank you. Your eyes helped me breathe through the pain.
As I sit across the table from my husband eating my second piece of cake for the day (don’t judge, I’m pregnant), I absentmindedly touch the neckline of my shirt. I feel something scratch my skin and think, Oh great, I dropped food down my shirt today and something is now crusted inside. (Again, pregnant.)
It’s oddly smooth, until I hit a corner. I look down, only to close my eyes.
Yes. Yes, I have my shirt inside out. It has been inside out all day. Through daycare dropoff, a walk into school to grab the laptop I forgot, an all day work session with the EL department to work on 5 day in person schedules, and then daycare pickups.
No wonder every time I went to the bathroom my pockets were hanging “backwards” and the “front” just didn’t seem to be laying correctly, I reflect.
Let’s just chalk this up to things that happen on a Wednesday in March after a full year of online teaching while planning a new schedule for a sub while prepping for ACCESS testing and thinking about the fetal blood transfusion that is scheduled for tomorrow at 5 pm. Or being pregnant. It could totally be the pregnancy’s fault.
There are three days left of hybrid learning.
Three days of printing off asynchronous task sheets. Three days of highlighting the non-Seesaw related activities. Three days of putting tabs on pages in various packets. Three days of packing AM in person at school and PM remote at daycare materials into one bag. Three days of making asynchronous learning from outside our home accessible to our 5 year old.
Am I currently more excited about this than the arrival of baby three? Perhaps. But only because that countdown is at 22 days. So for now I’ll relish the end of hybrid learning.
Because in three days this train is bursting into the light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s only 7:23 am, and it’s already been a busy morning. But as I step out of the medical building time stands still.
The sun is peeking from behind the lingering morning clouds, streaming through the trees. The dew on the grass glistens in the weak golden rays. The birds that mark spring’s arrival are singing the new day's praises.
And in the midst of it all, I stop, close my eyes, and breathe in deeply. No matter what this Monday brings, these 30 seconds have centered me.