7/21/15

Humpty Dumpty could have used someone who loved him.

I’ve moved…again.

For the fourth time in five years I’ve moved, and frankly I’m disausted.

The glorious thing about this particular move (if moving can be glorious at ALL) is that this time I am unpacking the boxes that have been packed up for a WHOLE year.  I am finally able to surround myself with my treasures, with the remnants of a loving childhood and with the mementos my own children have left behind for me to guard. (aka their junk) 

I have hung the high school graduation photos and the portraits and paintings that were hidden in a basement for a year. I have unwrapped the glass baubles, the blue glass, the yearbooks, my Stephen King books, all the pictures of my kids, the ceramic thingy’s they made me in middle school and the scrapbooks I have always intended to finish. I am using my mother's vanity, have filled the bookshelves with all of my my books and have created a home with the things that are dear to me. 

But there was one thing that was missing.

I received only few items from my Baba’s house when she passed away.  One was a three-tiered shelf that my mother gave her, and the other was a beautiful blue plate that hung on her wall in a prominent place in her home.  My mother and father bought it for her when we lived in Nice, France when I was very young, and to me it was priceless.  The story goes that my parents bought in Portugal and we never really knew WHAT it meant. Since we didn't have Google Translate, we never bothered to really check.  We loved it nonetheless because it always held the memories of my parents.



My best friend helped me unpack, and broke the news to me at the end of a very long day.

“I know you’re going to be very upset, but I have to tell you something.  The blue plate is broken.  It’s in many pieces, and I’m pretty sure it’s not salvageable.”  She held up several pieces, and I agreed. I took a moment to think.  

I cried a bit, and then simply told her to toss them in the trash on the back porch.  I was exhausted and crushed and didn’t have the energy.  I came to the conclusion that it was just a “thing” and that I couldn’t allow myself to be crushed.


That was over a month ago. 


Today Ray showed up at my doorstep with a package.  He handed me a knife and instructed me to open it very carefully.  


I did what he asked and there it was. 




THERE IT WAS!!!



Somehow he had found it in the trash, decided to rescue the pieces and managed to find someone to put the broken memories of my grandmother’s home back together again.



That’s what a real man does, I guess.  He reaches down, scoops up your tears and finds a magical way to turn them into kisses. 







7/14/15

A b*&%^ by any other name should STILL a b*&%^.


Remember back in the day when Bitchy was really bitchy? Surely SOME of you out there remember those days?

You know, when she piled her Christmas presents outside her door and insisted in a VERY loud voice that I return them ALL.  Oh, remember when she told me I had a lesbian haircut? (Not that there’s anything WRONG with that.)  And how about the time she woke me up at ONE in the morning to tell me Sassy was sneaking IN.  And I’m sure I’ll never forget the SIX MILE WALK she tricked me into taking back before I had my new knees.  And who can forget all the times she called ME a “b”?

Sigh, those were the days.

Now she’s a twenty-something Nutritionist for the WIC program and (YAY!) living at HOME with her mother.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not technically complaining about that (although it would be nice to have some RENT MONEY), I’m just saying that I’m feeling the need to rename my darling Bitchy. 

Let me offer several pieces of evidence into this particular proceeding.

  
“Mom, do NOT use the “F” word.  It’s tasteless.”

“Please keep it down, mom.  You’re causing a ruckus and I’m trying to sleep.”  I’m pretty sure THIS occurred a 8:30 p.m.  EIGHT THIRTY IN THE P TO THE M. 

“I had a client today whose children were just acting like rascals. I did NOT give them a sticker.”  Rascals?  RASCALS???



Sweet Lord in heaven there is only ONE fifty-something woman living in this house and I’m pretty damn sure it’s ME. 




Bitchy, I’m now calling you Grandma.  I’m pretty sure you’ve earned it.  P.S.



7/1/15

Sweet and Sour.....they just go together....

The last days of school for teachers are always bittersweet.  We are at the end of a 9 -month marathon; a race we all run carrying twenty souls on our backs while juggling test scores, field trips, new units, new initiatives, runny noses and snow days.

We spent the last days of kindergarten this year practicing our end-of-the year culmination and trying to help the kids memorize four songs that even I couldn’t remember the words to.  In between practices we tried to find the time to finish our journals, make cards for the important people at school and clean our classroom.  We found missing books, dozens of lego pieces, Garin’s lost Show and Tell lightsaber and someone’s tooth when we moved the furniture to sweep underneath.  (Remind me to clean under the furniture more often next year and to check my teeth.)

I found myself on the verge of a full-blown anxiety attack on the day of the performance, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone.  The kids were in prime form each exhibiting signs of summer-it is, aka “Let’s drive the teacher out of her ever lovin’ mind today”.  I was sure they were all just too excited for the performance and tried very hard to remember the angelic behavior they had shown me most of the year. However, they rose to the occasion.

Michael spent the day trying to straighten his “crooked drawers”, insisting that he just couldn’t possibly sit or stand while his drawers were so crooked. I then spend ten minutes trying to explain what the word “drawers” meant. (Without laughing.)

After insisting that Michael return to the bathroom to wash his hands after his “adjusting”, he claimed he just “wasn’t a hand-washing kind of guy.”

Brian cried four times during morning recess, claiming that the only reason he kept tackling people was because they were asking for it. Big time.

Suzy managed to spell many words correctly on the classroom rug instead of the white board that was conveniently sitting next to her.  Of course, it was an accident.

Sally bit Jack because he wouldn’t get out of her way when she asked him a billion times to move.  A BILLION.

During morning centers Julia tried repeatedly to put her foot in Thad’s mouth.  Fortunately for all of us (especially Thad) she was unsuccessful.  

During the last rehearsal of the performance most of MY class decided to play a game of “Let’s push each other off the risers during the songs.” This did not delight the teacher. 

By the end of what seemed like a long day, our afternoon performance was simply magnificent. I watched with joy, wonder and incredible pride as the children stood and sang like angels. I found myself holding back tears and more than one sob as I glanced around the packed gymnasium at the parents who hadn’t managed to hold it in.  We ended the performance in the gymnasium with a slide show of pictures of all the children from the whole year.  I sat down on the floor with the children, and my biggest challenge of the year scooted towards me until he was sitting next to me, holding my hand with his head on my shoulder.

At the end the parents headed to their children’s classroom to finish the day with a special garden party.  Parents, grandparents and siblings smiled and laughed with each other as they shared stories from the year and enjoyed tasty treats. I worked the room, mingling with everyone and thanking them all for sharing their precious children with us this year.  Towards the end of the party I was approached by an older gentleman who introduced himself as Jack’s grandfather who explained that he had been in education for many years.  He had been involved in education at the collegiate level for most of his career, and had then after his retirement spent many years as a substitute teacher.
“The point I’m trying to make is this,” he said.  “I have been in many, many, many classrooms over the years- including kindergarten classrooms.  I have to tell you that I have never been in a classroom that is as full of love and happiness as this one.  Thank you.”


I was speechless.




Yep, the last days of school are always very bittersweet.  But this year, on this day, the sweet was absolutely the sweetest.