A Day in the Life

Standard

“Mrs. Rock-ee! Guess what? We learned about G and O today!”

“Fun! Well, what do G and O spell…g…o….”

Eyes lift to the ceiling, his tiny brow crinkles, then he declares, “Octopus!”

Our Kindergarten babies are coming along! Honestly, the first few weeks with them are hard. But hard isn’t the right word. If you’ve heard the saying ‘herding cats’ then that explains it a little better. Luckily, our school is (beyond) blessed with a group of wonderful teachers who love children and who don’t give up when the body whines with exhaustion.

Seeing the people I work with from a different light (a non-classroom teacher looking in), has changed my whole perspective. As a classroom teacher, I was very focused on my space and my students. Now, as a librarian, I encounter every child and teacher in the building. And let me tell you, every class has its own personality and requires a different touch and approach.

Now when I look at my fellow teachers, I see their individual methods, their unique touches. I see their hearts and how they embrace the difficult child needing love just as easily as they push along the happy pleasers. My heart also aches for them on their hard days; the days of trials and change.

I love my work family. I love their dedication and focus. I love their love for children.

Another funny…

A sweet itty bitty accidentally ‘tooted’ during story time. And there was no ignoring it. I shushed the group and casually said that it was no big deal, that everybody does it. Well…it happened again, and there was no way itty bitty was getting by with it two times in a row. A little fellow behind her quickly told her, “You can hold those farts in, you know!”

Y’all…I mean, what would you have done in my place?? Seriously.

I proudly kept a straight face, told the fellow that we don’t say that word at school, and asked itty bitty if she needed to go to the potty.

That is real life in a PreK-2 school!

Fair Week

Standard

Beanie here…   Forgive me, but I kind of like having a voice. We dogs don’t get much of one. And man, I’ve just got to vent for a minute.

So…every once in a while something magical happens real close to our house. You never know when it’s going to come. But then, the air fills with smells and loud squeals and noises echo over here to my yard.

This feeling comes over me, my genes kick in, and I’m full on Beagle. My tail straightens, I sniff the air, and all I can think is they need me over there!

So, logically, I go over to check out what’s happening. I mean, it’s not that far from my house, and used to, when I was young and not so round, I used to walk all over the place. Not so much anymore. Anyway, I wander down the field, under a gate or two, squeeze through a little fence, and ta-da, I’m there!

My people call it “the fair” – whatever that means. But you wouldn’t believe it. People everywhere, and they pet me and give me food. It’s doggie heaven.

But my people don’t like it one bit. All week…many nights and days, people…they’ve kept me locked in the house. Usually, I love being in the house, but this week…that magical place needs me, and they won’t let me go.

Here’s what’s so humiliating…even when I need to go potty, my people follow me. Never do they do that! Only during this fair they keep growling about. But they follow me, always watching me. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t poop in front of anyone! It’s just degrading. Seriously.

So that lady, she coos and grins and tells me I’m a good girl after I go, then she forces me right back in the house.

I’m getting stir crazy, folks.

So today…today, when my guy says the fair people are leaving, I make a run for it. Before they can blink, I’m past the barn and slipping under the gates. For awhile, I’m free. But most of the smells are gone when I get down there, and nobody’s around to scratch my head. All that’s left is a little trash and cars with no people.

Still…I’m outside. I’m on my own like any respectable Beagle needs to be every now and then. I’m free.

Until my guy pulls up. He yells my name, makes me get into the fast thing he drives, and I’m hurried back home. Sigh…

img_0317

I made it to the place where yummy smells come from, but I was too late. No people here.

There’s something to be said about the house though…I never sweat when I’m in there, and that lady gives me all the water I want. And seriously, I get the couch all to myself. It’s kind of awesome.

Goodbye fair…maybe next time.

Saturday Mornings

Standard

Is there anything better than a Saturday morning? Or more specifically, a Saturday morning after the first full week of school? Because a Friday night after the first full week of school has me looking like this…complete with the growls and groans and uncanny thirst for blood.

zombie

 

But Saturday mornings, sigh…they have me looking like this…

Girl Enjoying In Flowers Field  Wallpaper

For just a little while, I’m free. The world is wide open, the air is fresh, the flowers bloom!  (Not really….it’s more like the laundry piles, the house smells of dog, and the weeds overtake, but…)

Happy Saturday to the the hardest working people I know. We survived week one, and by God’s grace, I KNOW we’ll keep right on surviving…and flourishing…and stress eating…and moaning…and loving…and growing…and smiling because we get the special kind of love only little kids seem to be able to give.

Reflections

Standard

Reflections on another summer gone by way too fast:

*It’s hard to contemplate going back to work when it’s still summer. Maybe summer break should last as long as summer itself. Someone told me, “Well, it’s too hot for the kids to be at home. They need to be in school.”

Seriously, somebody said that to me. I’m sure the incredulous look on my face let them know my take on that. What happened to swimming, riding bikes, building forts? We did all of those things as children whether it was hot or not.

* I hope I never have to write a research paper ever, ever again. Never, ever again. Two research papers in sixteen days about did me in.

*I’ve figured out that going back to work would be easier if I could take my dogs with me. Beanie would love it! However, Layla would be a nervous wreck, and unfortunately, we’ve recently discovered that Avi is afraid of little kids. Go figure.

IMG_0176

*June was a blur. Days of sitting at the computer writing papers and creating webpages. July…I was a bum. A happy to be at home bum. I warned my family that it would happen. I don’t think they believed me until the evidence (no makeup, very little activity, and no bra for days) proved me right.

*July has been a month for books. I think I have 3 different books going right now. Does anybody else do that? It’s like tuning in to a different T.V. show but the story is taking place on paper.

*Vacationing with my hubby is still fun. When you’ve been married 28 years, you may wonder does he still like me, what will we talk about? I happily found that we both still love spending time together…like by ourselves with no kids or people around. It was awesome.

IMG_0123

My favorite guy, our favorite place.

*Grown kids are just as fun as young kids, maybe more.

*I read a lot of articles and snippets of things. Everyone seems to have an opinion on something, but no matter what is said or discovered about children, these things hold true:

Children are honest and needy,

they need boundaries every single day,

they love without measure,

they need to get off the electronics and play,

and they need discipline when it’s warranted.

Most of all, they just want you to love them back.

*Summer vacation is way too short…did I mention that already?

I am not a Crook! (The Beanie Chronicles)

Standard

Beanie here…I’m borrowing that lady’s blog page one more time.

We have an emergency. Or I have an emergency. Avi and the Princess sure don’t seem concerned.

I’ve been accused…and you know, it’s hard to stand up for yourself when your belly looks like mine. I’ve been accused of knocking off that lady’s chickens.

Those of you who know me, can you believe it? Can you believe I’m being accused of killing five chickens?! Me!

So, here’s what happened:

That lady (everybody calls her momma so I guess I can, too) has had those chickens forever, like forever. She feeds them every day, talks to them, gets their eggs. Me and the Princess always go with her to visit those squawky birds. They’re smelly but sometimes I get lucky and mom accidentally drops an egg. When that happens, I’m all over those eggs. Yum.

Anyway, last week, something started knocking off those squawkers one by one. Mom wasn’t happy to say the least. So that man who loves me got her six new chickens and a big ole fancy rooster. The new squawkers really seemed to like it here, but sure enough…two days in, two chickens disappeared. Like vanished.

Mom and my guy were in the pen trying to figure out what to do, so you know, I just casually slipped under the fence to go hang out with my guy. You would’ve thought I’d grown horns the way they acted. There was screaming and yelling and my name was everywhere. I did the only thing I knew to do…I ran to the other corner (a corner I happen to know has a crawly spot in and out) and ducked down.

My guy drug me out of there.

And now I’m a crook.  Dad says I ate the chickens…all of them. He says that’s why my belly is so fat. Can you believe it??

Insulting.

That brings us to today. Mom and dad put the chickens that were left in a small chicken house so nothing could get to them…I mean it’s tiny but they can move and stuff. We all go to feed this afternoon, and guess what? Another chicken down!

And it wasn’t me! I was in the house all day with mom. And even I know I couldn’t fit my bootie through that little bitty wire.

Mom freaked. The Princess just glared. I can’t wait for dad to get home.

Then he’ll see, then he’ll know. I’m no crook!

img_0020

Do I look like a criminal to you?

img_0017

I’m mean, come on…

The Beanie Chronicles

Standard

Beanie from the Beanie Chronicles here. You’ll never guess what the lady that feeds me did. Just because my belly sags…and yeah, sometimes I get really out of breath. That lady made me spend the day at the vet.

For nothing.

Yep, I have a big Beagle belly. Yep, I love me some people food. Am I really sick…nope. Not today anyway.

img_3615

See that dog over there? That blonde wild thing? Guess what she did? She took off running…full speed ahead like a rocket…and she ran right over the lady who feeds us. Took that lady to the ground. Good thing she only twisted her ankle. Blondie may have had to live at the barn if she’d hurt her bad.

Oh…and one more. Let’s not forget the little princess. The lady that feeds us seems to really like that one. Guess what the little princess does? She won’t let us eat until she’s finished! She’s barely bigger than a squirrel but somehow she became the boss around here. Little Princess better watch out or Blondie might swallow her whole one day!

img_3633

For those of you worried about my pot belly, I’m okay for now. The lady that feeds me said no more people food. We’ll see about that. I’m really good friends with the man who loves me!

Imperfects

Standard

I was raised by a very beautiful woman. She always smelled good…sweet and warm and comforting. The kindness in her ran deep. I saw her turn away with tears in her eyes when my sister and I (deservedly) got disciplined from time to time. I remember her softness, how humbly she spoke.

My friends always liked my momma. She was easygoing with them, but there was never a question that she was my biggest defender.

Momma was meek. She worked hard to provide for us. I was raised by a music-loving, sweet soul.

But my mother was imperfect. And the sad thing is, I always knew it.

I wanted her to be perfect. In my young mind and heart, I wanted her to be what I perceived as perfect. You know…just a little more steady, a little less needy, a little more confident, a little less troubled.

For years, I stayed in this ever changing, heart-aching place of anger towards her. I wanted her to change, to be what I wanted her to be.

I wasted so much time.

And then she was gone.

Now, all these years later, I’m left with the knowledge that we’re all so very flawed. There is no perfect person. No matter what you see on social media, no matter what you hear, no one person can live up to every single expectation.

Today, I’m a mother of two, and I have no doubt they find and then cringe over the things I do that are certainly imperfect. Time has shown me that flaws are as common and real as breathing.

For all the imperfect parents:

Those of us who lose our cool from time to time…

Those of us who don’t always have the perfect answer to every question…

Those of us who wonder if we ran away, if anybody would notice (but of course we’d never really leave…we’re just tired)…

Those of us who feel like we’ve failed in about half we meant to do with our kids. I didn’t get them to church enough, I didn’t push them enough, or maybe I pushed too much, and I think I forgot to teach them how to clean a toilet…

Those of us who worry and cringe every time the phone rings because half our parent brain fears the worst all the time…

For the imperfects, I think it’s okay to be less than perfect, and the sooner we realize and accept each other, flaws and all, the happier we’ll be. No matter what, I knew my mom loved me, and that has been my goal as a parent. I love my children, with all of me, no matter what.

There are no words to express how much I wish I could have a wonderfully squishy hug from my mother, imperfections included. I know she would forgive mine.

Answered Prayers

Standard

Have you ever gotten exactly what you prayed for? I did. It took awhile…like four or five years…but I had a dream that came true, a prayer that was answered.

And in that answer I was reminded that nothing ever comes easily.

So last summer I began this new journey of becoming a librarian. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m 48 years old, and after 23 years in the classroom, I began anew. I knew going in I would have to pick up my library endorsement, but in my non-experienced mind, I thought the classes would be easy. I was so wrong.

Graduate level, all online classes, no professor to ask for guidance, harder than heck, one paper or project after another….

But in the midst of the chaos, an unexpected gift came my way. God sent two fellow librarians to help me along the journey. The other day, I told my new, dear friends that if it weren’t for them, I would be a grad school flunky who ran off to join the circus.

Then an unexpected injury. A hernia. What the heck? Now? In the middle of grad school, with nine weeks of school left? What??? I’ve had the hernia for years but it was silent and mostly unknown. The doctor said it probably chose now to flare up due to my age. Okay…that’s insulting as heck.

No bending, no getting on the floor, no shelving books. Ugg…hernias suck. (A few things I’ve noticed since I’ve been home: lawyer commercials are on the T.V. constantly, if the only show on T.V. was The View, I’d never watch T.V. again…those are some mean, bitter folks, and lastly, I wish everybody smiled like Hoda.)

They say nothing good ever comes easy. I’m having to work hard to finish this goal, this dream of mine. I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it…and I trust that God has me exactly where He wants me. Even when I’m in over my head, cut open and stitched back together; even when I’m frustrated and tired, I can always trust that someone who knows infinitely more than me is in control.

Home

Standard

It had been one of those days…a hurtful, hard, exhausting day. The kind adulthood seems to pound you with over and over. Your body becomes tired, not sleepy, but so very tired. All you want is to curl up, hide under a blanket, and for awhile, pray that no one can find you.

The room was dark, everyone was going to bed, and the prayers started. Not long after, a few tears. And without thought or inclination of where the words came from, they slipped out. “I just want to go home,” I whispered.

My heart hurt as my own words penetrated. I was home…lying in my bed, my family tucked away. But I knew…I knew what the words meant. I wanted to go to my forever home. This life had been too hard that day, and I couldn’t help but yearn for the home I’ll go to once this life is over.

The thought was painful. It hurt because it came to me unawares, unplanned and utterly honest. It was the first time I’d truly yearned for the worries of this life to hurry away so I could just get on with getting on.

I can’t remember the day or the year this happened for the first time. I know it was many years ago, and once that door was unlocked, I’ve yearned for my forever home often. It’s not the kind of yearn that makes you reckless and impatient…but the kind of yearn that knows I’ve got more to do in this life before that day will come.

What about life keeps us yearning for more, for different, for better? Perhaps it’s just the reality of how hard life can be. Or maybe we’re just fickle creatures who are never satisfied.

I just read a wonderful, insightful book about the meaning of your life (not the meaning of life in general) by a man named Harold Kushner called, “When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough”. This book, written by a rabbi, is so approachable and easy to understand. Never does the author judge or make you feel unworthy. Actually, he does just the opposite by simply explaining that the true meaning of your life is not about success but loving and being loved. It’s about savoring life – other people, food, nature, etc.

The author says that people are their happiest when they’re kind, helpful and reliable. When they are doing for others instead of only thinking of themselves.

I think we all know that deep down. We know we should be loving others more, that being kind should be second nature, but it’s the daily battle of doing it. The daily battle of focusing enough to love and be kind. We all lose focus. Life can make everything blurry really fast.

This year, I’ll try to savor more, to focus on kindness. I cannot control the people or situations around me, but I can choose each day to pick a happy thought over bitterness. Every morning on the way to work, I pray…”Lawd…please, Lord, help me to be kind to the children today. Kind and patient.” (Funny how most days I’m given opportunities where I have to choose to pick kindness over being snappy. Strange how that works.) I’ll keep praying that prayer, I’ll keep on keeping on no matter life’s circumstances. I’ll keep on until that day I finally get to go home.

pexels-photo-289586.jpeg

‘Tis the Season…

Standard

C – Christ child, savior of the world.

H – Happiness, an unexplained warmth in your home and around the ones you love. A heart that is full and thankful. Hallmark movies on repeat. Hot chocolate.

R – Rejoice! Rejoice! A time to remember peace on earth.

I– Images of past Christmases flutter in your heart.

S – Santa and sleigh bells, silly drivers and mad shoppers, stress and savory smells.

T– Too much food, too many sweets, too much tension, too much fun. Tinsel, toys, time to reflect on another year gone by.

M– Malls to avoid, busy moms in a hurry. The miracle of little faces who are ready for Christmas morning. Memories.

AAngels we have heard on high. Angelic voices singing in a school program. Another Christmas has arrived with growing children, aging parents, hearts missing.

S – “At the last house, we always join hands and sing Silent Night. The reindeer, too.” –Memoirs of an Elf.   Finding solace on that silent night.

for unto you

****

And Just for Fun – The School Version

C – Crazy children so high on Christmas they could float.

H – Hurrying feet rushing everywhere they go. Happiness and big hearts. Harried teachers holding on just a few more days.

R – Reindeer games. Ready for Christmas. No raising of hands, no resting of heads.

I – Idyllic smiles fill their faces. Icing on gingerbread houses. Imaginations in full bloom.

S – Sad or sappy, sighing and surprised, so many emotions. Sorry is spoken often. Santa just as much.

T – Toys. Toys. Toys.

M – Music and songs. Munchkins watching the Santa cam. Many smiles, many tears.

A – Ample love. Anticipation grows strong as days are counted down. Antsy and agitated, awaiting the 25th.

S – Smiles, stories and daydreams. Wishes for stuff, songs about sleighs. So excited they beam.

The Santa Cam – smiles blossom when they see it, and a few children will even stop, stare into the camera and give their Christmas lists in detail.