A kind email…

I had a day today. A day in which I asked myself again…why am I doing this? I yelled at a student today. Argggggg…the teacher who teaches across from my office today said that is the first time she has heard my voice in 5 years from her classroom. She said the teacher next door yells all day long and kids never bat an eye…just used to it. She said kids in her room froze when they heard me raise my voice. She said…oh boy somebody must have done something bad. Well..they did. Three boys, goofing around, I had a full office of 8th graders planning for HS. Three boys were looking at a computer, not enough room to see. A boy turned and slapped another one across the face-the sound of the slap silenced the room. GET OUT Of HERE NOW-GET OUT OF MY OFFICE. He ran…very quickly no argument. It didn’t help that he slapped one of my favorite kids. Just kidding. But probably it didn’t help. So the best part is that the Principal only gave the kid a warning. And let me tell you this is not the first time in this lovelies 5 years at LMS that he has been in the principal’s office for putting his hands on someone. Arrrgggg. So I was cooked this afternoon.
But we had a meeting after school with a lot of collaboration and some good work toward helping another young man. It is the group that I coordinate so I was kind of pleased at the end. But still overall felt crummy about the yelling incident that was followed up with the message that the slap was not that big a deal. (isn’t it sad that we can have some good things happen but we can still be consumed with the bad-i hate that)
Got home late after grocery shopping but a great phone call with dad that made me feel better-had dinner-played with the girls a bit-did the treadmill-and sat down to read my emails and I had this in my inbox. It is an email from a legendary teacher. She grew up in OOB, and has taught at OOB forever. She has had EVERYONE in school and she is much loved. I have had a rocky road in gaining her respect and trust. And probably this incident will only carry me a week or two with her-BUT hey I will take it. So I am sharing some of her words because I feel like bragging. Sorry-it won’t happen again.
Hello Beth:
I just wanted to extend my very sincere thanks for the way you handled the SAT meeting today. I so admired the intuitiveness you showed when you mentioned that we needed to have an alternative plan for __________ if he was to succeed at all. It is merely looking at things in a realistic way if we are to get anything out of _________. I see you as such a good and loving mother to your little girl, and I know in your heart, you know very well this is definitely lacking in _______’s life. Thank you so much for speaking so sincerely on his behalf. I also know that your soul purpose is to be an advocate for every child in our school. I was so impressed by the way you openly supported __________, and he mentioned it to me as well when we walked out together. If people only fully realized the hell this child sometimes goes through, they would well know that he has all he can do to float above water. Thanks again Beth………thanks for your caring heart.

Anne Lamott-Go Get any one of her books…read it today!

I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

At some point you pardon the people in your family for being stuck together in all their weirdness, and when you can do that, you can learn to pardon everyone.

And then learn to be more compassionate
company, as if you were somebody you are
fond of and wish to encourage. I doubt that you
would read a close friend’s early efforts and, in
his or her presence, roll your eyes and snicker-editorial note-hmmmmmmm-i hope i wouldn’t 🙂

Date Night

Steve and I got to have a night away in Portland yesterday. We had a great time.
It just reminded us of how much fun we have together when we are alone. Without the kiddos. It was good to do. Much love to Pete, Lori and Charlotte for coming up and hanging out the Moo and the Bean. We stayed at the Eastland Park Hotel which seemed to be in not as good shape as I remember it from a couple years back. However, with a long walk into town for some chowder and a beer we returned to our room to get ready for a night on the town. We took a cab into town because after running 3.1 miles that morning and then our probably two mile walk that afternoon my legs decided they didn’t need to walk again. We pulled up in front of Natasha’s where we were eating dinner and there was a band playing in the park across the street with lots of barefoot people dancing and kids hopping. All of us it seemed were shedding our winter coats and blues and enjoying the sunny afternoon. Being early for our reservation we went and sat at the bar and I had the BEST margharita and we shared a dim sum appetizer which knocked both our socks off…from the mint melon soup to the shrimp rangoon to the endameme hummus and the Soba Noodles. So delicious. Dinner on the other hand, I was really disappointed. My cambodian hot bowl which I have had before was not so good. Instead of cilantro…parsley…heavy over cooked vegetables no bueno. But the wine was delicious and the company stellar so it did nothing to dampen my spirit. We left dinner after a flourless chocolate cake and a couple cappucinos and took a walk around the old port. I bought the new Anne Lamott book, GRACE EVENTUALLY…really looking forward to reading that…I have loved every book by her I have ever read. I will keep you posted.
Finally we meandered through the streets and ended up at Kathadin for a night cap and spent a good hour or so just chatting and making plans. That was probably my favorite part of the night.

But what was great was pulling into the driveway this morning happy and refreshed and seeing Moo Cow jump up and down excitedly when she saw the jetta. Ella running and screaming Mommy…Daddy…There is no place like home…

She is even posing…

I have entered a whole new world here. The world of dance and dance performances. Certain tights, red lipstick, certain hairstyles, froofy dance outfits with lace and tutus. As I was grumbling about it all today at her dance class, she was in there dancing her little heart out. We got home and she wanted to try the outfit on immediately and then my heart melted. She learned the pose at dance class. I asked her if she liked going to dance class and she said, Oh YES. So I guess I can suck up all the rest of the madness because she loves it. And all of this for 2 minutes of maybe nothing…maybe tears…maybe frozen standing and staring…BUT Maybe 2 minutes of tapping her little heart out. And me crying my eyes out…

Home Again…

We survived the almost 8 hour drive together. We, Nason Girls, can handle the road. I had a lot of fun on my visit home. The house is always so cozy and welcoming. Even the area with all its faults still feels so familiar and comfortable to me. Driving around Watertown with the visit to the zoo and the library brought a rush of good feelings. It reminds me of who I am and where I started from. Though the town has gotten sadder over the years I really only have good memories of my time there. Sunday afternoons before we left to go back to Syracuse in the Arcade…the record store, antique store and other shops….especially the box of Kandee Korn before we headed out. Emsall’s Department store with the revolving door…What was the other dept. store that was done there??? I can’t remember…Barbara Moss and Carter’s in the Woolworth Plaza. Trips to the Y to play Basketball, go swimming, or run on the track. I rode my bike everywhere. The best stop, of course, Puff’s for some Ice Cream. I guess I was lucky as a kid that I grew up in a place that felt so safe. That had neighborhoods and a downtown that was so exciting and interesting for a kid.
It was a good place to go for my vacation.
Molly’s favorite part of the trip…Playing with Grandpa…ball with Grandpa…Banner ball with Grandpa. Ella’s favorite part was the Zoo. The difference between the two was Molly was still talking about the trip at bedtime and Ella sighed contently…I am happy to be home. I hope that Steve and I are creating the same childhood memories for our girls. So that they will return to their Home/Town and feel what I feel for the farmhouse and Watertown.