Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Funeral for my Birthday


Turning 45 today which so happens to also be the funeral of the mother of my dear friend Christina. As I currently live with an eleven year-old, birthdays are of utmost importance in our household. The plans start early, gifts are chosen, wrapped, handmade cards are fastidiously created, and a careful schedule is arranged for food, cake, and presents. As you might imagine, my announcement that we would be going to a funeral on my birthday was greeted with a look of shock. It was almost a sacrilege to commemorate ones birth by attending a Funeral Mass. That, of course, is the perception of a eleven year old. But as a "not eleven year old" it feels right to celebrate my age by holding up my friends. It is a gift I am happy to give.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

sitting up straight


Yesterday a dear friend lost her mother. It was fast and unexpected and tragic and peaceful and all of the incongruous adjectives that come with death. The grief is so new. Linda was a dear, sweet woman. Incredibly devoted to her grandsons and her daughter and her son-in-law. Phillipino to the hilt, with all of the tradition that comes with such a rich culture. I am always amazed by the tradition in her family. I come from a family that seems to avoid any sense of "this is the way things are done". Except, the crazy, of course. So, I am praying and trying to do things to help and show my support. Food, shopping, singing, etc. Most likely I am trying to ease the pain, which seems incredibly impossible right now.
Linda was married to her husband for 43 years! They met when they were twelve. Imagining the grief that Art is feeling is overwhelming. I know that my dear husband is the love of my life and considering that we may be separated in death some day is so painful.

Tomorrow is the last day of a year that was very roller-coaster-ish. I found out the other day that I will have co-teacher whom I like and respect next year and I am looking forward to having a buddy again. I have been feeling a little lonely this year.

The crazy at school was more amplifed this week. Fortunately I was able to articulate my frustration with the fact that one dsyfunctional voice is getting lots of attention for very dyfunctional behavior. I would rather reinforcement would be given for the appropriate, grown-up way of dealing with life situations. Kind of like teaching kindergarten, "well now, look how nicely Johnny is sitting up straight and raising his hand when he has something to say."

Now that the year is over, I hope that my blogs are filled with amusing anecdotes about being a full-time mom with da girls.

Friday, June 5, 2009

what a difference a week makes

So, a week ago at 5:30 I was rehearsing kids, doing a sound check, sweltering in the heat of a church, 90 minutes away from the Benefit Concert. A week later, I am sitting at the computer with a glass of red, reminiscing on the concert and the week that followed.

Regarding the concert, it was quite lovely, amazing, moving, memorable, and generally filled me with pride for my children, my school, my community, and, okay, myself. My students were amazing. I learned early in my educational career that you never need to set the bar low for children. If they believe that you believe they can do it, they will. It doesn't matter what it is. Music, math, social studies, sports. It doesn't matter. If you allow them to reach their potential they will. A colleague told me, in the early stages of planning the program for this concert, that I had picked music that was too difficult. I ignored her. Thank goodness, because my students met and exceeded the goal that was set for them. I know I've said this before, but I am truly blessed to spend the majority of my day doing a job that makes my heart sing.