Sunday, September 30, 2007

up & down

J now says, "up" and "down." It's like he woke up from his nap and decided to start talking today. Besides "mama" and "dada," "uh oh" is the most popular phrase in our household.

L made herself a super-cool necklace from this kit. She also made one for me, her two friends, one of my friends, and her two teachers. Although she offered to make one for him too, L's dad politely declined.

I dug a few holes in our backyard this weekend. Two I filled with plants, one I filled back up with dirt when I realized I was digging in the wrong place.

One student invited me to watch him play piano at a gallery opening; another invited me to a pow wow. I had very good intentions of going to both, but we shattered a glass jar of jam across our kitchen floor, and the rest of the weekend progressed similarly. Maybe next time.

L is having far too much fun alone in the bathroom . . . better go check on her.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

where did the time go?

J stole my alarm clock.

I spent Saturday practicing bad sleep hygiene (a term I just learned from GC). Running on three hours of sleep, the hard work of watching cartoons finally got to me. I penned everyone up in my bedroom, closed the closet door, checked that the TV cord was out of reach and all outlets plugged, then crashed. I woke up again to hear L say, "Brother, be careful" and to see J standing in the middle drawer of our dresser. No, it wasn't on the floor. I've never jumped out of bed faster.

Once the kids were relatively safe again, I discovered the missing clock. I looked through every drawer, under the bed, even in the closet (which had remained closed). It wasn't in the bathtub, in the now-empty Kleenex box, or under the covers. I even gave John my watch to see what he would do with it: put in the empty Kleenex box, as I suspected. With as many visual cues

He'd been trapped inside the room, so I know it had to be around somewhere. It certainly wasn't stuffed up his shirt, and I could guess that it would be somewhere below waist-height. My suspect wasn't talking.

We found it in the trash can, underneath three pairs of clean socks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Post Script: eat your heart out

Our student died early Monday morning. The XC coach called the team in to cancel their meet on Tuesday. After much consideration, they decided the senior who had passed away would have wanted them to keep running. So run they did. It was a hard race. My students came to school the next morning tired and yet still jittery. Boys took 2nd.

Thursday was the next meet, a local one. Our high school took home every single trophy. The girl in the back row of my fourth period took home a 2nd place medal. The one in front hit her personal record.

In a very long week, it was a good day.

Monday, September 10, 2007

keep moving

We lost a student over the weekend. He had just finished a cross-country meet. He and his friends were heading across town to meet some more teammates afterwards when he was hit by a car.

I have one freshman girl on the team, and she'd just written an essay on running. Her words hit me a little harder today. She wrote, "To know how to keep moving forward is a skill."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

When it rains, it hails.

A desert thunderstorm caught me Friday afternoon on my birthday. Instead of getting the clue from the sudden high winds and cloudy sky, I opted to wait 10 minutes to finish up some grading. Big mistake. The rain out here is chilly, but when the weather is so hot, it's a comfort even when it stings. By the time I had reached the car with my garbage bag full of student papers, my umbrella was bent backwards and in half, I was soaked completely through and laughing as much as I was shivering.

Mr. 4 had given blood that afternoon. He's a universal donor, so he gets the "blood bank booty call" as he puts it. They told him Thursday, "We're using your blood currently to keep someone alive, and we need more of it. What time can you come in tomorrow?" How do you say no to that?

I met him for coffee afterwards, and we got home to find our energy had gone out. I went to pick up the kids and got stuck in highway traffic. 2 miles away from the last exit, L says she has to go potty "really bad." I relented and taught her to squat in the bushes.

The lights came back on just as I got home. L sang to me. Some friends came over. We ate cheesecake and went to bed happy.

An unexpectedly good day.