Saturday, August 28, 2010

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Sissy is in the midst of a love affair with this person:
I mean, an obsession is in the offing here.  Not that I mind, I dig T-Swift, but I can't help but wonder if the subject matter of her songs is a little advanced for an eight year-old with a penchant for drama.  Last year, she was convinced she was in love with a little boy in another 2nd grade class, and fixated on the whole notion of "boyfriends and  girlfriends" for about 5 months.  I did a lot of handwringing and imagining what she'll be like at 14 during that 5 months.

Anyway, she's also still a little girl at heart:
From what I can tell, eight's gonna be all over the place.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I want this.

I want a game closet in my house like this.  I love the whole retro vibe of this movie, and love the idea of kids playing board games and abandoning video games altogether.  I'm just having a fit of 70's nostalgia, I guess...all I know is that if you haven't seen The Royal Tenenbaums, you should.  You really should.  If only for Alec Baldwin's narration. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Not THAT Kind of Mother

Today was the first day of school for us.  I teach at the school Sassy attends, so we got to face the day toge ther--which was nice.  She's in third grade which completely boggles my mind, but there it is:
Sassy doesn't start pre-school until next week, so she is staying with family until her year starts.  I've always taught at my girls' school, so I'm spoiled in terms of having access to them whenever I want/need them for something.  Sassy's new pre-school is close by, but I won't be the one to drop her off at school, or pick her up, either, and I'm really struggling with that. 

As a teacher, I shamefully confess to judging the parents (really, the mothers--'cause that's what we women do) of my students who can't come to parties, ceremonies, etc. because of work or other issues.  I also pass judgment on the quality of my students' lunches, their hair, and their parents' ability to make sure forms, permission slips, and the like get to school in a timely manner.  In my total lack of humility and love for my fellow man I pat myself on the back for dotting all those i's, crossing all those t's, and looking to the world like a responsible, on-top-of-it mother.

This afternoon after school, my husband was mowing the backyard, and I was getting dinner together.  Sissy was in her room, and last I'd checked, three year-old Sassy was in the living room watching TV.  The doorbell rang, and I went to the front door, irritated and convinced it must be someone selling something.  There stood my neighbor from down the street, holding Sassy's hand.  She had gone out the open garage door (my husband left it open when he took out the lawn equipment) and wandered, barefoot and stringy-haired, 6 or 8 houses down to the cul-de-sac at the end of our street.  My neighbor just happened to be outside with her kids and recognized Sassy.  Since she has some speech issues, nobody would have been able to understand her if they'd asked her name, and I'm not altogether sure she could pick her house out of all the houses on our street.

If she'd wandered the other direction, she would most likely have been hit by a car, as we live just off the very busy main street into our neighborhood. 

My neighbor was very kind, and didn't seem to judge me as harshly as I judge others' parenting skills.  In her position, I'm sure I would have dropped off the errant child and thought to myself  "Hmph...she should really keep a better eye on her kids."  What a fool I am to think that my children are somehow immune to accidents or worse, simply because I manage to look like a "good" parent. 

One of my favorite pastors once remarked "Being able to discern others' shortcomings is not a spiritual gift," but we often act like it is.  Or I do, anyway.  Maybe today has taught me to be a little more compassionate, a little more humble, and surely more thankful for the two precious girls with which God has entrusted me.  In the meantime, this:
is starting to look more and more like a viable option every day.  Lord help me with this child.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to School

I love "back to school" time.  My life as a child was pretty unpredictable, but school provided a stability and structure that made me so happy and secure.  The school library was my special sanctuary, where I pored over Old Yeller, all the Ramona books, and several Judy Blume books I'd have a stroke if my third-grade daughter read today.

As a teacher, I still love this time of year.  While I might fuss about meeting after meeting, neverending inservices, and massive amounts of prep work, the truth is, I love starting over every year.  I love the promise of new experiences, the hopeful feeling that comes with investigating and trying out new teaching techniques.  I love that each year is a chance to do better, to *be* better at this wonderful profession in which God has placed me.  But, most of all, I love those rows of sweet, expectant faces waiting to be loved, understood, and taught.

I love that God made me a teacher.    

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creative discipline? Abuse? You decide.