so what does your day look like tomorrow?

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThis question has been a part of our evening routine for as long as I can remember.  One of us asks, both of us answer, and hopefully we know a little bit about the schedule each of us is anticipating  before we are back at the dinner table the next night.

Today, my husband asked the question first and my response was to throw my hands went up in the air in that quizzical way we all recognize. My verbal answer was, “Well it’s the first day of school and it is anybody’s guess.”

His reply, “but you’ve done this before” just made me guffaw!  Yes, but first days only come around once every 365 days.   I kind of do the same thing each year – but there’s always some new twist.  And the biggest tangle of the day is something I have no control over – the kids are brand new – to school, to me, to each other.

I start rattling all of this stuff off and my husband says, “You sound a little manic.”

A little!!

“And then,” I tell him, “I get to do the second day of school – which is another whole ball game.”

strategic maneuvers

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI heard the crying coming from the kindergarten room and said to myself, “Ah, that’s right, today is the first day for the little ones.”  Then, passing the doorway on my way to the work room, I saw who was crying – it was one of my students from last year.  I had not expected Brayan to cry on the first day!

A kindergarten mom was taking first day photos and the teacher asked her to take him out to the hall for a drink.  On my return from the workroom, I quickly realized Brayan was sure he had escaped kindergarten, was looking down the hall for his mom, and was not going to return to the classroom without a struggle.   The volunteer-mom wasn’t sure what to do next.  “I wasn’t planning on staying long today.  Do you think you could take over?”

I  held Brayan’s hand and began talking to him and pointing to the window of the classroom nearest us.  “Your  brother’s classroom is right next door to your kindergarten room.  And next week your little brother is going to be in my classroom.  Your whole family is going to be at school! Take a peek in this door, see there’s Miguel. Let’s peek in your classroom window and see what they are doing….no we won’t go inside,” I quickly added as he pulled back.

We stood at the window for a long time.  I tried to keep my face away from the window because I didn’t want my past students to get distracted by seeing me there.  The teacher was guiding them to identify their work spots and their tables and talking about how to be excused and line up; she did not need kids waving and pointing at me.

Brayan was engaged in watching what was happening.  I cracked the door a bit so we could both hear better. Then I sort of  pulled him in and sat on the floor when he sat down and tried to back out the door.  It was then I heard the magic words; his new teacher was saying ” we’re going to visit the cafeteria and then go out to recess.”

By this time, Brayan was noticing some of his friends from preschool and he understood the class was going to do something his preschool class had done a million times last year – line up to go to recess.  “Did you bring a sweater?” I asked.  He nodded.  “Look, everyone is getting their sweaters.  Let’s go get your sweater.”  I stood up and walked toward the closets.  He followed me.  I pointed at the names looking for his.  “Is this the right closet?”  Brayan nodded and opened the door and pulled out his sweatshirt.

Half of the class was lined up by this time, the other half were just about to be called to the line.  I moved away from Brayan and towards the teacher. When she moved to go to the head of the line by the door, I passed her and walked out.  I didn’t hear a peep from Brayan so I didn’t look back.

I moved down the hall toward the office to make sure his mom wasn’t still in the building and then I waited for the class to pass.  When they came, the teacher was holding Brayan’s hand but he wasn’t crying any more and he looked much more confident about being with his classmates and in a routine he was familiar with.


one wheel ran by faith, the other ran by the grace of God…

Ezekiel saw two wheels a-rollin’,
way in the middle of the air.
A wheel within a wheel a-rollin’,
way in the middle of the air.
One wheel ran by faith,
the other ran by the grace of God.
A wheel within a wheel a-rollin’,
way in the middle of the air

This song came to me as I sat down to write tonight. Do you know this feeling?
spinning on the tip of my finger
solid humming weight holding fast
even as it seems so precariously wild with motion
I am a gyroscope
in motion and spinning on some string
held taut by faith and grace11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

when did you know your full potential?

I haven’t posted in a while but my mind is blazing with this question!

Why is this question burning holes in my brain???? Because I heard a teacher say today she felt she could determine a child’s potential when they were in her class.  “Was she a teacher of college or high school students?” you might ask.


She a teacher of children in a primary classroom.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I knew my own potential until I was at least 30.  If my son’s teacher’s had been asked to name his future in kindergarten or first grade, they might have been pretty positive.  In 3rd grade and 9th grade the report would have been abysmal.  I still can’t say I know what his future will be like but guess what??  He gets to decide his potential – not me, or some teacher with limited vision!


the prompt from Write Alm is “prelude”

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hand so it has come to this
we sit side by side on the sofa in the evenings to play games
we smile as the cat goes from lap to lap
you make the better pancakes,
I make tastier scrambled eggs
if I cook, you clean
and vice versa
we are becoming our parents
more and more with time

importance of play

NPR has been doing a series on the importance  of play.  I have found the message of the series one to wonder about as I was in the midst of a playful vacation with my nieces and nephews – all in their 20’s, and especially as I engaged in playing with my grand nephew who is 16 months old.  The series has me recalling my own childhood play, the play I tried to encourage in my own children and still do in my classroom.  The episode on winning was especially provocative as I turn now to a new year of school and think about the words I want to choose to use when I’m engaged in play with my young students.

34-34-IMG_0059  IMG_0060 IMG_0061

summer slice


I bent to see what the ant was carrying
as it scurried across the hot deck
but it was moving too quickly.
I flopped back into the deck chair,
closed my eyes to the summer sun,
and dozed.


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