BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


4 Comments

Poetry Under the Stars

cfdf6f2043474768542b0bbd1db9a9a6.jpg

We had an event at our elementary school Wednesday evening called Poetry Under the Stars. It was the first year for this event, but I think it will be back in the future. At least I hope so.

Our phenomenal powerhouse of a PTA president approached me with the idea of hosting this event, and she asked for my thoughts. I’m not shy about putting in my two cents, and I do love kids and poetry, so I shared my thoughts and agreed to help out.

A flyer went home asking kids to a submit a poem if they would like to read at the event. The response was overwhelming. Old favorites showed up (there was plenty of Shel Silverstein shared) and original poetry by our own students was submitted. We took them all.

The kids arrived at school in the evening with their families and blankets and fortified themselves with hot cocoa and cookies. Then they entered the “Poetry Pit” for the event. One of the very few benefits of having a school that was built in 1975 is that there are giant concrete “pits” with stair-step levels that allow access to the lower level classroom of our split-level school.

Okay, so maybe they aren’t a benefit most of the time, but for our event the pit was transformed. A microphone was hooked up, and beautiful starlight illuminated the back wall, which displayed some cool fifth grade artwork.

One by one our little poetry buffs made their way to me and the mic and read their poems for the appreciative audience. Even a few of our kindergarteners shared poems, and they were adorable.

I have to tell you, in my role as MC I got to stand near every kid as they read, and during the entire event I think there were only three mispronunciations. Incredible. Those kids were prepared and confident!

In all we had kids sharing poetry for nearly an hour. Last I heard there were fifty-one kids who read a poem. Fifty-one kids showing up for literacy, and all of them brought along people who cared about them. What an amazing thing. What a wonderful thing. What a community commitment to our kids.

Say what you will about testing and common core and “kids today,” but events like this one remind me that I still have the best job in the world.


Leave a comment

Happy Merry Un-Christmas

We’re celebrating Christmas today, and it’s glorious.

61EDtE1dP8L.jpgWe’ve opened gifts, enjoyed delicious appetizers that my son made, and my sweetheart whipped up a batch of fudge. We’ve also been cleaning up around the house, anticipating my mother’s visit later in the day. It’s been fun, relaxed, and all around a darn good day.

I know it isn’t really Christmas today, but my son will spend the actual holiday with his dad, so it made the most sense with everyone’s schedules to do it today. I was going to cook, but last night I got home from work utterly exhausted and not feeling very well. I called my mother to warn her that the house might not be up to the standard she’s come to expect, but she was gracious. So gracious, in fact, that she offered to do the cooking. 55280_white-christmas.jpg

We’re about to pick her up, along with a roast, potatoes, carrots, salad, juice, home-made macaroons, and Italian panettone. I’m so grateful! We’ve got White Christmas cued up, Trivial Pursuit in the wings, and a plan to walk the neighborhood after dark to enjoy the lights.

This is the best un-Christmas ever. I think we might have to try this again next year.


4 Comments

Some TLC for Mom

Today my mother had surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that, after all she’s very private about her affairs, but I don’t think she’ll mind. 

The surgery was done at an outpatient surgical center located about twenty minutes from her house, which is located about 2,000 miles from my house. I just came downstairs from helping her drink a cup of water through a straw. You see, there were a few other people who could have, and would have, taken her today, but I was the one who got to do it.

My mother knew this surgery was coming and she consulted with more than one doctor, both in her home state and mine (where she spends time each winter). Ultimately she felt most comfortable with the doctor who did today’s procedure, so she scheduled it for my fall break. I love visiting my childhood home and family and friends, but this time I kept my calendar clear. This time it’s all about Mom (although I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit with a wonderful friend last night).

This is really the first time I’ve been able to care for my mother in the ways that she’s cared for me numerous times over the years. She was there when I was in my twenties and told her not to come when I got my tonsils out. I was so glad that she didn’t listen. She was there when my son was rushed off to the NICU right after birth. She knew he would be alright, and he was. She was there when my marriage fell apart and I wasn’t sure what to do. She listened and put me in touch with someone who helped me form a plan, then she helped me put that plan into place. 

I know my mother hates being dependent on anyone, so to me that makes it even more of a privilege to be here for her, even if she doesn’t need much. 

I’m reminded of the time my grandmother had her gall bladder removed. She was a widow and lived alone. After her surgery she came to our house to recover. She slept in my little girl bedroom with the pink shag carpet and eyelet curtains, and I slept on the hide-a-bed in my mom’s study under an old army blanket. My mom put a small tv in my room for her, and together we watched Bobby Vinton. I’m glad my mom was there for her, too. 

Mothers and daughters take care of each other, but when things go according to plan, mothers do the heavy lifting. They wouldn’t have it any other way.