Monday, September 30, 2013

I'm not sure where this month has gone.  Somehow my photos ended up on the computer when I turned it on.  Looking at pictures from a few weeks back is a really strong reminder of where I was and where I want to return.  I think of Eliana and her kite, the green hills and sweet valley.  I remember how she embodied that Peace festival, how in tune and focused she was, how wholly present in her very best self.  I feel so exhausted and disconnected sometimes, feel like I haven't seen my friends forever, haven't had a moment alone, my body and mind moving so quickly with such focus from minute to minute.  Our life becomes so full so fast.  So I'll return to the pictures, hold on to my girl and her kite for September the way I held on to the dock at Tipi Camp in August.  These grounded moments of tremendous presence. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Phew!  Two weeks in and that's about the only word I have for it.  Eighty-eight students back to back this year. It's organization, anecdotal records, clean files, exact plans.  The kids are getting in the groove.  Such troopers, my children.  Huge. 

It's a beautiful, warm September.  The kind of smoke-free September that is so rare around here.  Upstairs in the school building where I work is like a burning stove of intensity.  Everything about me shifts in the fall.  What I wear.  How I smell. 

Eliana started soccer after school today.  I was such that donkey kid who never really played any team sports.  I was a dancer through and through but at times regret not having that base knowledge of American athletics in my back pocket.  So there was my goofball girl, kicking the ball at the cones, all long flowing hair and pink bike shorts.  No Umbros for Els.  She looked pretty funny.  And good lord was she hot and tired at the end of it all.  I think between Eliana and Sol's feet and my whole being we could win a contest for funkiest family.  Dang. 

So they sit in the basement and happily watch a show.  I sit up here in the cool shade and happily type away.  I'm cool with the roller coaster.  It's totally insane and full and all flips and loopy loo's, but it's mine.  It's ours. It's what we do.  Phew. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

there are no rules

"There are no rules about moving into the new.  No one has ever been there before." 

My mom handwrote that quote by some big smiling baby face pictures of me and hung them above my childhood crib.  The same arrangement now hangs in Eliana and Solomon's new room.  I'm not sure who came up with the words, but they seem pretty fitting about now. 

Today was our first day of school.  Eliana's a first grader, Soli's in pre-school.  We all pulled up to school together, entered with four lunches, four fresh outfits, four beings filled with anticipation, anxiety, excitement.  When all is said and done, it was a pretty good day.  I felt present in my heart, felt so appreciative of my students, appreciative of the great books I get to read and unique writing prompts I get to deliver.  My own kids seemed a bit less smooth.  I found Eliana on the playground at lunch, her fancy silver sandals covered in mud.  The sight of her mom brought her to tears and I spent a good part of my lunch break wiping mud from my daughter's feet.  The perks of being a teacher's kid.  Then I made the mistake of peeking in on Soli from the window outside his classroom.  He promptly spotted me at which point he started crying, not understanding why he couldn't just come up to my office to watch, "The Wiggles" at my desk.  Shoot.  Transitions abound. 

Back to moving into the new.  We took back our Labor Day holiday this year.  I can't remember the last time we've done anything for Labor Day. While it's always a last hurrah of sorts, it seems we spend most of it getting ready for school.  This year we broke our rules and rented a house on Flathead Lake with our buddies.  It was so exactly what we all needed.  It was that perfect balance of family time and friend time, grown-up time and kiddo time, big laughs and deep thoughts time, good clean fun and late nights of Persian gin rummy, replete with bad words and red wine fun time.  The children all got along beautifully, the olders taking care of the youngers, the village mentality at her finest.

We needed a little TLC.  Solomon landed in the Now Care with his first set of stitches last Thursday.  I was in the middle of an all-so-appropriate CPR refresher and couldn't leave to be with him, so while I was getting texts from Jeff about how Solomon was doing, I was watching real-videos of people experiencing seizures after suffering head trauma.  My boy apparently dove out of a playhouse window.  This does not surprise me.  Tonight he climbed up on the deck railing.  He scares the shit out of us often.  He's such a complex creature.  He plays so rough and tough, has so many big words and big ideas, but then today in the preschool classroom, he crumbled like a baby when he saw me.  There are no rules about moving in to the new.

Eliana was super excited about first grade.  Last night she lay out her outfit, princess sparkle lip gloss  and "E" initial necklace carefully placed on top of her new dress and folded leggings.  The before-mentioned silver sandals sitting on the floor.  I wish I had a picture.  It was so dang sweet and all from her. 

So here we are.  I can't help thinking about the sound at the beginning of a roller coaster.  The creak of the pulley as you slowly move up and up.  That feeling as you near the top when you know things are about to get wild and crazy and unstoppable for a bit.  It's a fun feeling.  It keeps us all on our toes.  But it's bittersweet, knowing that another summer has come to an end, knowing that we all just keep moving up and up and up, into the new.