Crack! They kept cracking, with the occasional successful drop. We were trying out our first attempt at our creations to keep the raw egg from cracking. I expected them to crack, it was our first trial after all. I guess I should say I expected them to crack on the ground. I should have known better…
Students were all around the blacktop. Wandering. Celebrating success. Sulking because of failure. Waiting for their turn to drop.
And then JJ came up to me. “Ms. Bless. Ms. Bless!” I ignored him. I was talking to another student. “Ms. Bless. The egg cracked.”
“It’s alright. We are going to try again next week.”
“No. It’s getting in my shoe. It’s cold.”
I looked at him for the first time. His expression wasn’t exactly disappointed, more uncomfortable I would say. His one leg was in an awkward position. My head tilted to the right reflexively and then I understood….
The egg was in his pocket. It cracked. It was dripping down his leg and into his shoe…
“I told him not to put it in his pocket, Ms. Bless. He didn’t listen.” Mitchell said shaking her head.
My best friend growing up spent a lot of time at our house. My sisters and I baked often. My friend – not so much.
One day we decided to make something – no idea what. My friend was mixing the batter with the old brown hand mixer, when my sister says over the sound of the mixer, “You know you don’t have to hold the bowl when you do that.”
“Really?” my friend responded.
Before I could stop her, she let go of the bowl. The bowl spun. The batter spun, quickly moving further up to the top of the bowl. Within seconds the batter was flying out of the bowl and onto us, the counter, the cabinets, the floor…
Funny thing is, I don’t remember cleaning it up. Sorry, Mom!
We sat in the booth, enjoying a rare dinner out together. But Troy kept looking over to his left.
After a while, Troy voiced his confusion. “The kids are sitting at a different table?”
I turned to look. He was correct – there was a large group sitting at two tables, one full of adults and the other kids.
As I turned back to him, I could see he didn’t understand. “Some people do that – have a kids’ table. At holidays at my grandparents’ house we always had a kids’ table in a separate room from the adults,” I said trying to explain away his confusion.
It didn’t seem to make a difference. He still stared at the divided group. Eventually saying, “I don’t understand. Why wouldn’t they want to sit together?”
I looked over at the two tables, then back to my beautiful son. “I don’t know, Troy. I don’t know.”
Monday afternoons are rough and yesterday was no exception. No specials, no co-teacher, plus..it’s Monday afternoon.
The kids were talking and wandering as I tried to make the the computer connect to the smart-board for a much needed brain break.
Plug in. Nothing changes. Unplug. Wait a second. Plug back in. Repeat.
Then, in the middle of this daily struggle, I feel a presence next to me. I turn to look at one of my students. (A quiet student, who I am constantly pushing out of her comfort zone.) She hands me a note, complete with tape on the top and bottom, ready to hang on the wall. I don’t know if anything here can really be considered love, but these “love” notes are the only ones I need.
Today I decided to share the personal narrative I am currently writing alongside my students. In order to learn along with my students, I write a piece for each unit as well. Then, as I teach them strategies for revising, I use my writing to model the revision moves. This year I decided to write about a small moment setting up the Christmas tree several years ago.
“Be careful!” I warned Troy.
Troy climbed the ladder slowly. The star in his hand, reaching up. The star was almost at the top of the tree. As he climbed, I backed up onto the back of the couch to take a picture, making sure I could get the whole tree in the frame.
I know what you are thinking, Troy fell of the ladder onto the tree. But, no…Unfortunately, we had moved the couch and it wasn’t against the wall anymore. Therefore, with me on the back, the couch wasn’t balanced and it fell backward, taking me with it. I fell flat on my back.
Troy was safe on the ladder, laughing hysterically at his mother.
We sat on a bench outside the ice cream place waiting for my sister. My nephew was with my son and me, anxiously waiting for frozen yogurt, when a tall man walked past the bench. My nephew said, “Look at that big guy! He has a big butt!” (You need to know Landon doesn’t have a whisper voice.)
My son and I just stared at each other with big eyes. I am sure the guy heard, he had to have heard. Luckily he didn’t turn around, but I was mortified! The rest of the time spent waiting was focused on distracting him so he wouldn’t comment on the derriere of any other passing strangers…
Oh…the joy of being publicly embarrassed by a three year old…One day I will get my revenge. One day his crazy Aunt Jennie will embarrass him…That is a promise!
“Life is like the ocean. Every time a wave knocks down your sandcastle you build it again.”
We sat on the beach, dropping wet sand into piles, creating a castle. Honestly, the castle looked more like a giant pile of poop, but she seemed to love it.
After a while, the ocean came up and washed the castle away. With only a short pause, she started dropping sand again, demanding that I do the same. Not much time passed before the same thing occurred. And again, she just started dropping a new sand castle.
After three times, she moved further from the water to build her castle. This time it didn’t get washed away.
The thing that astonished me was that each time the ocean washed her castle away, she began building again with only a moment’s pause. She didn’t give up. Eventually, she learned from her mistake and moved her castle where the water couldn’t reach it.
Persistent and Resilient. There is so much we can learn from observing children. There is so much to admire.