The best laid plans

I’m not at my momma’s house in Florida eating delicious homemade food and walking the beach with my daddy. We are not spending the night in Orlando to see Harry Potter world decorated for Christmas and waiting for my sisters and Santa. Instead we are laying around sick and tired and fighting a brigade of virus germs, Oohrah!

But I must say this forced stop is not unpleasant. My babies and I are together, safe and warm and sleeping at will. There is no work or school to stress over missing. Couch blankets, Christmas lights, Netflix and tea are making me cozy and bright.

I’m wearing my Muggle socks since I can’t magically fix this and I let them open their Christmas box from our best friends in La Feuillade, France, Evelyn, Clo and Clara to cheer them up.

‘Tis the season for germs and cheer and we have both, so everything will be alright. Merry Almost Christmas my friends. May you find the blessings in the chaos.

This is my real life

In 42 years of school I have never once remembered that it is picture day and looked pulled together. This year I accidentally washed my shirt with a name tag on it, failed to notice it and wore it straight into the yearbook for all of eternity. (I also failed to wear make up and appear to have grown a Victorian forehead.) I have 50 free wallet size versions of this in case you want to feel better about yourself every time you get out five bucks.

CHEERing section

Sometimes I feel like I’m related to Elf. If I see a random Santa go by, even half a block away, I’m going to jump up and down and wave and yell Santa!!! like he’s my Uber and doesn’t see me. I did the same thing for a life sized shrimp mascot at Bubba Gump’s onetime and my kids are still embarrassed. I get EXCITED. But things have been exciting in a bad way at school lately. Lots of fights and anxious faces and some kids dreading the long weeks ahead in food insecure houses without free breakfast and lunch.

So I dragged in an 8 foot tall real tree, made them figure out the tree stand works and told them to make ornaments and smell the smells and show the tree some love. Each day it has gotten fancier and fancier. It’s trimmed pieces have been stuck to wads of masking tape to make a “wreath” and they carefully sweep the fallen needles many times a day. Several of them are very afraid it will catch on fire so I never added any lights. It gets watered A LOT and a little boy wanted to know if we could plant it outside and save its life. Ornaments have shown up representing everything from smallpox to Baby Yoda and are all hung from bent paper clips with love.

I can’t control what happens to them over break but for 90 minutes a day there can be glitter and glue and the smell of pine tree. There can be a tree to care for, empty boxes to wrap and happy songs playing. It’s the only gift I have to give them so it will have to be enough. Well, that and the giant unit exam I gave them today😁

Christmas Time

I’d like to lead into Christmas by showing you my contribution to the Thanksgiving potluck.

These platters sum up my holiday life. I’m not going to bake anything, I hope you have a great time, kids need to be watched and you should eat the rainbow no matter what else you put in your mouth. Someone else will bring the turkey and all will be well.

But sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan. Sometimes no one is watching the children and they had cotton candy for dinner. Twice. Case in point- Christmas in Davidson festival, the cheeriest fete of the year, inspired Finn to enter the ugly sweater contest on the town stage in front of every person that I have ever met. He wasn’t even wearing a sweater. When it was his turn he beat his chest like King Kong, flexed his muscles, ran around the stage screaming “I’m ugly just like I am” and “let’s hear it for ugly people Davidson!” You could hear it all right. I missed the whole thing but I heard the roar of the crowd and found out about it when he showed up at my volunteer booth with 100 bucks and a trophy. He literally got paid for being a sweater less berserker. That doesn’t happen everyday.

Meanwhile the child who probably had kale for dinner, for sure ran a chapter of a kids with cancer charity, attended a party and managed to swim a couple of miles after school announced a surprise! Her poetry was chosen to deck the walls of a local restaurant. Parent of the year (me) didn’t even know she wrote the poetry or was in the running for this. I was impressed and sad that she didn’t get 100 dollars and a pony because then this day could literally never be topped. She did end up with a Yoda chia pet so all was not lost!

Then we went to the boat parade at the yacht club and had a fancy dinner with our dear friends and the fun just keeps keeping on. We are wearing an ugly Christmas sweater uniform and seriously eating like Elf at this point. There will be time for laundry and grocery shopping and real life in January, which everyone knows is a month full of let down and bad weather and SAD.

I killed WordPress

I wrote a post so long, so full of pictures and utter nonsense that I crashed my WordPress Account when it tried to load this morning. I’m just sure it was also witty and full of wisdom that is now lost for all time😉. Let’s pretend it was anyway.

We’ve been going hard since August. My plan is to sleep like Rumpelstiltskin after a three day bender when I get to my parents house for the holidays next weekend. They might be getting a flashback to 1991 when I roll up with a carload of dirty clothes, no baked goods or gifts and two extra people I failed to announce (my kids instead of my roommates tho) then pass out for days. My parents are so blessed to have me.

I broke the internet trying to catch up on a whole fall so here is the highlight reel this time.

Stretching my wings

Yesterday I was setting up my classroom and some football players came in to help. One kid was as long and lean as a spaghetti noodle. I had him hanging pictures and sticking stuff up high and commented on how long his arms were. He said “my wingspan is 6’7 ma’m and I’m a wide receiver but coach calls me bird man.”

Those are big wings but I had even bigger ones today. I jumped out of a King Air Airplane today with a parachute and a big grin at 13000 feet and landed on my own two feet. It was beautiful and liberating and powerful and not scary at all. I’m already signed up to go again.

Look for the tiny black dot! That’s me! Bird girl.

This baby girl got wings today, too. She has a full fledged drivers license now. She said “I’m going to chick fil a and to a friend’s house” and walked right out of my door. It is scarier to hear those words than to jump out of a plane. I’m not even kidding. The kind young man in the photo sat next to her for the long, long wait to take the driving test. He was taking a driving test, too, and I wasn’t allowed to wait with her. He kept her calm and laughing and well reviewed for almost three hours. Things were really backed up at the DMV because two people got arrested while we waited. One for flashing an employee and another one for trying to take the driving test with a bag of weed in his car. Clearly it wasn’t the calmest day of the year at the DMV. After she passed she said “mom, God sent me an angel to get me thru that wait without panicking”. Then we walked outside and there he was, waiting to see if she passed and to tell her how proud of her he was. I gave him a giant hug and took his picture and told him what she said. I know he must be a great daddy to his own little girl.

The world feels full of goodness and light and blessings today.

First day of school ‘19

I don’t have students yet so my day was easy and the kids survived the day but came home tired. Like headfirst into bed with no snacks tired.

First day pics

Finn only let me walk him halfway😢

Second day of school pics

The pets are desperately needy when we get home.