Monday, January 28, 2013

A cold winter's night

On this cold winter night,
 let me help warm your heart.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Act 1

Every day, I go to job where I take care of other people's children.
I take it way too seriously.
I thought I took it way too seriously. 
I stress and I plan and I drive my husband nuts and I work too much at night and on the weekends and I go to my classroom on Sundays and I spend money on ink and laminating paper because I just have to do one more thing before I go to bed or else they might have 5 seconds where they don't feel stimulated and engaged and then I will be the worst teacher ever.
I worry about my kids. I worry that I will say the wrong thing and be the teacher they tell (bad) stories about 20 years later. I worry I will miscount and leave one of them outside after recess. They eat too much sugar at snack. Their parents didn't pack them mittens for recess.
But this week was a whole new kind of worry. On Wednesday, when one of them asked to go to the bathroom, I watched her leave. I watched her go and thought "Please God, just let her make it there and back".
That's when I knew I was scared.
It is a terrible feeling. It is a responsibility that is so much greater than I ever realized and it is nothing I ever learned in school or read in any book.
I like to selfishly think that being a teacher can be life changing for others. But am I prepared to be a life saver as well?
Do I have the capacity to do what those ladies did? Do I think that quickly? Do I love that much?

It's a raw feeling. I feel open and exposed.
I feel helpless.

I felt helpless.
Two days ago I read about #26Acts of Kindness. Do one act of Kindness for each teacher and student horrifically lost in Newtown, CT. This. This resonated with me.

Let me explain the feeling. Before I deliver my goodie with the note attached that reads "This random act of kindness is in memory of the 26 children and teachers lost in Newtown, CT. God Bless" my heart starts thumping. I get nervous. Excited. Alert. It is an active feeling. It is so little. It is SO little. But it is something and something, right now, is better than nothing. Nothing is sadness. Nothing is fear. Nothing is don't leave the house. Don't go in the building. Don't unlock the door. Don't let them leave the room. Don't show that you're scared.
Nothing is not a choice today.

These Acts of Kindness are completely selfish acts for me, disguised at selfless. Each act is done because it could have been my school and my classroom and it could have been me and it wasn't. How do I give thanks for that?
That pounding in my stomach and my chest, that is for me. And it is for them. It is for good and it is for hope. It is for the gift of today and my God do I hope it is for the gift of tomorrow, too.

Act 1: Gatorade for the next person who came to the gym.
Act 2: Olive Garden gift card for the next person in line at the drive-thru. 

Part of me wants to see the reactions. But I know, there are new angels in heaven watching this story unfold.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NYC and all that is Good

An ubelievable NIGHT IN NYC last night celebrating all that is GOOD in NYC - thanks to Garrison Keillor for this amazing song. 

In my mind I'll always know the grins and smiling eyes that Mom and Dad had while he sang it live.  Magic.  One of the purest magical moments I've known.

* Song begins at 25:26

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Check the box

As I sat in the warmth of my home, lights on, TV and internet feeding us coverage of Super Storm Sandy, I thought what can I do to help? Looking fresh from a hot shower I looked around my apartment to the extra people we had staying with us and thought, "Oh I am doing something, I have sheltered a family", so "check the box" and order take out and let your (power) guilt subside.

  • Did I feel fortunate and lucky? check, check
  • Did it bother me that so many so close were still without power? Big Check
  • Did it bother me that people were cold, tired and hungry? BIGGER CHECK
  • Did it bother me that my daughter's school only raised 11K for the school secretary who lost her entire house in the Rockaways? Cheapskate check
  • Did I think how could I help, all my time away from work is spent with my children? Guilty Check
  • Did I read an inspirational email from a coworker who volunteered a day and made a difference in an 80 year old couple's life. INSPIRATIONAL CHECK
  • Did I rally my peeps in the spirit of Thanksgiving and this holiday season to give it true meaning. Boy does it feel Good Check
So we checked a mental box to feel better about ourselves, but what we could not help checking was the difference we made in a stranger's life. We started the day as seven wanna be do gooders, and we succeeded in doing good. We succeeded in clearing out a water logged basement that would make a horder proud. We succeeded in giving hope to a stranger who had hope swept out to sea. Dennis, barely knew our names, but he bear hugged us like family.

Photographer: Mugsy

Monday, November 5, 2012

These Days

 My dream has come true during these days.

"These Days Are...."

the ones I haven't worried about Mom and Dad, because they have been with us....

AND, Wow do I love it,

"These are the days, ohh

These are days, you'll remember Never before and never since, I promise Will the whole world be warm as this and as you feel it
You'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky It's true that you are touched by something That will grow and bloom in you
These are days, you'll remember 

When may is rushing over you with desire To be part of the miracles you see in every hour

You'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky It's true that you are touched by something 

That will grow and bloom in you
These are days
These are the days you might fill with laughter until' you break  

These days you might feel a shaft of light make it's way across your face  
When you do you'll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning 

It's true, you'll know how it was meant to be 
Hear the signs and know they're speaking to you, to you

Thank you Sandy

Thank you for These Days.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Walk Humbly

on the eve of Sandy - I can't help but think of sons and brothers... of your sons... and brothers...

and of my own.

walk humbly, all.

(a link to the best youtube version I could find this evening)

and to the lyrics:

Walk Humbly, Son

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer not curse challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly now
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son

Saturday, September 22, 2012

lost and found

When I told Annie that I had lost my patience tonight, she promptly replied in a very serious tone:

"Can I help you find it?" 

"Where did you last have it?"

In the sternest voice I could muster between stifling giggles, I said: 
"I am pretty sure I know where it is.."