Ten Things I Didn’t Learn As An Education Major

  1. How to gently break it to your husband that you won’t be home for any Thursday night in October.
  2. How to carefully craft an e-mail to a parent over a very awkward situation.
  3. How to tactfully avoid giving out your cell phone number.
  4. How to locate the source of a bad smell in your classroom…and also deal with that tactfully!
  5. How to find a balance between appropriate caution and unnecessary fear while discussing a lockdown drill.
  6. How to forgive your students and start fresh.  Every. Single. Day.
  7. How to catch a bully when you never see it happening.
  8. How to teach a line of students to stop in the hall on their own in order to let an adult pass.
  9. How to balance the needs of 53 little people with the responsibility of the two that actually belong to you.
  10. How to comfort a student that suddenly lost her father over the weekend…all while teaching the other 52 to do the same.

Christ, have mercy.

Deep (and Not So Deep) Thoughts on a Saturday

In no particular order…

All funny stories that begin with a hard-boiled egg usually end with an egg that wasn’t hard-boiled after all.

Grandmas are the only people that you can ask to watch your sick kids without a guilty conscience.

Well written eulogies for funny people (and most people, probably) require a delicate balance of humor and sincerity.  All three nailed it today.

If your kid calls you “Princess Demand-y Pants,” you should probably start calling her “Queen Sassy Britches.”

At some point bath time transitioned from a necessary chore to an easy way to keep the crazies entertained that doesn’t involve chasing anyone.  Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?

I’m not quite ready for the extra dose of potty humor that comes with having a boy.  Bubba giggles every time he finds his you-know-what while in the tub.  

“It’s okay for things to be good just for a time.”  I sounded like an old person today when I reminisced with a friend about the way things were before she moved away.  This was her eyeopening response.  

I really like the saying, “Shut the front door!”  I, apparently, need to take it quite literally, though.  Today I left for a walk to the park and came back to discover I had left the front door wide open.  Wednesday, after Chica’s dance class, I came back to my van (on 5th Street, no less) to find the sliding side door wide open.  Ah!

Kate Campbell was right.  Funeral food really does fill you up down to your toes.  I haven’t been hungry all evening.  Until now.

And one more borrowed deep thought (Thanks, David)….Many people teach us how to live.  Only a few people get to teach us how to die.  I have learned so much.

The Weekend: Guest Post by Chica

Today Mommy told me she has a blog.  She said she writes stories to put on her blog for everyone in the Internet to read them.  She said that one time Bubba wrote a story on the blog, and this girl writes blogs, and she’s only two I think.  So if they can do it, I know I can.  I’m four.  I’m going to tell you the story of my weekend.

Saturdays are supposed to be family days, but sometimes we just end up going to boring places to do adult stuff.  This weekend we didn’t really do that.  We did family stuff.  In the morning we walked to the park.  At first there was no one there, but then all the kids must have knew we were there cause they all came.  Mommy said I was bossy to my new friend Emma, but I don’t think Mommy really knows how to play if you’re four.

I pretended the Splash Park was on and I let another kid babysit my baby while I played.  Bubba went down the slide.  Then Mommy got a phone call and we had to quick go to meet her friend.  I hate it really don’t like it when we have to leave playing.  Mommy says I can’t say that h word.  Other people say it.  It’s not the end of the world, Mom.

Oh, I forgot something.  Before we went to the park, Daddy was teasing me funny.  Me and Mommy were trying to make a dress for My Little Pony out of paper.  We keeped my door closed so Bubba won’t mess up my stuff.  Daddy and Bubba started rolling stuff under my door.  It was a marker.  We rolled it back, and he rolled it again, and then we changed the color of the marker.  Later we sent Daddy a note under the door to please give us a baggie so we could clean up some stickers.  Do you know what he did?  He gave us a bag that he cut out the bottom.  But I didn’t know it.  So I put the stickers in and they came out the other hole.  Daddy laughed real big, and I did too.  Eventually.  Then Mommy sent the tape and the bag back to Daddy under the door.  And Mommy laughed this time.

So when we got back from the park I played with my neighbor friend.  Mommy said I couldn’t write his name.  I don’t get the big deal.  It’s easy to spell.  On the way to the park I told Mommy that I am going to marry him.  Her eyes got real big, and she changed the subject.  Later we were playing in my room and she wouldn’t let me close my door.  I don’t know why.  She sighed real big.

Today I went to church.  Me and my Sunday School teacher played dress up.  He’s fun.  He told me about a girl whose daddy thought she was dead but she was just really sleeping.  She didn’t really die.  Jesus woke her up.

I went to Nana’s house like we always do after church.  I ate a lunch I didn’t really like and didn’t take a nap and I watched a movie.  Then I went with Nana to feed Casey the cat.  I didn’t really much get to play with her, but I got to give her food and water.  This was the first time she rubbed against my legs.  Casey is a girl name but Daddy says it can be both.  Here kitty, kitty!

Tonight we read another chapter in Little House on the Prairie.  We’re almost to the part with the Indians.  I like Indians.  And I think they are going to build a house, Laura and Mary and Pa and Ma.

When we were about to pray, Mommy told me that Mrs. Bulson went to heaven yesterday.  At first I was really worried that we didn’t get to show her the movie that my school made.  Mommy said she did show it to her, and she gave her a CD.  I asked, and Mommy said she didn’t take the CD with her.  I won’t get to see Mrs. Bulson again until I go there to heaven.  Heaven has lots of flowers and two fountains.  That’s what I picture with my eyes.  I told Mommy that.

I guess I have to go to bed now.  I tried to tell Mommy that I haven’t stayed up late yet while I’m four, but she said it was a school night.  I asked about tomorrow.  She said maybe Friday.  How many days is that?

Good Night.

Love, Chica

P.S.  Wanna know a secret?

Boogie Woogie Sunshine!

Gifts #11-21

Tonight I am thankful for…

  • Chica’s ability to carry on a conversation with Bubba like no one else can. Last night it was done entirely in shrill screams across the dinner table.
  • A husband who has learned to carry on a meaningful conversation overtop of said screams.
  • Chica’s teacher who went way out of her way to help me today.
  • Bubba’s teacher who called to check on him when he stayed home sick earlier this week.
  • A doctor who called me back well after his office hours to address a concern, and didn’t rush my questions.
  • Chica’s way with words.  Tonight she actually said, “I’m just not up to snuff tonight,” and proceeded to give an exact definition.
  • Chica’s offer to help me.  At 8:30.  And again at 9:00.  And once again at 9:30.  Two glasses of water and a clean sink later, I think she’s in bed for good.
  • An unexpected conversation with a friend who reminds me so much of myself 10 years ago.
  • A boss who grieves and gives us space to grieve.
  • A classroom of 23 who didn’t ask why my eyes were red all day.
  • Friends who’ve been there and can just say, “I get it.” And you know they do.

On the Dresser

Today I found a pair of shoes I have been missing for months. They were on my dresser. Not in, not under. On.

What I really want to write about is my friend who is living her last few days or weeks. But all of the thoughts are still a little too blurry to go from my heart to words to my fingers. So echoing my friend, Cheryl’s post, I’ll carry on with the everyday, like finding shoes. But every other thought is elsewhere. Here, but not really here.

So the shoes. Let me just announce to the world that the Proffitt family has broken some kind of world house record. Way back here I gave my expert advice on binge house cleaning. Well whadaya know? I’ve realized binging is not especially good for my health, and I’ve started a more balanced diet of straightening and putting away. I do know that a true habit takes an average of at least three weeks to form (I’m only 17 or 18 days in), and I could fall off the bandwagon at any point. But this is a real record, folks. This house has been straight (I’m not claiming clean) for over two weeks. Be amazed.

So today when I had an extra hour to myself, guess what I chose to do? Clean! I know, right…I hardly believe myself either. I decided to tackle those last few spots I’ve been putting off. The top of my dresser was definitely one of them. Mostly because the pile was starting to remind me of a Jenga game. I halfway expected the whole thing to collapse around me if I pulled out the wrong object at the wrong time.

Thankfully, I avoided the collapse and uncovered a whole host of treasures in the process. Remember how I kept an inventory of Chica’s bed here? Yep, she’s definitely my kid. I didn’t make a list of every single item, but here’s a few of the best: the missing brown shoes (yay!), an anniversary card I wrote Jay over a year ago, a gift I got at a wedding shower thrown by college friends (Sorry Ayn….lost track), an unwrapped McDonald’s toy, lots of clothes that are now too small for my kids (that have been there since they fit, no doubt), and a Starbucks gift card. Score.

Wanna know a secret? Most days I feel like I’m just playing at this whole adult thing. I know, I should be way past that stage, but I just keep waiting for that day when I actually feel like a grown-up grownup. But there are a few things that make me feel more like an adult. Keeping my house straight, making new traditions, and *considering* keeping a calendar, for example.

Oh…that, and figuring out the dental assistant walking me to the right room was a former student of mine. In fifth grade. Yikes.

So here I am right back where I started. Here, but also there wondering about growing up and grief and how to help my sweet little family process something so hard.

We love you, Sharon!