Sometimes, when you go camping in the forest, the fairies find you. I mean, this probably usually happens, but sometimes you see the evidence.
During our camping trip, the girls found beaded necklaces hanging in a tree by the fairy log. As Alma put it, “This is AMAZING!”
Alma and Harriet wrote them a thank you note and let them know about our fairy door. Lately Alma’s been pretty sad that the fairies have never visited us in the door. I suggested that maybe the fairies just didn’t know about the door. Alma had me write our address and that they should fly safely since it’s a long trip from Wind River.
During our trip, Alma lost her necklace in the rocks. Luckily when we got home, the fairies had been there. They left a note thanking Alma and Harriet for telling them about the fairy door and even returned Alma’s lost necklace.
There’s always time for a little bit of magic, right?
There is nothing worse than seeing your child’s blood on the outside of their body. If there is one truth about blood, it’s that it belongs on the inside. But, sometimes thing happen that destroy that truth.
This weekend, while camping, it was a rock that destroyed that truth. A small rock in the middle of a path, directly in front of another rock that stuck out of the ground just far enough to trip my oldest daughter.
All the kids were running laps on a path that was alongside our campsite. They ran and ran and ran. Then one of them fell and they all stopped. I don’t remember getting to Alma, but I do remember the blood. It was already pouring down her sobbing face. I scooped her up, said, “JESSE.” and don’t remember getting down to our picnic table.
I do remember exactly what went through my head:
Everyone rushed to help. Devon got the ice. Heather got the band-aids and wipes. Jesse, somehow, miraculously had a pocket full of paper towels. Antonio and Drew got the lollipop. Harriet got Sarah Bear.
Thankfully the bleeding stopped pretty quickly, and we were able to see that it was more of a puncture wound than a cut. It clearly didn’t need stitches, though, in my opinion, it looked crazy how deep the wound went.
I also remember exactly the things that Alma said as I held her in my arms, bleeding:
The rest of the evening was spent sitting in laps and getting extra cuddles. I watched Alma carefully for signs of concussion, even though I had no idea what the signs of concussion were. I only cried once, and not where Alma could see me.
We stayed two more nights and Alma bounced right back. The bump has gone down and the cut is healing nicely. The only wound that remains is the piece of my heart that broke along with the skin on Alma’s forehead. But that’s the thing about parenting, and that certainly won’t be the last bit of my heart that will feel my daughters’ pain.
The beauty of being a substitute teacher is the flexibility. I’ve written about this before (here and here), and I still feel the same way. I love subbing, I love middle school kids. I love it as my job, and I’m happy with how my life has taken me into this position.
Most of my time is spent doing short jobs – a day here, a day there – and I love those assignments. I love popping into a classroom and seeing what they’re working on, spending some time with the kids, but moving on.
Right now, I’m smack dab in the middle of an 8 week long-term sub job – covering for a woman who had a baby. For four weeks, I’ve been getting up everyday, going to the same school, teaching the same kids, planning lessons, grading work, and working. I love it.
Whenever I start one of these long-term jobs, it feels like I need to relearn how to work. Before it even begins I need to figure out where the girls will be everyday. It is a balancing and juggling act that takes some work, but thanks to all the fabulous grandparents, it always works out. Once I get to the school I need to figure out who to ask for what I need. I need to build a stock of snacks and other supplies. I need to recalibrate my body to only getting to use the bathroom and eat at certain times. Luckily, this time around I don’t have to figure out a pumping strategy.
Now I’m in the groove. I’ve figured the good times to pee. I have my stash of rice cakes. I have a great support system in the classroom and the office when things come up. I have my essential oils in my Essential Pouch (if you’re wondering, I have rollers of Panaway, Stressaway, Gratitude, and a salve of allergy relief trio).
I know the kids, and the kids know me. It’s always a tricky transition from sub to long-term sub in classrooms where I regularly sub. The dynamic is certainly different when I’m the main teacher, and that’s what I am until the end of the school year for these kids. I can let myself be silly, and let things slide when it’s just a day job. I have to be more serious and strict when I’m here for a few weeks. The kids are always a bit surprised in my change in demeanor.
But, here I am. Twenty days left of school. Then back to my other job as full-time mom. I have to be honest and say that I’m not as scared of summer this year. Last year I was terrified of all the unstructured, unscheduled days looming. This year, I’m excited to get back to those unstructured, unscheduled days. I’m looking forward to spending each day with the kids. I’m looking forward to getting a vacation. The word vacation definitely means more when there’s somewhere which I will vacate.
listening to Ordinary Days right now, but Dave Matthews Band most of the time.
wanting the girls to have Dave in their lives.
remembering my childhood soundtrack of Simon and Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg, and my parents’ other favorites.
choosing to be more present in my creative life.
planning five things to do each day that will help me reach some goals.
playing too much HearthStone, and wanting to quit, but not knowing how.
feeling like a huge super nerd for typing that last sentence.
reading Scarlet, the second book in a YA series about a cyborg and normal stuff like that.
knowing that I should be reading other things.
wondering what the heck is up with Olivia Pope. Is she control now? Is she secretly working with her dad? Is she just taking control?
using my Get To Work Book everyday and loving having an organization to my day and to-dos.
waking up early everyday. Not always before the sun, but pretty darn close.
controlling my seasonal allergies with the help of essential oils. Amazing.
counting the days until the end of school and the start of summer vacation.
looking forward to summer days with my girls and all our friends.
Spring is almost halfway over, so I thought I should combine spring and summer into this next to do list. This spring I’ve been feeling scattered and uninspired (you might have noticed). I’ve recently started a full-time job, and that’s making me want to be more focused and organized. It’s a choice that I’m making, and it’s feeling good to get back into it.
So, here are some things I want to get done this spring and summer. A lot are repeats from last year because they were fun, or we didn’t get to them and I was to try again.
Alma has always been a late sleeper. By that I mean she will sleep past seven most days, if we let her. Harriet, on the other hand, has always been an early riser. I think we’ve had two mornings in her life when she slept past seven.
I’ve decided to be more like Harriet.
My CHOOSE for now is to wake up before the sun.
I want to have some of those peaceful moments before everything, and everyone, starts going. I want to have a moment where I can sit still before I have to go all day long. I want to have moments with Harriet where we can explore together. I want to take some time to notice these moments.
So, from now until the Solstice, I will be getting up earlier and earlier. I have it all written out in my planner so I can set my alarm for ten minutes before the sunrise.
Yesterday, I was supposed to wake up at 5:52, but I was already awake at 5:50. I went and sat in Harriet’s room and caught up on Instagram and stuff while she still slept. I really noticed the sounds of Harriet’s breath as she slept. I noticed the quiet all around us. Then she stirred, turned over and saw me, and smiled. I got her out of her crib and she said, “Thank you for staying with me, mommy.”
She was so happy that it made the whole morning shine. She cuddled into me and her gratitude for my being there when she woke up was electric.
Today, I woke up with my alarm. When I left my room, Harriet saw me, or heard me, and called out. We got up, spent some time watching the sunrise in the backyard. Alma joined us to make some hot cocoa, and our morning had begun.
It might be hard to wake up so early, but if all our mornings can be like this, I will have no reason to complain.
I have been doing this project for 4 months now, and I really like it. There have only been a couple days that I’ve missed taking a video, and I’ve always had at least a photo to include.
It’s a good way to record the mundane, everyday things we do, along with the more significant events.
working full time for the first time in a long time.
missing the kids.
knowing that this is just a long-term sub job that will be over this summer.
realizing that it’s good to miss the kids sometimes.
thinking it will be fun to have the whole summer with the kids.
listening to “Manhattan” when I want to write.
practicing “Baba Yetu,” all the time, whether I want to or not, because it’s always stuck in my head.
loving that I will get to sing “Baby Yetu” with the kids on mother’s day at church.
cracking up whenever Harriet requests “Baba Detu” because it’s awesome that she can say it, and sings along.
planning ways to be more productive and creative in May.
committing to some new goals.
using oils everyday.
wanting to use more oils everyday.
reading Twelfth Night at school, and Cinder at home.