Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking up

Things have truly began looking up here.  Much, much up.  All the drama from the past few weeks has finally begun to settle down, I'm approaching the final weeks of my current class, my students have become rock stars in all subject areas, and my kid.  Ahh, my kid.

While in the midst of figuring out the age of two, he has begun to settle into me a bit more.  He leans in to my kisses on his neck, his forehead, his cheeks.  He gives me directions on how to blow bubbles in the tub.  He runs up to me when  I pick him up at the end of the school day.  He applauds when I dance and just yesterday corrected me when I was singing a song I have sung to him since our very beginnings; what got me was that he recognized the difference and asked with a "Mama please!" that I sing it the right way- the way with our names in it.

Have I mentioned that Leone has taken to sitting next to me?  Maybe not on my lap, perhaps not with his head leaning against my body- but he's right there... his hips stuck to mine.  Makes me melt.

Trying to figure out a new toy... together!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Mother Teresa once said:
To parents: It is very important that children learn from their fathers and mothers how to love one another-- not in the school, not from the teacher, but from you. It is very important that you share with your children the joy of that smile. There will be misunderstandings; every family has its cross, its suffering. Always be the first to forgive with a smile. Be cheerful. Be happy.
I think that one of the hardest things is to forgive with a smile.  To get over that hump of grief, anger, frustration... the whole "this isn't fair" bit.

The truth is I struggle, struggle, struggle.  STRUGGLE!

The last post I shared featured two very different people- one who can't seem to climb over her hump, the other who knew how to smile and forgive.  I see myself in both; although I hope to never, ever come off like the ass the chick represented herself as, I know that as a human it is certainly possible that I will.  On the same hand, fully believing that hatred in this world can and only should be met with peace, I can only hope that I will come off as the peacemaker the guy showed us we all can be even when the attacker gets downright personal.

What I toss back and forth is how to be that peacekeeper without allowing myself to get stomped on.  How to come off loving without seeming like a hypocrite who is struggling with not just sticking her tongue right back out and then waving the ol' fist in the air.

My wee boy, the one who is finding out that no matter how much he can try to push me away I will stay right there... well, he deserves to learn how to be a peacekeeper.  And truly, the only ones who can teach him that through day-to-day example, are his papa and I.  I think about my students, the ones who come from homes where there is so little comfort and so much war within, and I wonder how they will grow up knowing how to be peacekeepers.  How to love.  How to forgive.  How to smile and be happy.

I also wonder about how I will raise my son to be a strong Black man- one who is proud to be who he is and knows how to find the right resources to get him through his times of struggle.  A man who knows how to forgive while also knowing how to stand firm in his beliefs. 

I don't know.

This post... it doesn't make a lot of sense.  It's scattered.  Not centered.

I just worry.  I worry about people killing themselves because they know of no other options.  People who poke fun at other people because they lack the ability to dig deep and get a strong hold on love.  I worry about our children and not always knowing the right answer, the right response for their questions, their heartaches, their fears.

This being a mother thing.

This being in my 30's thing.

This being a human thing.

It sure can be tricky.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Racial rant video

If you're ready to have your jaw drop down to your toes, watch this:

Next, watch this response:

If you want to read more about the whole thing, click here. Then tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giving the kids a chance to grieve

I got a phone call early Tuesday morning:  there had been a shooting in our school parking lot, school was canceled for the day, I needed to call all the parents and let them know to keep their kids in bed.

Ends up that a local police officer had taken his own life in the staff parking lot during the wee morning hours.

Wednesday morning we were given a quick opportunity to discuss ways to handle, err, difficult conversations with our students.  One teacher shared that she figured it wouldn't be a big deal- we were working with young children, after all.

Ends up that those young children have a lot more thoughts than most people typically give them credit for.

Truth is, my class of first graders spent the first hour and fifteen minutes of the school day in a circle on the floor talking about suicide, death, what happens to your body when you die, if it hurts to be shot by a gun, what happened to all the people who were hit by the big wave in Japan, and how crummy it is to feel so sad that you don't want to live anymore.

One of my kiddos shared that he could relate to that sadness- but it's cool... he's just seven.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I have a new favorite song.  I now play it whenever I feel like I need a little bit of a hop, skip and a jump to get back into the swing of things. 

To you (you know who you are).  Because I know you could use a little hop, skip, and then a big ol' jump.

Jónsi - Go Do from Jónsi on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last published on March 5

Has it really been that long?  Last published on March 5?  Really?  I don't think I've ever gone that long without blogging in my entire whole darn life.

I think part of the shock with the passage of time and my being unaware of it has been that so much has happened.  Like, so much.  Enough that one (namely me, right?) should have been aware that days were flying by.  Truth is, last night I was actually craving a cigarette.  A foot long, full of tobacco, filter attached, cigarette.  Instead I ate a bag of popcorn covered in "I Just Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray and white cheddar popcorn flavoring.

I wonder if the cigarette would have been the better choice?

Now, onto the silver lining.  Little Leone is turning into a big kid.  Yesterday- the big 2.  Can still hardly believe it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Last night

Last night I wrote a post that had me awake at or around 12:30 in the morning.

Cold sweat.  Nervousness.  Desperate need to delete post. 

Makes me wonder what happens when folks receive posts via email.  Do they still get to read the initial thoughts that I end up editing about 5 million times directly after I hit publish?  Or do they get emails showing that I have edited it, hit publish, hit edit, hit publish, hit edit, hit publish?

Anyway, the point is that I woke up in a worried frenzy about what I had said (or rather, what I hadn't said) that I rushed downstairs (narrowly avoiding one of 50 balls at the bottom of the stairs, by the way) and hit "delete."


Chances are high that the post wasn't that bad, but because I tend to think that things are worse than they are- well.  Like I said, "delete."

But, before I begin to go on and on about stuff that doesn't make much sense, I wanted to say this:

Thank you all for your incredible comments on my last post.  I somehow forgot to mention that I was writing that bit so Claudia would like me a little bit more- I'm a sucker for accents.  Anyway, if you want to read some incredible thoughts on attachment, check out this post (scroll down to the bottom).  The twin mama set it all up for us and it has proven to be an incredible reference.

Back to the stuff that doesn't make sense. If you did happen to read that post last night, I think my struggle in the end was the title.  The thought that I could possibly make a comparison to how the decisions being made in Ethiopia could be handled, or approached, or whatever.  I really don't remember the details of what I said, but I do know what I felt when I woke up.

I felt heavy.  Burdened.  Worried.  Sick.  I was picturing my friends, children, Ethiopia, birth parents, birth families, adoptive parents, adoptive families.  I was seeing cracks and holes and heartbreak.  And I realized I shouldn't be worried about trying to make sense of any of this.  Because you can't.  It's so damn complex and difficult and just plain sad.

Today I have been utterly disgusted with posts shared on Facebook- people being righteous and pointing their fingers.  People sneaking in their snide remarks, forcing those who are in pain to feel like shit because they aren't just screaming out "Hallelujah!" with the news.

The truth of the matter is that we are all human.  And it hurts like hell knowing that things are crumbling.

To those who are waiting... to my friends that are right smack dab in the middle of this:  please know it's okay to feel sad.  And broken.  And worried.

It's okay.

You should know there's a lot of us over here, on the sidelines, feeling broken for and with you.