Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Kindergarten Funny

Let's lighten the mood a little, shall we?

December is obviously a great time to read Christmas stories in Kindergarten. This is what happened when the teacher introduced this book the other day.

Mrs. B: What does the cover tell us about this story?

Jack: It's a Christmas story.
Lily: It's about an elf.
Lauren: It has reindeer in it.

Mrs. B: This elf looks small, but how do we know that he is older?

Jack: He has a hat.
Lily: He has a beard.
Lauren: He has big bells.

And with that last comment 3 teachers practically fell to the floor laughing.

Obviously, we need some time off.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Back To School

Going back to school Monday was weird. Very eloquent, right? It's not the norm to have the chief of police and 2 other officers at the front door welcoming the teachers and students. It's not the norm to see them around the school all day (although, I enjoyed talking to them). It's not the norm to have a school play dress rehearsal and check out every person who comes in to see if they might be carrying a gun (or was that just me checking everyone out?). It's not normal to walk into a classroom and look around for the best place to hide the kids, if something horrid ever happened. This was how my day went on Monday.

Yet, the blogosphere suggested writing about teacher's this week. To celebrate their very being. I cannot say enough about how teachers' care for their students. It does not surprise me in the least about the heroic things the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School did. It's what we do. We love our students like they are part of our family. Trust me, there are days when you don't have the patience for some students' behaviors, but, bottom line, you do whatever you can do for them.
My elementary school was a warm, loving, caring place where I made friends, learned and loved my teachers. It was a K-6 school with a principal who had a large jar of jelly beans on his desk. My teachers (who all rocked by the way) were as follows:
1st grade: Mrs. Popolizio
2nd grade: Mrs Lund with Mrs Rose as her maternity leave substitute
3rd grade: Mrs. Kostro
4th grade: Mrs. Johnson
5th grade: Mr. Osmond
6th grade: Mr. Byam

I have no doubt that they would have protected us during any horrific event. However, back then, we didn't have lock down drills, we didn't have police officers roaming the halls and all the doors were wide open. I am pretty sure it wasn't all sunshiny like I remember, but I do know that learning about menstrual cycles in sixth grade was the scariest thing that happened while I was there.

Are intercoms on the front doors and locking all the other doors a change in the right direction? I guess it is in the world we live in now. I do miss the "olden days", though.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Let's Find the Good

The past few weeks (and longer if you consider that K still has her headache that started back in October) have, well, pretty much sucked in general. There have been lots of tears shed at home, at school, at church....

However, I feel when things in your world get this bad, that you have 2 choices: let the evil take over your heart or fight back with anything positive. I have always been a fighter, therefore, I will share with you some little things that made me smile in the past few weeks.

The Kindergartners singing their Christmas Jingle Friday morning.

The hugs I got from those beautiful singers.

R putting all her bears, snowmen and Santa to bed at a party last night.

My nephew visiting this weekend.

Counting 5 Santa hats on 3rd and 4th grade boys on the playground on Friday.

Christmas lights.

The smiles I get from those Kindergartners when I see them anywhere other than school. They are constantly surprised to see me out at church or the grocery store, etc...

Christmas cards.

May you find some joy in your neck of the woods this week, no matter how small it is. That is to say, while never forgetting the town of Newtown, CT.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


"Why?" is such a loaded question. 

Yesterday, an extremely smart, kind and funny boy was taken from our lives. 


Did God need help with Apple products? Did He need a young person to round out the older population in Heaven? Did He need another guardian angel to watch over earth?


How do you explain this to his friends? How do I explain this to my daughters? How do I explain this to B who was one of his close friends? 


Everything happens for a reason, I have always believed. It is hard to find a reason when a good solid kid, from a good solid family gets brain cancer a year ago and loses his battle. Do you ever wonder why criminals don't get stricken with brain cancer and not good kids?


When I was in my early 20's, I lost my Grandmother one January and then a 16 year old family friend the next month. I loved my Grandmother to pieces, but I could understand that she was older and that is a natural progression of life. Why my friend MJ died suddenly while skiing with his ski team; that I could not understand. The only thing I could wrap my head around was that I had a special guardian angel and combined with my grandmother, they make quite a team.


I have known people who have gone to their first wake and funeral as full adults. My first funeral was when I was in 6th grade and a 5th grade teacher in our school died. I was on crutches, wore a white denim jumper with a plaid shirt underneath. (Hey, it was the 70's) It's weird the things you remember. I was a seasoned veteran of wakes and funerals by the time MJ died. 


Brad and B were on the same intellectual level. They laughed together, talked together and jump roped together. Their double dutch freestyle (4 person) routine won 10th place at Nationals. The highest place  their team had ever placed in this event. I keep picturing them doing donkey kicks in the middle of the routine. Both, in shape, and totally in sync. This was 5 months before Brad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 


It's going to take some time to figure out the "reason" that this has happened. Sometimes it takes years to figure out the "reason". Sometimes, when unfair things happen, I have to make up a "reason" just to keep my sanity. My dad is a big believer in "say 3 'Ah-Shits' and move on". When I told him about Brad, I said that 3 Ah-shits were not going to cut it. He said, "Yes, this may need at least 12". 

Or more like 12,000. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

B is 14

Today is B's 14th Birthday. I am not sure how I have a 15 and 14 year old, but somehow it has happened. I do know that I am lucky to have both of them.

Yesterday, I took B (and K) and 5 of her friends up to Boston for a day at Georgetown Cupcakes and Quincy Market. It was so much fun and a pleasure to be amongst them and K all day long. I noticed on the way up in the car that B has matured so much in a year. She is funny, concerned about her looks and thoughtful.

Today, I noticed the character that she brings to the table. Her good friend was taken off life support today. On her Birthday. He couldn't have known and she never would have picked this date for him., but sometimes life has another plan for you. God reminds you that you are not in charge, He is. This fact is hard enough for an adult and brutal for a child. Somehow, though, B has been so brave, so grown-up through it all. I have been asked questions, lots of questions, but have answered them as honestly and truthfully as I can.

It is not going to be a Birthday she soon forgets, but I have promised her that an angel will be watching out for her wherever she goes.