Wednesday, September 25, 2013

words can be powerful...or not

at book club last night, one of the mamas said she hated how when school started and the season changed, it was like everyone got sick and by the end of fall, she was hating all of her activities that get them out in the community that shares its germs and makes them sick.  (I paraphrased.)  she was laughing about it all, but I remember thinking that I never correlate illness with the season.  I think my last fleeting thought, as I got distracted by the next thing, was that my family really had not been sick much this summer.

then I woke up this morning.

I think that friend of mine sent me a little curse...or sick juju...or something.  I hit snooze and snooze and snooze.  I was really working on getting out of bed.   (baby girl's leotards made it in the wash yesterday, but had to be put in the dryer this morning...I had stuffs to do!)  but I could feel my throat swollen.  I kept trying to relax my neck...hoping it was just a muscle cramp I could work out.  but then i'd swallow, and I knew it was no neck cramp.  my head hurts so much this morning.  and i'm a little achy in the joints.  I am hoping Tylenol, ibuprofen, coffee, and some soup later can kick this.  we shall see.  I see an early bedtime in my future.

but...the fourteen year old made his cake yesterday.  with some help.  from all of us.  which is sometimes not as much help as you'd hope.  but he did it.  it was awesome.  we put it in a bundt pan and it ended up looking kind of like a rainbow.  it was super cool.  he was really excited.  I love that kid.

also, our book club book this past month was called the snow child.  and I really loved that book.  it did this incredible job of marrying the real worldliness and the mystical-ness of parenting in unlikely parents...who long so deeply, but find themselves clumsy.  and really, aren't we all clumsy as parents?  some of us just seem more at home because we have this delusion of knowing what we're doing that is ripped down in pieces as our kids grow.  but maybe this was just my experience.

an old friend of mine called last night.  (this line cracks me up...because my friend will be fifty-four next month and I think she'd make a big hassle about this statement and her age, but really, it's because we realized, as we were talking last night, that we've been friends for twenty-two that's why she's an old friend...but we're both a helluva lot older now, too...)  anyway...she is a special ed teacher.  which is how we met.  working at a camp for special needs kids.  she gave me a confidence in instincts I was discovering and was just someone I shared the joy of using those instincts with.  we both enjoy sitting and trying to figure out what a kid is perceiving, what their world is like, what they might be responding to, how to bring them a smile, give their world more meaning, create a bridge from their world to the world around them that they often have no idea is even there.  (i'm talking about working with kids who are deaf and blind here...those kids have always had a special place in my friend's heart)  anyway, she works on an indian reservation in Arizona.  in special ed.  actually, her kids are preschoolers...three and four years old.  there is not a lot of money out the families or in the school.  and people seem to have...attitudes.  and my friend...well, she's kind of weird in that culture.  I mean, a grown woman wearing a fish hat and a dinosaur shirt, with pumpkins on her shoelaces and whatever else she has on for the week....she sort of stands out.  (I know this because I got to go to work with her once.)  like, last night, she was telling a story where one of her four year olds told her "sit down" and she did.  and another adult said, "well, that kid has you trained, doesn't he?"  and my friend responded, "he talked!  if he'd have told me to take a shit, I would've, just to let him know I heard him!"  which almost made me have a wreck, I was laughing so hard.  well, last night, she called because she was writing her principal a note.  apparently a huge box came in through the office and was "claimed" by different teachers, making its way around the school, and my friend wanted it.  but the box ended up in a bitchy computer resource woman's room that my friend said she does not mess with.  so she asked the principal to please get her the box.  I don't think she expected the principal to succeed.  but, at the end of the day, the box ended up in my friend's classroom and my friend was all emotional about it.  so she wrote a note to the principal and called and shared it with me.  she wrote this note from a student's perspective.  the student she wanted the box for.  she had the student explain their disability and how my friend was going to make this sensory box to help this three year old student meet her goals and interact with the world around her...and world that is difficult for her to access and understand.  she thanked the principal.  it was a really sweet note. 

over the last few years, it has become so easy for me to see the world just from my perspective.  to define the world in categories of "this pleases me"/"this doesn't"/"this makes me feel good about myself"/"this makes me feel like crap"/"this is hard for me"/"this is easy for me"...and it's all about me.  I often forget, on my own, without being asked or drawn into a story, to try to see the world from another's perspective.  I've forgotten the magic of quietly watching and learning.  it was awesome that my friend called last night.

and now I must go retrieve leotards from the dryer.  and stand in a hot shower and let the water pour over my face and work some magic. 

have a good one in your neck...
(of the woods...but it sounded funnier just like that...)


1 comment:

*Jess* said...

I'll have to check out The Snow Child.