There are all sorts of superheroes in our midst. The single moms taking care of a brood of children, the brave third grader waging a battle she should never have had to, the men and women that fight for our right to sleep soundly at night, the teachers I get to spend everyday with. 🙂 But no one reigns supreme to any one like their parents. Our parents are our own personal superheroes.  Our cheerleaders. Our rescuers. Our supporters.

I treasure the superhero that I have left in my life. My mom. She is my rock and she remains steady scare after scare. Her cape has some holes and she has been battered, but still she rises. To cheer. To rescue. To support. I wrote some time ago about our family circle and the thief of happiness and joy that seems to visit us every now and again.  Somehow and someway you manage the loss that happens. In our circle we come together. It’s almost like we anticipate the blow and sadly, know how to continue spinning despite it.

But there is another circle. I was lucky enough to marry my love and inherit his circle as a part of my own. His circle is more like a Venn Diagram than a single circle. There are lots of circles coming together. At the center of one of his circles is his superhero. His dad. Since my superhero flew away, Brian’s dad has flown in to take his place. And I’ve learned one thing in the last few days as a health scare has struck this circle: He needs more ladies in his circles. Yes, we have superheroes for certain. But I am finding that the heroine is really what keeps that circle spinning.



I’m doing a photo challenge on Instagram. As if I needed another app on my phone.  It started off as a way to talk to the two thousand miles away, twelve-year-old piece of my heart. It has turned into a great way to come up with ideas for writing. The challenge topic each day has me looking at the world around me and going back in my mind to memories buried. Today’s topic to photograph was: stairs. Seems like an obtuse topic if there ever was one. I snapped a photo of the stairs to our upstairs. The dirty, scuffed, covered in STUFF stairs to our upstairs. Suddenly to the front of my mind’s eye came a photograph tucked away in an album from 13 years ago. Why it came front and center still escapes me. Yet I posted, beside my current stairs, myself standing on the stairs of The Colosseum in Rome . And then while sounds of SpongeBob bounced off me mixed with the soft whispers of my daughter “taking her dolls to school,” I started thinking of other stairs in my mind: the 16 wooden steps that my sister and brother led me up and pushed me down growing up, the tall straight, seemingly never-ending stairs up to the high dive when I was 8, the stairs up to my Grandma’s kitchen for cookies and down to my Grandpa’s workshop, the stairs, three stories high, to my first apartment, the stairs at Ellis Island where my great-grandmother joined thousands of other footsteps to where you could almost see their footprints left behind. Those stairs, along with countless others, left me with a smile and a remembrance of happy times.  A successful photo challenge day if I do say so myself. Tomorrow’s topic is slow. My mind is already contemplating it. Slowly of course.

Riding a Different Bike

Today we woke up at 6 in the morning. We have been sleeping until at least 7 everyday and if this momma had her way I would sleep until 10. However, I have the early bird child and she’s always searching to get that worm. She was excited to go into my classroom office today and her unbridled enthusiasm is a bit contagious. 🙂

I have the same enthusiasm, albeit I am walking a bit slower than she this morning. Not because I lack excitement. I am beyond excited but it’s interwoven with threads of nervousness. Like I am walking around in the dark and I kind of know where I am going, but am guaranteed to stub my toe or bang a knee a few times.

It’s all different.

School supply sales have been passed up, there’s been no marked up map of my classroom, there has been no fine tuning of opening day lessons, I haven’t stalked garage sales for books, I have no picture of my kiddos in my mind’s eye.

There was a visit to an office supply store, there is a little map marked up of an 8 x10 space, there has been endless thinking of opening day support, I have read more books than ever, and that picture of my kiddos. Well, that part of my mind is actually bursting with more kids than I can imagine who are joined by the best teachers I know.

I’ve always joked that going back to school is slightly akin to riding a bike. You never really forget, you’re nervous before you get on, you don’t want to fall, you’re a little shaky at first and then you hit your stride and great things happen.

I’m just riding a different bike now.

The Little Things

I am on a campaign to notice and enjoy the little things in life. Oftentimes I am in major panic mode over one thing or another. Anyone who knows me well enough can attest to my ability to ignore the giant mess around me and then obsess over the smallest of problems to the point of being completely useless. The giant things I can block out. I’ve been known to put black electrical tape over an engine light in my car and yet not be able to function when it smells a little bit from having a child and the messiest adult in the world cohabitate in said car.

So, that brings me to my campaign. Stop. Notice. Smile. I’m going to make a bumper sticker.  I’m in a photo challenge on Instagram, and while I honestly need very little more technology in my life, it has forced me to look at the world a bit differently. I find myself thinking of things to fit the challenge and they are all stopping and making me smile.

Stop. Notice how nice the dispenser is on my new bottle of laundry detergent. Smile.
Stop. Notice how the weather has been nice enough to not melt my ice cream cones. Smile.
Stop. Notice how the breeze flows through the windows. Smile
Stop. Notice how silly my daughter can be when I’m looking and how sweet she can be when she thinks I’m not. Smile.

Stop. Notice. Smile