Some speak for math and numbers.
Some speak for pens and thoughts.
Some speak for words and pictures and books.
Between the Oscars for the book world of children and a flurry of cold days cooped up in our houses, it has been an exciting few days for the people I know that are like me.
The tools for what we speak for are much the same. Even those math folks need some words too. Each time I read bout writing- it strengthens me. Each time I read about math… let’s be honest- I don’t read about math. But each time I read about reading, it empowers me. I hear the words of the book whisperer, well, whispering in my ear, “Her. Go talk to her. She’s a wild reader. She needs another.” I hear the voice of Mosaic, firmly nudging, “and what else? ask her what else.” They ignite my passion.
These voice stick with me because at my inner core, I am a reader. Some people have numbers at their core-I am married to one of those. Some people have words flowing out of their core- I am lucky to work with some of those and have the privilege of them rubbing off on me a bit. And some people sit in the words of others and take them in and use them to branch out into the world. It’s the books and words of others I have read that have helped me be the writer I am today. So thank you.
Stealing snippets of time to read- as a voracious all or nothing reader, is hard. Stealing moments to notice, moments to write, have been a lifeline to words that I have been missing. Writing has made me a better teacher and opened my mind to the world. But reading. Reading has been my lifeline. My solace. My heart. My platform as a teacher and learner.
So. It’s been a recharging kind of few days.
Days filled with pages of words and pages of possibilities to carry into the week.
Children are thieves. We all know they steal a piece of our heart forevermore upon their entry into this world. Moms also lament about the thievery of their own minds through the often coined “pregnancy brain.” I contend that the older my child gets however, the more of my brain she thieves. I am convinced that the more she amasses experiences, activities, and possessions, all the more of my brain loses its own prime real estate. I’m renting space in my own head while over time, becoming the landlord of her thoughts, actions, and possessions.
Case in point: I can tell you that her Phineas and Ferb playset is safely ensconced in plastic baggies in a black sparkly purse crammed between a bucket of stuffed animals and the crate of Barbies at the bottom of her closet. I can also tell you that they are in plastic bags because they need to be fumigated due to whatever debacle Professor Doofenshmirtz got them all into. I however cannot tell you quite when I washed the towels that are sitting in their mildewey stench in the washing machine.
This is often a point of contention in my household. On one side is my dear husband, frustrated that I yet again, forgot to call about that insurance screwup. On the other side is my dear daughter with her big blue eyes and batting eyelashes imploring as to the whereabouts of the 2 inch plate of food that came with her Minnie and Daisy playset for Christmas.
In the middle is I, sitting in a heap of worn out real estate war.
Oh, and the insurance number is at school… I think. The play food? Why, it’s in the bin with the Littlest Pet Shop toys in the basement. Check the front left corner. I’m fairly certain it is there because Minnie was conducting a pet salon and the pets needed food. Naturally.
While I very much enjoy helping those big blue eyes solve the problems of the world, this momma needs to take back some of her own real estate. I forsee an eviction of sorts. The first to go?
I always, always, always stay up too late on that last night before going back to work. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been in a home haze for two days or twelve, I find myself clinging desperately to each minute I can. Despite knowing that those next mornings will be haggard and hectic, I cling.
Cling to the few quiet moments after my daughter and husband go to sleep.
Cling to the cuddly cat that inevitably plants herself in my lap because while I am staging a sleep strike, it IS her bedtime.
Cling to the last visages on the tv screen that are not animated.
Cling to the knowing that the only people I can manage to disappoint are the ones that will love me despite it.
Cling to the comfy clothes that define most of my carefree hours.
Cling to that carefree attitude that I manage to maintain and yet gets yanked from my grasp during the week-long crunch.
Cling to the
My best work was not in that notebook. But my first work was.
I was a teacher starting out on this thing we call writer’s notebooks. The standard composition notebook, school spirit blue no less, adorned with the obligatory photos and keepsakes to show my young writers how this works. I had no idea what I was doing, but they were never the wiser. See, I was not the avid writer (am still NOT the avid writer) that notebooks usually find a home with. I wrote in it when I had to write in it. Like for lessons and that was it. That notebook held every lesson that was all the rage in learning how to live the writerly life. For my students. Not for me. Like I had the same notebook for TWO years. New entries for new kiddos of course, but that same notebook graced my document camera and came out when I needed a model for my students. See? No inner drive to fill it.
Somewhere around the middle of I don’t remember when, I found myself writing entries outside of the lessons. At first, entries that could be a lesson, someday. Then, entries that I wouldn’t show to anyone, ever. It was at that point I came to realize that this notebook was more than a collection of possible mentor texts. It meant something to me.
Then along came a little thing called the Slice of Life Story Challenge, that some
crazed amazing lunatic colleague suggested I try and I started really writing for the first time. I mean, I had 30 days to fill for goodness sakes. I write mainly on the computer, but I still jotted thoughts in that first notebook.
This year I made the transition from classroom teacher to literacy coach. During my first coaching cycle, I wanted to share some writing with a group of young writers. What better place to glean some text than that writer’s notebook? It was rough in spots and sparkly smooth in others.
But it was lost. I’ve searched high and low, far and wide, to no avail. It is gone. The ideas float around in my head and I can recall a page here and there. It’s a strange feeling to have lost words put down on paper.
I know I am full of words yet to be put down and have those words already written still in there somewhere. But while they were not my best words, they were my first. I won’t be able to peruse through them and see my journey from then to now.
They are gone.
One Little Word
A word to simmer on, think about, manifest, and live by. No small feat to choose just one. So I did what most sane people would do, and started a list. I’m a lister. It’s a problem.
Here is my list:
settled or grounded– I feel so much out in the universe- hopping from here to there and back again. I feel a need to be settled.
discipline or control– I need more of this in my life- to take control of my own life.
prime– I’m supposed to be in my prime at this age right? Maybe this will remind me of that.
rest– already as I look at it, nope. Not this.
comfort through discomfort– Yeah, I know, three words. It can’t work. But I strive for it. To be comfortable being a little uncomfortable. It’s a skill I have yet to master- back to that prime thing again I suppose.
persistence– I’m not the most persistent bugger on the planet. I cave. Far too often.
hiatus– I started following a great blog and her life makes me think of how wonderfully freeing it could be to have a hiatus from certain aspects of my life.
opportune– I’m not really sure about this one. I just like the doors it opens in my thinking.
yes– Seemingly contradictory huh? Guess it fits with being uncomfortably comfortable? I need to say yes more.
listen– This should just be everyone’s word and the world might be a much better place.
care– There is so much to this world and our lives. If we just show we care a little bit more- well, see above.
Disclaimer if you have made it this far in reading:
Now, I am not under the impression that the world is clamoring to read about my one little word.But simply putting it down into the blogosphere for that world (all 10 of you that read my blog) to see,makes it a bit more of a commitment. So here goes:
to be settled- in my thinking, in my writing, in my feeling, in my decisions, in my moves, in my life, in taking chances, in saying yes, in listening, in caring, in all the things I want for myself. To own it.