Today I am celebrating BONS. We met a couple of weeks ago and the laughter still warms my heart. I, we, missed Tammy who was sick, but a phone call delighted us all. We are able to be open about life, sharing school snippets that drive us crazy but still make us laugh. We talk about family matters of growth and turmoil. Mostly we celebrate. Life is hard and worthwhile. We capture those moments, some in the sand and others on paper. We celebrate.
Friday night, my husband treated Elizabeth and I to dinner at a new Italian restaurant in town. The restaurant manager had been a coworker of Rick’s and had extended an invitation to try the cuisine. Throughout the school day, I anticipated our evening meal and the conversation to be shared. I was not disappointed. Elizabeth is working at a daycare part time and had stories to share. We laughed hearing about the cute antics kids say. Rick and I enjoyed her company and savored the moment we had. Spring break is almost finished and she will return to college. We savored our time together as well. A restaurant atmosphere slows time down and our focus is narrowed to each other. We shared some of our favorite times in our marriage with Elizabeth, some she had heard and others were new. The cuisine was delightful enriched by conversational spice.
Her name was Miss Smith. She had long, auburn hair flowing down her back. After recess, the girls took turns brushing her hair while she read aloud beautiful, magical words. She was the prettiest teacher in school and she made my heart soar.
Reading was hard. I didn’t like it. Those symbols called letters didn’t make sense to me and the sounds didn’t always go together like others could. Each letter made words hard, and sentences scrambled. After reading a few sentences, I would have to reread them all over; I had no clue what I just read. Just sounds, not words. I labored day after day after day and now I was in third grade.
Reading would have remained a mystery to me if Miss Smith hadn’t labored beside me. Her patience and tenderness made me try, persisting through the awful hardness. Looking back, her dedication and strength was a legacy passed to me. Reading became stories, not a chore.
Today, I learned one of my students moved away. No good-bye, just an absence. I’ve been working with this little girl since kindergarten, summer school included, and her smile warmed my heart. She was sunshine with hugs and special notes. Daily I was battling alongside her to make the letter-symbols make sense of story. She was conquering and her understanding broadened. Story was real and her love of reading broadened. The legacy Miss Smith bestowed to me, I gifted to her. My hope is her heart is warmed with the courage, strength, and vivaciousness when she thinks of me. Hopefully, the legacy of reading will be gifted on.
Today I played hookie.
As a high school, I secretly wanted to play hookie from school, but the guilt swarmed over me and I never dared skip. Too risky! My parents. Possible in-school suspension and my own pounding heart kept me in check. But the thought of adventuring away with a friend to have whimsical fun and a carefree day away from studies tempted me.
Today I did play hookie. I did have fun, guilt free, being swept away by my dear one. Yep. We went shopping, glorious shopping. More Elizabeth than me, but I was smiling all the same. My college daughter is home on spring break and we needed to get away. Clothes called to us and greet us with beautiful corals, teals, and spring. We laughed looking at home furnishings and imaging new beauty added to our rooms.
Words. Stories. Shared moments of times gone by were savored all day long. These were the best prizes of the day. No purchase necessary. Just time and attention as the conversation ebbed and flowed, sealing our special day. We ended our spending spree with manicures. Sitting side by side, my heart was thankful I had played hookie. I played hookie from the hurried moments, the demands of my job. My heart didn’t feel guilty. I played hookie on the “I wish I would have” thought and embraced the joy of this carefree day spent with my daughter. My smile spreads. Yep. I think I will play hookie again.
Today I am smiling with contentment. 😀
Could it be I didn’t wake to an alarm this morning? Definitely a plus!
Could it be grocery shopping is done and the refrigerator is replenished? This helps.
Could it be the Chicago Cubs won the wildcard playoff game Wednesday? A highlight for sure!
Could it be my little selective mute girl whispered louder to me this week? Melted my heart as I did a handspring inside with excitement.
Could it be I received a thank you from one of the college students I send notes of encouragementto? A genuine special note that fueled my soul.
Could it be a favorite author/illustrator, Matt Tavares, favorited a tweet and did a shout out? I did a jig for that one! Yup, yup, definitely added to my happy heart.
Could it be the shopping mall trip was a huge success, discounts and sale items keeping the total low? Absolutely this was a winner!
Could it be my daughter tweeted something I cherished, took a picture to keep forever and ever? A treasure help lovingly!
Could it be I woke earlier than all, made breakfast, and then waited? A clue to my big smile.
Could it be stories were shared from all five members over brunch this morning? Oh I love these moments. I savor each word.
Could it be my college kids are home from fall break AND Tim and I are on fall break too? Yes! Yes! My heart is so content today!