Tuesday, September 28, 2021

This Nest Is Full #SOL21

 Empty nesting is certainly a whirl of emotions, but there is one I never thought would prevail so early on in this stage.  

Pride has taken hold of this nest and put sadness and loneliness to the side.  The swell in my chest holds the tears at bay.  If they come, and they may, it will be because I am proud.

List of Pride

A job offer
lightens the load.

An engineering prototype
is taking shape.

A man pursues 
his dream of flight.

Forming strong friendships
brings happiness and fun.

A dancer's passion
continues on.

A defender plays
for fun.

They are flying,
taking advantage of the
opportunities available.

This mother bird
has much to tweet about.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Discovering Hope in a Journal #SOL21

 My green notebook was hiding for four months in a cabinet.  I went out of my mind trying to find it, wondering how I ever lost it as my journals are never far away from me.  

But here it is  -  waiting for me to fill it with words.  

Smiling, I read my last entry about being displaced from my writing space because my son was home.  There is history within these pages filled with memories and bits of my heart.  

I looked forward at the blank pages, excited to begin writing, and then it hit me.  This journal, half-filled but half empty, is a metaphor for my life at this moment.

I have so many moments written, photographed, and burned within the pages of my mind and heart, and I will carry them with me forever.

More importantly, though, there is a future just waiting to be written.  I am excited about the words, sentences, poetry, blogs, or stories that will fill this journal.  This thought caused me to pause and realize that I have a future to look forward to, days, months, and years to fill in ways that fulfill ME.  

For the first time in a long while, the future does not scare me or cause me to tear up.  Now, I can look forward with hope and wonder.  What will I do to fill up these pages?  

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Writing with My Students #SOL21

It has been quite a month, and my writing life has taken a backseat to the rest of my life.  However, one of my favorite practices in class is back - writing with my students.  

A teacher from my department shared Phung Nguyen Quang & Huynh Kim Lien's picture book My First Day.  It is a beautiful story about a young Vietnamese boy's journey on the first day of school in the Mekong Delta.  We decided to have our sixth-grade students write about their journey to their first day of middle school using a paragraph frame to follow the structure of the opening of the book.  

As always, I wrote with my students and was happy to memorialize my journey to the first day of the 2021-2022 school year, which was unlike any other.  

Where the Floral Street School sits around the corner ready for students so much younger than my own children...that is where I live.  

I wake up with the sun still below the horizon and join other teacher-writers from all over the world on Zoom.  I dump all of my thoughts and feelings onto my morning pages.  Today is the first day.

This is the first time I've started school with an empty house because both of my children are off at college, and my husband is still driving home from Wisconsin.

My mind said I can do hard things.

My friend texted, Hope you have a great first day.

I drive Ashley's car down Route 9 with tears in my eyes, missing her.

walk into the empty school to prepare for my adventure.

Not long after, I join The new and familiar faces swarming around on the track in front of me.  And one student walks over to say, "I've missed you."  He has no idea how much I needed to hear such sweet words.  

Only One Vowel #SOLC23

 Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity always has wonderful ideas for the classroom.  Too often, I don't have the time to sit and read her po...