Saturday, May 22, 2010

Restoring my faith...

Mmmm- homemade (not by me) banana bread for breakfast. 

Yesterday, I took my 6th grade advisory kids (like homeroom) on a field trip to the old folks home.  We've been doing a service learning project for several weeks- sewing and filling bags full of necessities that the home finds it difficult to keep stocked.  Some of the spoiled little rich kids that I advise complained and whined every day about sewing- especially the ones who found it hard to do.  But once I reminded them why we were doing it, they stopped whining until the next class at least.  Every advisory in the 6th grade went to visit the old folks and our turn was yesterday.  It was sadder than I expected.  The place is not actually that far from my house but it's in one of the more run-down zones in Guatemala.  The residents have some outside space and lots of common areas, and even a chapel inside.  But the walls are a horrible hospital-green and the decorations and paintings are old and faded.  Another school had been there right before us so there were stars hung from the ceiling and balloons all over the floor.  It helped but it was still sad. 

Our kids are good kids- mostly.  They come from a lot of money and are often raised by nannies and drivers.  They get the latest "whatever" and jet off to Miami for the weekend.  They have a house and a beach house and a house in Miami and maybe one at the lake, too.  They are not wanting for anything.  Or they shouldn't be.  I worked with students like this in the DR and Kuwait.  The difference between those kids and these kids is that the students from the DR and Kuwait were aware that there were other people fairly close by who were not as fortunate as them.  It was in their faces daily.  These Guate kids- they go from school to their compound to the mall to their beach house, never stopping in between; never experiencing anything real.  So compassion and empathy are two emotions that are seriously lacking in their worlds.

Yesterday, though, I was brought to tears.  Many of the students did far better than I anticipated- they talked to as many people as they could, brought popsicles to them, picked up trash and were just generally helpful.  One little girl, though, really made me believe that there was some understanding somewhere inside.  I watched her feed a woman in a pink blanket her popsicle when it got to hard for her to do it herself.  And kindly, and without the least bit of hesitation, fear, or revulsion.  Then I watched her retrieve something that another lady had thrown and just so kindly hand it back.  Several kids around her just watched the object roll on the ground and then they looked at the old lady like she was nuts.  Not this little girl- she jumped right in to help!  It really made me tear up and I told her as much- told her how proud I was.  She looked very proud herself.   I walked out of there proud of those little knuckleheads and hoping that some of that good feeling and good will would carry over. 

Dave's rugby game got cancelled.  No letterman jacket for me.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Ties...

Dave stayed home for work today (I almost spelled 'stayed' as 'staid'... I need the weekend) and I drove myself to school.  On the way there, I started talking to my cousin's unborn baby.  I told him, despite his mother's readiness for him to spring forth, that he should stay in an extra week, just so he'd be only 3 weeks old when I get home, instead of four.  That is very selfish of me.  But I still want it to happen.

I never got to see her other son as a baby-baby.  He was already 4 1/2 months when I met him for the first time.  I want to hold this new little one as a teeny-tiny baby.  No matter how much discomfort my cousin is in.

That's not true.  I don't really want her uncomfortable. 

Dave has a rugby game this weekend- his first "at home" since he and his friend started this Guatemalan team.  I'm excited to watch him play again.  I haven't seen him play rugby since we left Kuwait which has been three years now.  I really love watching him play.  I feel like I should be wearing his letterman's jacket and sitting in the special place reserved for the girlfriends of players.  I also feel a little cocky because I know that I'll be one of the few of my friends who actually (mostly) understands rugby. 

I just started a lot of sentences with "I."  It's all about me today.

Hmmm... what to say today?

I don't know if I have anything to say today.  I will give it a go, though.

Thinking, thinking, thinking...

Still thinking...

I'm going to take a short break.  Maybe I'll have something later.

Nope.  Nothing today.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grown-up games...

Are there really people in this world who don't feel bad when they know that they've purposely been left out of something?  I would like to meet one of these people and just ask, "How?" More than that, I would like to know why I'm bothered by being left out of something that I probably wouldn't have gone to in the first place.  Really, why in the world does this bother me?  I suppose it's nice being asked and feeling included.  But what does that matter when I don't particularly want to be included in anything with that person?  Case in point: a friend had a dinner last night and I wasn't invited.  We're not BFF's but I thought we were friends.  The part that bothers me is that I did find out about the dinner when one of the invitees said something about going, assuming I was going as well.  She felt really bad after she realized I had no idea what she was talking about.  I felt awkward too... but mostly I felt sort of annoyed.  Why wasn't I invited?

Then, come to find out, the one having the dinner party make a comment like, "I heard Kelli found out about this.  What did she say?" What the eff do you think I said?  I'm standing there with a friend, realizing that I wasn't special enough to another friend to make the cut... but you can't very well whine and cry about it.  So I said, "Oh.  Whatever." My confidencial source said dinner-friend seemed a weird mixture of relieved and bothered- like maybe she wanted the whining and crying.

Does this ever stop?  Or is it just me?

APPLICANTS APPLY WITHIN: Seeking individuals who truly don't give a shi% when they don't make the cut.  Applicants must be willing to share their secrets.

P.S. I almost forgot to write today.  Shame on me.  But obviously I remembered.  Day 8- smacked down!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Working for a living...

Dave made me laugh this morning- out loud and for a long time.  I'm still actually laughing about it now and it's five hours later.  Here's the story:

Dave and I share our morning duties- one morning I get up and take the dogs downstairs, let them out, feed them and start the coffee while he gets in the shower.  He's usually done by the time I've made it back upstairs and brushed my teeth.  The next day, we switch.  Well, yesterday I was feeling a tab bit lazy and stayed in bed while he took care of the morning things-to-do and took a shower.  This morning, naturally, it was my turn to take care of the dogs and coffee... but it was also my turn to get in the shower first.  So I told him if he would just run the dogs down to go outside (simple act of opening a door) and let me shower, I would do everything else when I was dressed and ready.  He, being a wonderful man, agreed.

Fast forward to us both being done with our showers and him being dressed and ready before I was.  While I was applying a lovely shade of brown eyeliner, he announced that he was headed downstairs.  I asked if he would go ahead and start the coffee, so it would be ready before we had to head out the door.  Not missing a beat he replied, "What?  Are you only working part time this week?"  I'm giggling right now.

I have to admit, however, that usually when he makes these little side comments about how much he does around the house, or how little I do, they drive me BSC (bat shi% crazy).  I do not in anyway understand why he is incapable of admitting that he doesn't always pull his weight in the house-keeping-up area.  Seriously, the hulk-girl inside of me rears up whenever he asks "What do you do around here?" or "I have to do everything in this house!" and it takes all my human strength not to throat punch him.  I have come to the conclusion that this has a lot to do with me being afraid, on some weird level, that I'm not pulling my weight... but mostly it drives me bonkers because I have to ask him to do everything.  E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G

But this morning, it just made me laugh!  And, like I said, I'm still laughing.  I'd like to think that I'm turning a new corner where I can find amusement in his little digs at my housekeeping skills... but that's probably not true.  Today, though, I will laugh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Final Countdown...

I love this time of the year- no matter how much I love my job, there is something so exciting and wonderful in the air when The End of School is near.  The weather feels different, the air is different, the kids are different, and the teachers are definitely different.  There is an impatience and a resolution in our actions and in our dealings with the kids.  We're over the crap, we're done arguing- if you don't want to pay attention, don't pay attention.  If you don't want to do your homework, fine with me.  Most of us would gladly stop giving homework because we're tired of grading it, anyway.  We've started making plans for next year- if we're moving to a new school, we've already mentally checked out.  If we're starting a new job, we're thinking ahead.  And if we're staying in the same position, we're thinking how we can do it better next year.  There's usually a lot more drinking at this time of the year- somehow knowing there are only 19 days of school left makes you more likely to drink that extra glass of wine or say yes to mid-week margaritas.  I personally have the 8th grade performance in a little over a week and I am in no way stressed about it.  I've put it all on the kids.  And it's a good feeling.

We will be back in GA one month from today.  I love the feeling of going home.  We won't be staying in our house this summer, which I will miss.  But we will be staying with Daddy and that makes me happy!  Especially because the last time I was home, we moved the guest room around a bit so now it just seems a little bigger.  I know, it's the little things. 

Day 6. BAM!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Morning Ramblings

I will not lie.  I love my husband and I love cuddling up to him each night... but sometimes it is really nice to have the bed all to yourself.  Well, all to yourself except for the little black dog that thinks it's really her bed.  I'm having a bit of a moral delima today.  No, not just today- every day since we got Pip.  She is exactly what I always wanted in a dog- small enough to hold, cuddly, affectionate, playful.  She's what Rugby would've been if he'd been a little tinier- that dog always wanted to be a lap dog!  He would've been content to spend his whole life in someone's lap.  Pip, though, is happy in your lap and out of your lap.  She loves running through the house, sneaking socks downstairs, whacking herself in the face with her purple kong toy and trying to kill the squeak inside.  She torments Bay, which is fun, because it actually gets Bay up and playing like a puppy again.  Rugby was a wonderful friend for Bay, but he wasn't terribly active.  He grew up in a shelter so he never really learned how to play with toys.  He didn't chase anything, wasn't interested in fetch.  You could roll a ball right to his face and he MIGHT watch it... most likely not.  In Kuwait, we had an enclosed parking lot where we took the dogs each night to have a bit of a run around.  He would usually tear around the parking lot, totally spastically, for about 5 minutes... then he was done.  Here in Guate, we have puppy play date Sundays.  We go to our school, which is a huge campus and completely fenced in, or to our friend Brian's, which is a smaller neighborhood but also totally fenced in.  Brian has a dog, and our friend's Jaime and G (he has a real name but I have not learned how to spell it) have two dogs also.  So it's usually our five dogs, running and playing together.  They have such a good time and I look forward to it every week.  Rugby would've probably loved all the free space, but he would've hung out close to me most of the time.  He just wasn't a playful guy.  Pip, on the other hand, runs herself stupid every time! 

I got off topic there a little.  So my issue is that Bay has never been an affectionate dog.  She is perfectly happy to sit alone on her bed and is kind of like a cat- she won't necessarily come over to be petted when you call.  She does NOT like to cuddle and she's way to big and bony to hold in my lap.  We have been diligent about making sure she doesn't get on the furniture because she sheds like it's the thing to do according to all the cool kids.  But Pip jumps up on the couch.  And Pip wakes us up in the morning by jumping on the bed and coming to lie down in between Dave and me (no matter what time it is).  It makes me sad.  Do you think that Bay is sad?  Do you think she thinks we love Pip more?  Because I don't!  I make a point to pet and love on Bay as much as she'll let me.  But she just looks so sad sometimes...

Time for coffee.  Day 5.  I'm on a roll.