Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I'm Working With...

There is absolutely no point to this post except to put things in perspective.

I teach a set of twins in the middle school.

Who fly to London.

Once a month.

For two days.

To go to the orthodontist.

A first class ticket- because I bet they're not flying coach- is $6000.  They both go each time and, obviously, some adult travels with them.  That's $18,000 a month to go to the orthodontist.

I'm just putting that out there.  Do with it what you will. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Takin' Care of Business

I suppose if I'm going to actively pursue my passion, I should first learn how to spell 'pursue' (thank you, spell check).  Then, I should make a more concerted effort to write.  So here I go (yet again, I know).

Most of the blogs I read have a theme.  They are mommy blogs, foodie blogs, travel blogs or funny blogs.  I'm not sure if I should establish some sort of theme for this blog or not.  I mean, if you put it all together, it would just be stories of me, and some of those stories are mommy stories, travel stories, or funny stories.  You won't find any foodie stories here, friends, so keep moving if that's what you're looking for.

I don't think I've lived enough to merit a memoir or anything.  But I think today, I will just tell you a story from my childhood.  So grab a drink and some popcorn, 'cause here we go, folks.

A couple of nights ago (I know, I said a story from my childhood, but I'm giving you the background on where it came from!), I was putting the Ladybug to bed.  We've gotten into a habit of reading books and then I sit with her for 'fie mimnets' before she falls asleep.  On this particular night, I said, "What did you do today?" And, lo and behold, the child answered me!  With a real, honest-to-goodness sentence, and not just 'yeah.'  She told me she had gone to the swimming pool and it was fun!!  That may sound just as precious as it can be to you, but really, you must imagine it in the voice of a two-year old who really said, "poo, daddy, sim, it fun!"  Now, that is adorable!

It got me thinking about the experts who say that your first memories start forming as your language develops- there is a direct correlation and what not.  And that thought made me a little sad because I remember my first memory.  I know I wasn't much older than the Ladybug, if at all.  The memory was so fuzzy that once, as a teenager, I had to ask my mom if she knew if it was real or if I had imagined it. She assured me, it was real.

You may or may not know that I have a sperm donor.  I am one of the luckiest girls alive in that my daddy picked me after my biological 'father' (we'll use the term loosely) decided that he wasn't quite ready for kids... when I was two.  My mom met and married a man who never once treated me like I wasn't his, even when I really wanted him to so I'd have a reason to be angry and throw a temper tantrum... which I did love to do.  I have had limited contact with the SD- he sent some cards and a few letters through the years.  He actually lives pretty close to my best friend, though I don't really care to find out how close.  I have never had the desire to meet him, mainly because of this tiny, first memory.

The two of us were sitting at the diner that used to be across the street from my grandmother's house.  I was eating a grilled cheese and french fries.  According to my mom (who may have been a tad bit biased), he was probably trying to pick up chicks (there is a very real possibility that this worked, as I was an incredibly adorable child).

That's it, really.  That's the whole memory.  But he left not long after that.  And I can't imagine walking away from the Ladybug and the Sprout, not now, not ever.

I hope that the Ladybug's first memories are wonderful ones- swimming in the pool with her daddy, reading with her mommy, playing with her friends, etc.  I can't wait to see what they'll be.

What was your first memory?  Was it a good one or a not-so-pleasant one?  Have you ever asked your parents if it really happened the way you remembered?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

1% Perspiration

Weigh in: are you living your passion?

I knew I was going to be a teacher one (possibly) sunny day in the seventh grade.  Picture it- twelve-year old Kelli scribbling furiously at her desk.  We kept a journal in Mrs. Kuhn's English class and started each day by writing in it.  It was actually my favorite part of the day.  I still have the journal, filled with silly 12-year old thoughts and "problems", written in the giant, loopy hand of someone trying to be cool and take up as much space as possible.  I's were dotted with hearts and stars and my name, in the upper right hand corner, took up half of the line.

My handwriting was a sight to behold.

Anyway, I remember writing, probably about my love of whichever Hamby twin I was pining after that year, and then suddenly glancing at Mrs. Kuhn.  She was glamorous in a very unglamorous job- in my memory, she is my friend Wedgie, but in the 80's.  This was back when teachers had to have heels and hose.  I recall rarely seeing any female teacher in anything but a dress.  Mrs. Kuhn always had perfectly coiffed hair, earrings that matched her necklace that complimented her outfit and a good deal of makeup.  For being 'old' (as she was to my 12-year old self), she was beautiful.

I glanced up at Mrs. Kuhn- she was grading papers and keeping a very close eye on us.  There was no computer on her desk, only a big green lesson planner and lots and lots of papers.  She was allowed to use the dreaded red pen, so she had a pencil cup, filled to the brim. 

Something about the power of that moment- her grading our papers and keeping us completely silenced through journal-writing time- something clicked.  I wanted to do that.  I wanted to be that.  I wanted to grade papers and teach children and match my earrings to my necklace.

And I wanted to teach English.  I loved reading, I loved writing.  It clearly made the most sense.

And that was that.  Now I teach English and I love it and I spend my free time writing and helping kids with essays and...

Actually, in the 10th grade I kind of whined to my mom about 'losing my music' if I studied English.  She suggested teaching choir.  I thought that was stupid.  Then I didn't.  And suddenly that made the most sense.

This past weekend, I begin looking inward a little.  When I was lying in bed the other night, unable to sleep with too many thoughts running through my head, to calm myself, I 'wrote' a children's book.  When I have free time, I read or write.  My goal in life is to get 'my' book published.  I cannot fall asleep at night without having a book on the nightstand.  And I hate that I had to buy a Kindle, but it is just not practical to own all the books I own and travel around the world.

I love Austen and the Bronte's and Fitzgerald and Hemmingway.  I love Tolkien and Rowling and Giffin and even Evanovich.  I can't wait to read Harry Potter with my girls and I rarely pass up doing bedtime, even when my wonderful husband offers to do it, because I want to read with them.

So what the freak am I doing teaching music?

I ask again- are you living your passion?  Are you one of the lucky few who is able to make money doing the thing they would do for free?  If not, what would you be doing, if money and time were no object?