take 2

sometimes we wish they could just take a pill…..

take 2 an hour before bedtime and wake up able to listen and follow directions

chew one of these along with your milk in the morning and your ideas will bound across the page complete with spaces between words and capitals and periods in every sentence

split one of these and let it dissolve on your tongue and the answers to math problems will just flow off the end of your pencil

squeeze this and inhale and no one will bully you on the playground  – and you won’t be tempted either

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when did you know your full potential?

I haven’t posted in a while but my mind is blazing with this question!

Why is this question burning holes in my brain???? Because I heard a teacher say today that she felt she could determine a child’s potential when they were in her class.  “Was she a teacher of college or high school students?” you might ask.

NO!!!!

She is a teacher of children in a primary classroom.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I knew my own potential until I was at least 30.  If my son’s teacher’s had been asked to name his future in kindergarten or first grade, they might have been pretty positive.  In 3rd grade and 9th grade the report would have been abysmal.

I still can’t say I know what his future will be like but guess what??  He gets to decide that – not me, or some first grade teacher with limited vision!

(how to stay) forever young

I came home on Friday wanting to crawl into a dark cave somewhere, hibernate, and stay there for a long time.  I wanted to stay in the dark for as long as it takes for the blackberries to ripen and be ready for picking, or until the snow has melted completely at the end of the road up to Mt. Baker, or Lake Whatcom is warm enough for a summer dip. In other words, I wanted to stay asleep until sometime in August.

To say it’s been a rough week is an understatement. Friday night I wallowed in weariness, cried away my tension, pulled out a project to work on for the entire weekend and stayed home – mostly.  There was Easter stuff to do and some grocery shopping but really, for the most part I’ve been in my favorite chair in the living room putting together a new Journey doll for a friend and catching up on Parenthood on Netflix.

Just listening to the singing of Forever Young when they open each episode is enough to cheer me up.  I love that song.  And I love the Bravermans!

I’m not quite ready for Monday, but almost.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

celebrate link up – day late but not a dollar short: ruthayerswrites.com

Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath

In memory of my niece, Alyssa Smith, who died as a result of gun violence 9 months ago, please read the eloquent words of Rev. Matt Crebbin, Senior Minister at Newtown Congregational Church, UCC in the letter he wrote inviting us all to become more deeply involved in the issue of gun violence prevention: http://www.ucc.org/justice/criminal-justice/gun-violence-prevention.html

And to my friends and family, I hope you’ll catch up on my writing over on my other blog, Wake Up and Write, where I’ve reached the half way point of writing every day during the month of March.

unintended consequences

I know she didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did, or maybe I’m being overly sensitive.

Yesterday our whole school was in a good mood.  It was Friday, it was assembly day, and the day before Super Bowl weekend and our school had Seahawks fever.  Everyone had been encouraged to wear blues and greens and there were some wild hair-dos and color coordinated outfits in every classroom.

At the end of our school assemblies, we always sing our school song with Mrs. W marching back and forth on a pathway between the seated students.   Yesterday she came up to lead the song and said, “I’m going to go off-script.” She proceeded to describe a certain kind of football jersey, the kind with the name on the back, and invited every student wearing one of those  jerseys to come up front and help her lead the song.

Kids started coming forward from all over the gym.  The 5-year-old sitting next to me pointed to his shirt and said, “I have a Seahawks shirt on.  Does mine have a name on it?”  “No, honey, you are right, it’s a navy blue shirt but it’s not the kind with a name.”

There were probably 50 students up front singing and it was one of the loudest and pride-filled renditions of our beloved song,  but all I could think about was how expensive those shirts are and that an innocent invitation had just divided a student body into have’s and have-not’s.

if I had a hammer

Pete Seeger is dead at 94.

My radio was playing “If I had a hammer” this morning when the alarm went off.  What great music to rise to! And I was reminded of a chat with a young person just two weeks ago about that very song.  Justin is a 5th grader at our church and he and I collaborated to present an intergenerational book read on a Wednesday evening.  The book we used was Don’t Laugh At Me inspired by the Steve Seskin  song by the same title. don't laugh at me

I looked at many books when I was preparing to be a part of this project. What clinched it for me  was the fact that Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary was inspired to create Operation Respect, a social awareness program for schools and other communities because of this song.  I ordered the lesson guide and shared it with Justin and we did a few of the activities with an intergenerational group of about 30 people.

One of the suggestions in the guide is to sing If I had a Hammer.  When mentioned this to Justin he said, “I don’t know that song, I’ll have to learn it.” His moms sure know the song; they were belting it out that night.  What a joyous sound we all made thanks to some fine guitar playing by our pastor.

So here’s to Pete Seeger and another generation of kids who need to learn to sing his songs.