Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It is Definitely Spring...

It is spring. Our weather is changing minute by minute with temperatures running the gamut and the rain coming in all sizes with intermittent sun. Our Boy is tied to this up and downs of spring. Snapshots of our month so far:

Tuesday, May 2: He fought us in a monumental fight over something small that turned huge lasting for hours. I wrote a poem about it and exhausted I fell into bed.

Friday, May 5th: We sent him off to visit his middle school even though he’d been picked up twice at school that week on high alert and anxious. We spent all day at his new middle school and it was a fantastic day! He had no issues. He talked to another boy about autism and the boy he met was autistic and told him about middle school from his point of view. Our Boy participated in classes and took it all in and when he’d had enough he told us and calmly came home. He was all sunshine and roses this day.

Sunday, May 7th He was a stinker all day. Just not cooperative, but then consented to getting out of the house and going to the most unlikely pick for a movie, Hidden Figures, and he loved it. He even leaned over and spontaneously gave me a kiss on the cheek during a moment there was a little “romance” on the screen. It was sweet.

Tuesday, May 8th: He came home and loudly proclaimed, ”Mama, I had a flawless day!” This is what was written on his report too. He was so proud of himself. I was so proud of him too as he’d written a great poem about the scientists from Hidden Figures. We’d had really great discussions about it. And then the  boy who used to yell loudly that he did NOT write poetry to find out that he’d written a poem mainly about Katherine Johnson and how brilliant she was and how hard it all was but that he admired her. I gave him loads of kisses!

Saturday: He was calm, but tired. He said little, but wouldn’t do anything. I don’t think he moved from the couch. He told me to go away and leave him alone. He was surly and a grouch.

Sunday, Mother’s Day: He wrote me the most beautiful 5 paragraph essay about who I am to him and what he notices about me. I am still glowing about that one. I will keep it always. He went to church. He was kind, but stubborn still about some things. He was trying hard to make it a good day for everyone. He did destroy something nice in his room when I had to go to a meeting, but at least it was his property and not something of mine (I did give it to him at Christmas). I guess that was my added bonus mother’s day gift that for a change he didn’t destroy something of mine.

Yesterday: He talked enthusiastically about becoming an airline pilot. But by bedtime he’d changed his mind as he was looking up all kinds of diseases earlier in the evening. He said, “Mama, I want to be a doctor that helps people in developing countries. They need a good doctor to help them survive as so many of them die of curable diseases!” His big heart was showing as he talked about getting people that needed it safe drinking water and medicines. I told him that is a wonderful ambition and if that is what he wanted or to be a pilot or a combo of the two, we’d figure out how to get him through all the school and things he needed to become one or both of those professions. This made him happy. He lectured himself to sleep talking about all the good he would do.

Today: I had been home about ten minutes when the phone call came for us to come to school to get him and hopefully calm him down. We got there to witness him kicking his teacher and fighting two others. He’d been at it a half an hour by the time we got there.  He collapsed into my arms sobbing, red faced, sweaty, and defeated while Martin spoke in hushed tones with the teachers and principal. They weren’t mad, but worried. We all are about this. It was sudden.

He couldn’t let something go that happened, as far as we could tell once he spoke about it a while ago, maybe even a couple of weeks back, when we picked him up the first of the month. He can’t let go of it as it is against a fellow student. The teachers were protecting that student and then our Boy from himself. The student is fine as they got there in time, but his teachers are worse for wear. He’s out of school tomorrow. We hope that helps reset whatever switch in the weather. We’re talking him through it and trying to change whatever processing that he’s struggling through.

It is supposed to sunny the rest of this week past tomorrow. I hope that is the case and our Boy will follow suit. One of his past teachers called him “Sunshine” as his nickname. He is every bit that when he wants to be or feels free to be that and every bit as loving. So many people are charmed by him. I am. He is our “sunshine” even on a cloudy day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Another Storm Boy Poem

A hard, hard day like we haven’t had in a long, long, long time. I’m too tired to edit it much. Pray for our peace and strength for all of us this coming week.

Storm Boy’s Mayday
A cloud on the horizon
Hidden among blue for miles
A small nothing cloud
Dotting the blue
Distracting from the good things
We often knew
Were there
And then
Another cloud begins to tag along
And its brother, mother, sister, aunt, uncle and second cousins,
All crammed together
Stepping on each other
Finding cramped quarters
Flying the friendly skies
Not feeling friendly at all
And the armada of clouds
Engulfed that one teeny tiny cloud
Capturing it to capitulate to misery
Not of its own making
It made the one small cloud feel trapped
Yet huge, powerful, and angry,
Enough to rain
Not gentle spring rain
But pelting,
“Run for your lives! The sky is falling” rain,
An insane, flood everyone out,
And who will survive it?
King of rain,
That was today,
That was you,
That was what blew through,
And we boo hooed after,
The punches and pops,
Degrading drops and yelling “stop! Stop! STOP!”
When you looked your father in the face
And spat with everything
That had brewed up
From that point
The eye of the storm
Windmills in tornados
Have nothing on you
As your hands, arms, legs, feet, and mouth,
Didn’t rest, but found landfall,
Over and over again,
On anything you could grab, bite, punch, or pinch,
It was a fit some would say
Others would say you need more discipline
And others more love
You are loved with discipline
And as much teaching as tolerated
Often told how much we care
And we bare our very selves
Our souls, sometimes to you
To calm the storm clouds
And bring back the sunshine
And keep the rain to a gentle
Rhythm that we hope
Brings those seeds of humanity
To blossom and not get flooded
To float away in these damn storms
Today I told you how you control this weather
You protect that small lone cloud
To watch it dance and prance
Not hooking up with all these
Nescience thoughts and worries
That make you in a hurry
To combat those you adore
We are your parents
We hope you inherent
Our best
You are our best
You put us to the test
But we rest in knowing
This storm is past
And our love will last

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I feel I owe a debt to J.K. Rowling on so many levels in my life and that sounds so corny, but it is true.
It was her Harry Potter series that gave me material to practice how to teach large groups of kids about characters. It was good practice how to adapt into scripts and construct props too.
It was her series that I was reading as one of my favorite pets was dying and I grieved over Dumbledore and my beloved cat that summer, but it gave me a place to channel that grief.
It was the bravery of the final book and all its uncertainty in finding a way to finish what had to be done and in that year I finished a particular job era. The what nexts of the next few years, I re-read that final book every year till I found a place to land in my life. I think I read it five years straight.
And then this summer, I was frustrated with my son, who began reading at a super early age, had given up on reading all fiction books he said. Right after he turned eleven I got him to start listening to me read the Harry Potter books because Harry in that first book turned eleven. He got hooked and never turned back!
It has been ten months to read all of them out loud, but I’ve loved every minute of it! What an actor work out! I wouldn’t trade that time for anything! We finished the last movie tonight also.
Hence the poetry mostly about Harry tonight and one I wrote earlier in the day thinking about the days ahead of me. I’ll try to take on some of that Harry bravery that I just spoke about.

Harry Haikus
Hogwarts Express
Train ride find friends
Crunching candy to brave end
Blasts their wizard world

Feral Car Found
Muggle no magic
Flies till untimely crashes
Wild thing rescues boys

Love Protects
Love disintegrates
Those who are Dark Arts harmed
First story to last

Hagrid’s Pets
Hagrid holds creatures
Rare beauty is charming him
He shows other sides

Harry Potter Has Come
Who is Harry now?
He is a part of fabric
Sews us together

Practicing Magic
Magic is mercy
Spells are our powerful words
Love is the secret

Hogwarts Acceptance
I will so miss you
Reading out loud for two
Curled up on the couch
Or on your bed in a pouch
With a flashlight on
Words breaking like dawn
Into your world
The wizard flag unfurled
You would go on and on
About the tiniest little spawn
Or creature or phrase
In that Harry Potter phase
I will cherish the time we spent
The books were such a gift
To get you talking
In your walking
Or waking hours
You’d quiz me about towers
And wands and curses
And all the versus
Of good guys and bad
And what they did and didn’t have
Or what they thought
Or saw or caught
You wanted to know
What was in their souls?
Our discussions were thrilling
As you were spilling
Out so much of what you think
Now it is over and that stinks
I’ll try to replace these books
With other characters and hooks
To dig you out of your stuck place
So our time together won’t be erased

To Be or Not
I’m wearing a sweatshirt today
With a friendly saying
That keeps at bay
Those thoughts from dwelling
Or welling up feelings
That cry to be stuffed
For something tough
The outer garment
Proclaims a place
I find so pleasing
Because it squeezes
The good things out of me
Even when I’m not looking
Tomorrow we’ll see what’s cooking
From a test they are giving me
Not the paper kind
With books and rhymes
That I could pass with flying colors
No, this one is one of the “others”
That come around the bend
And smack your behind
Because you have been unkind
Or done something way
In the past you didn’t think
Would hurt to take that drink
Of Kool-Aid and now it is too late
It isn’t open to debate
Your body needs testing
Because there is a mess within
And nothing can change that now
It isn’t how you thought
You might be caught
Your mind won’t stop
Until tomorrow
Until then you borrow
What strength you have
From a shirt that says you aren’t bad
And you are glad that such a place exists
And you sit with it all on your plate
Not wanting to eat in this state
You push back from the table
Being stable today
Is where you want to be
In reality, now is the opportunity
To be all that you can be

Saturday, April 29, 2017

NaPoWriMo #38 DUCK!

What are the odds on the same day this would happen? Yes, every word is true. I did see a mother duck and her duckling. My dear husband did let a mated pair of them cross the road and then…. (poor guy)! He’s doing okay (thanks for asking).

For the Love of Ducks
Spring has sprung
The grass is riz
The ducks are out
And walking about
I swerved and weaved
But still kept speed
As a mother and baby duckling
These two tiny things
Waddled across my road
On I went to my abode
They strode calmly across
As drivers avoided them at all cost
There was no loss
Mother duck being boss
To baby who distractedly wandered
Running in spasms, blundered,
Its fuzzy headed hopping
Fixated each driver scoping
How best to avoid such a loving scene
Maneuvering our bulky machines
Out of the path of this little family
Watching in my rear view mirror with glee
As they made it to safety
You, however, did a different endeavor
You took such great care
You stopped and took in
Probably with a big grin
As a mated pair of ducks
Crossed your busy road
It was just your luck
In the path of these ducks
You sat contemplating
Their lifelong mating
Just before she came up behind
You saw her but not in time
To do anything about it
(I expect you shouted)
The thud and crunch
Where your cars munched
A hit, a very palpable hit!
I’m sure your stomach turned flips
Your first accident to date!
And it made you so very late
I wondered why I had to wait
Not knowing what you paid
And where you stayed delayed
I asked if the ducks made it
You never hesitated
But told me quite proudly
That they made it soundly

Friday, April 28, 2017

NaPoWriMo #37 All in the timing...

Groucho Marx,” I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

Groucho’s Intent
He looks back over his shoulder
Like a cheesecake take
But he is in a neatly tailored suit
Giving a look to rival
The pin up girls of the time
This whimsical flit
Dares to do more
Then say hello
He wants his audience
To applaud as it is his signature
Face that invites laughter
In his entrance
Yet this black and white snapshot
Is him walking away
Saying something like
“See ya later, if I see ya,
my glasses are fogging up
just thinking about it.”
He oozes the art of double speak
It is his spark
Making ladies playing opposite him
Squeak and often bark
As he chases them verbally
Around the park
Or wherever the scene is set
As it was always the same scenario
With different players
All but three or four
His was the first and last door
To open and close
Saying a signature “hello”
And long lingering adieu’s
Filled to the brim with laughter
Song and dance when he had the chance
Singing of tattooed ladies
And a Captain’s adventures
He somehow skated around the censor
He is part of the wall paper
That decorates the modern comedians
Groucho, you were one of a kind
Timing like yours is hard to find

Thursday, April 27, 2017

NaPoWriMo #37 Those electronics can get in the way....

Tiny wire squares
Stretched over frames
Or encased in a plastic holder
To strain out what is unwanted
To leave the lumps or whole fruit behind
What makes it through is smooth
Or clear pure juice
That can jell the golden notes of summer
Spread on toast there’s nothing like it
Savored on winter’s bleak bones
Electronic screens preserve the dross
The left behind thoughts of millions
Unsifted hunks of soul
Stuck clogging pipes of productiveness
Rendering the flow impossible
A backed up sewer of sludge
Caked under dirty dishes
Slowly draining the life out of you

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NaPoWriMo #36 Testing gives me time to compose...

Can you tell it is a week of testing at our school? Yep, most teachers will recognize this one.

Five Minutes and Holding
Electric currents concentrated
For this is the hold
Of being a non-participant
An outlier of norm
A thoroughbred at the gate
Ready to run hard
The leader of those bred
In a constructed race
Not for the horses
But for the owners
And their profit
More than that lone gambler
Who recognizes petite potential
Despite the sour statistics
That points the opposite direction
Circumstances are the great equalizer
That places favor in one’s corner
The chomping at the bit
To break through
And gallop gaining glory
Taking a lap in the winner’s circle
Not everyone will be there
Some go back to the barn
To race another day
But when waiting for that shot
They are all running ahead
On a clear day
No injuries
A jockey who can really ride on top
They stamp eager to go
And the bell rings
They’re off!
Instant loud bangs of lockers
Distant yells in the hallway
Raucous laugher erupting
As students bolt
Out of the gate
To their next class

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NaPoWriMo #35 Reflections from a teacher's desk

Middle School Rainbow Box
I’d like to live
In the rainbow striped box
On your desk
You’d pick up the box
With the jaunty gross grain hot pink ribbon
To swing along by your side
The box I imagine filled with
Candy treats or surprise sparkle pencils
Sunshine treats to the diligent that seek perfection
Or it could hold scarlet pink slips
Handed out the those belligerent brave ones
That bucks the system and spends afternoons
With the in-house vice squad
Where purple dreams go “poof”
And parents rail violet to
Teachers via electronic emissions
Defending their darlings against
the one time punishment
that doesn’t even go on any record
Or the box may be empty
to those that look for something there
and see nothing, but a morose mug starring
back at them out of the misty mirror
It is what the blue boys and girls imagine
as they sob in stark white tiled bathrooms
with steal accents and the hard surfaces
echo back to them a single existence
Until they imagine the walls to reflect red
and close, crumbling in on them
as they wipe down their arms
They huddle down in a ball
on the floor, clutching to their chests journals,
full of deep moss green secrets
growing from their bellies which growl
carving out space for the orange creamsicle love they long for
There is always room for this tasty treat
they imagine how good it will taste, or it did
once when they thought they were close to it
They imagine the super saturated taste to burst
through and explode into all the colors of the rainbow
Like this box that shows the spectrum
Of this beginning point in puberty and propensity,
Living between skipping, running, and sliding off,
This highway from birth to adult-like existence
Which is supposed to be our “pot of gold”
Or magic box, which only appears
when our sunshine is mixed with rain
do we see all those beautiful colors