I am finally sitting down to blog and am having one of those moments where I have so much to do -- so much to tell you -- that I don't even know where to start. So, I'm going to be all over the place here, and please bear with me.
First of all -- Mick just came in the room and told me that Adrian Peterson's son just died. He was essentially beaten to death by another man. Now, two minutes ago when I sat down to write this, I had no intention of ranting about anything. But this is bothering me. Until I had kids, I never understood anything about -- or had any tolerance for -- shaken babies and parents who couldn't be parents. But after two infants, I "understood" -- to use the term loosely -- how it could happen. The combination of lack of sleep and lack of control and an inability to communicate, and I could "see" how a person could have that primal switch flip and lose it. By the grace of God, we were not raised that way, that behavior was not what was modeled for us, we are educated enough to know that we can hit a point of pseudo-rage and know we need to back away -- and how to back away, and how to cool off. And we're not single parents trying to do it all on our own. But I can, in a very loose sense, understand frustrations and so forth. I suppose I can understand the triggers and circumstances that could allow for someone to lose it, even if I've never been there. And let me be clear: I AM NOT DEFENDING IT. I am merely saying that I can see how a person not equipped to handle that perfect storm of stress could lose control.
But a two-year-old? A two-year-old is not an infant. I think of WHM, who's barely four, and who is so tiny in every way and yet definitely still a little person -- and I do. not. understand. A two-year-old can walk and talk (at least a little) and is still so helpless! So fragile! So innocent and defenseless.
So I am sitting here, and I don't know Adrian Peterson, and there are surely kids all over the place who are sick and dying, but my heart is broken. Little guy, I will be praying for you tonight. You didn't deserve that fate. And Adrian Peterson, you, too. I can't imagine your heartbreak.
Now, while I'm on that subject, I may as well stick with the sad. My grandmother, who is 99, had a stroke two weeks ago. Although she has sort-of recovered, things don't look good. She's 99, and she's had a long, healthy, good life -- and she has spent nearly 20 years without my grandfather. I don't harbor some naive view that things will get better. But at the same time, I look at my parents and cannot imagine one without the other. And I look and Mick and I think the same thing. It's a lonely life to spend 20 years without your husband, with grown kids living far away. So, in some weird way, I am excited for my grandmother. She's earned this. I'm glad that it won't be long before she gets to be with Grandpa again. Remember above, when I said hate wasn't what was modeled for us? My grandparents were married over 50 years. My grandfather bought my grandmother this (hideous, we all thought) gold and turquoise (?) pendant of love-birds on a swing, and she wore it every day. I don't know what they were like with my dad and Aunt growing up, but I know that what I saw as a kid was two people who adored each other. And I adored them. I am not ready for my grandmother to go, but I realize -- or so I tell myself -- it's imminent. And in my own little way, I'm happy for Grandma. Grandpa's waiting, and I bet he's humming a little song just loud enough to make everyone else a bit crazy, cracking his gum, and getting pretty impatient right about now. I'm focusing on the happy.
Ugh. Have to wipe some tears away.
In the meantime, while THAT's been happening in my world, I've been busier at work than I have ever been anywhere, ever. It's a strange thing to explain, and harder still to explain it without seeming like I am complaining. And while I have some complaints, there are also some good things. So, I will save all that for another day, when I can articulate it all a little better.
Today, however, was a professional work day, and for the first time in ages, I have to say it was both useful and cool. We have a new (interim) principal, and we followed a format where teachers and staff hosted workshops and people got to attend three of their choosing. I presented two different workshops. The first I did with my "work bff" Victoria, and we had a pretty great session about Interactive Student Notebooks and Pinterest. Later in the day, I presented a session about the HoverCam. If you don't know what a HoverCam is (and why would you, really?!), it's a document camera. Remember overhead projectors, with the box and the mirror and the big arm and the bulbs that died? This is an uber-high-tech version of that; it's a video camera, essentially, that runs through your computer and displays in real time.
I'm going to post another post with the video I made for today's session.... other than the fact that my voice is crazy whiny in it, I'd love your thoughts.
And ... that's about it. I barely scratched the surface of all the news I need to share, but I'm going to commit to coming back and writing more this weekend.
p.s. We made the brunswick stew from last month's cooking club selection. I foolishly decided to double the recipe. I'll post about the recipe separately, but let me say: we'll be eating stew for a while! :)