Category Archives: Gratefulness

Rock ‘n roll

Sitting on the floor,  toys strewn about,  in a house not my own.

I was with my teaching partner, MT, when the Earth decided to move.  MT and I only rarely do home visits together, but this past  Tuesday, we were sitting on the concrete slab floor of subsidized housing assessing a little boy’s developmental progress.

 My world was decidedly rocked.

In a moment, everything before me turned in to visual waves.  The curtains, the TV, the rug became flowing linear lines that shimmered like waves on a Spectrograph.  I asked MT if she saw it.  “What? See what?” she said.  The movement suddenly changed.  I revised and asked MT if she felt it.   MT paused and our eyes met.   Her look of concern acknowledged that something was not quite right.   We both waited to see what would happen next.

The motion intensified and then suddenly stopped.  We quickly and reassuringly dismissed it, “Maybe, the neighbor was playing music with the bass too high”.  But the dismissal did not fit.

My cell phone started ringing.  It was my daughter from Virginia calling.  “Did you feel the Earthquake up there?” she said, “It rocked our office building, but everyone is all right.”  Fear and relief claimed my consciousness at the same time.  An Earthquake.   All was well but could have been worse.

The little boy we were assessing suddenly began to cry.  His response to the environmental shift was pure and unedited.  MT reached for her phone and called her mother to check on her son.   We left the visit a bit shaky feeling decidedly off-balance. We called the office and family and friends.  It was jarring to learn that some people had not felt the quake at all.

That Tuesday evening, I remained uneasy and unsettled by my earthquake experience. I was unable to roll with the events of the day.  I thought about the distance that separates me from my daughter especially when thinking about what might’ve happened.  Other recent earthquakes kept coming to mind.  My daughter had known a college friend living in Japan when the quake hit there.

Mostly, I thought about Fate and how it sets people together or apart at critical moments in life.  For the most part, we don’t get to choose.   I wondered, what if  this afternoon had been the last of my life.  I considered my company at the time of the quake, MT and a 2-year-old toddler named  NG.

MT is gifted at being a teacher, a mother and my friend. We most always enjoy the toddlers and the families we visit.   Today had been no exception.  NG had made his silly “Thinker” face.  His favorite since it always makes the grownups laugh.    MT and I smile and laugh and sing with our students.  We really do have some pretty fine play skills.   That thought made me smile as did the next  . . . It would have been okay with me to leave this plane in such fine company.

Sitting on the floor,  toys strewn around,  in a house not my own… with my teaching partner, MT.    I would’ve been honored to be in such good company.

……Just wanted to let you know MT


Seasonal Gifts

The transition from summer to fall has always been a difficult one for me.  I mourn the loss of summer’s gifts. Beach weather,  bare feet in sandals,  berry picking with friends,  billowy linen shirts, blooming flowers and  long summer evenings are all greatly missed.  And I am especially wistful when a walk to the town green  finds my favorite fountain turned off till next spring.

.                                 very wistful …..

I am not exactly sure why a brief melancholy sets in. Maybe it’s a carryover from childhood, when this particular change of season signaled the start of restless days in school.

I don’t mean to whine or complain.  My Fall blues do not last.  And it’s not that I don’t recognize the lovely gifts of Fall,  my daughter was born in the Fall.  In fact once Fall is in full swing….right about now…..I start to  really enjoy the season.

Most people enjoy the Fall in its full parade of color.  But I start to enjoy it when the colors are more yellow than red  and when there are more leaves on the ground than on the trees.  It’s then that I can view the beautiful and amazing  architecture of  trees.  In kindergarten my daughter  described it as seeing the “bones of the tree”.  I couldn’t have said it better.

 

All day today I kept noticing  how beautiful the trees were looking.  In New England the trees have shed most of their more flashy Fall wardrobe.   However, the sun sitting low in the  early evening sky  highlights  their late-Fall charms.

My daughter’s birthday is right around the corner.  And predictably, Fall feels comfortable again, just like it does every year at this time.

…. Maybe it’s a carryover from motherhood, when the birth of my daughter signaled a new season in my life.  Today, I am gratefully reminded that each season has its gifts.

Life is fine,

Sarah


First Words

First words can be challenging or hard to find,  but they are always exciting.  I speak with some authority on this matter.  I’m a speech-language pathologist who works (mostly plays) with young children and often helps them find their first words. However, today is the day for me to find my first words. 

My decision to write my first post on this day is for one reason only.  C.F. used his first words with me today.  C.F. is a toddler I’ve known for over a year.  C.F. has only ever used a handful of single words and only with his mother.  He has not said words in the presence of his father, his brother and certainly not  me.

 But today, was a special day, a definitively “blue sky” kind of day or even a “blue sky with rainbow”  kind of day.  C.F. said 12 words to me today!   So in honor of C.F.’s sharing his words with me, I am taking a first step in sharing mine. 

blue sky with rainbow

                                                                          Life is fine,

 Sarah