Svea, practicing her Zombie smile.
Henry, new haircut and hoodie.
Corinne: I found Daddy's sunglasses and my high heels that leave open-wound blisters on my pinky toes. That is also a plastic cell phone in my hand. What is this world coming to.
I decided to take a Sabbath. Plan a Spa Day, you know.
So I picked a class at the YMCA. Any class I wanted that was from 9a-10a. Living large, people.
It was an hour-long Zumba class and I made it for 30 minutes. Then I found an empty room to do yoga. Because that's how I roll.
Then I got a haircut. By someone not related to me.
In the middle of the haircut, I remembered that I am supposed to teach Junior Achievement to second graders in 40 minutes. And I haven't read the lesson plan.
That new knowledge totally messed my shampoo-cut-and-style buzz.
I raced home to get the JA packet, change YMCA clothes and made it to the class after I realized that I left the planning book in the classroom the week before, so I can't even fake plan.
I show up and have no control over the class.
Svea eventually offers me suggestions, like clap 5 times or count backwards from 5, to help control the talking.
These are Ms. Foster's magic tricks. Except when she does them, they WORK.
Svea eventually climbed under her own desk because there was too much talking. I am not kidding.
I was failing miserably.
We talked about the cycle of money and how important it is for the community for the money to move.
There is even a CD provided with a rap song.
Of course we have to stop the Lesson Plan and have a miniature dance party.
And here's where the class changes.
Kindergarten and First Grade = dance with abandon.
Second Grade = Half the class can't take it; Half the class drop butt and go at the beat.
Third Grade = Let me fix my bangs and pull my skinny jeans up first. Then I'll just look at everyone else so I can make sure I am being like everyone else.
Pretty much, all the Second Graders want to do is play charades since we have been talking about jobs and money and banks and volunteering and community and rental spots and voting, naturally.
We are filling out JA completion certificates, and they are thinking of jobs to act out.
Most boys wanted to do a job that required holding a gun or running large construction equipment.
Most girls wanted to be veterinarians, teachers or artists.
One girl needed 6 volunteers and 10 minutes to plan her Charade Moment and then she did not even let her 6 volunteers act like animals...since she wanted to be a vet. She just went up and down the line patting their heads while they sat on the floor. Whatever.
One girl was standing in my way and I said, "Excuse me, Madame."
And she said, "I'm not ADAM," and stomped off.
One boy said, "I liked the JA class we did when we voted on the rental space? I wanted the Animal Shelter? Not the Toy Store or Skate Park? You can get injured at the Skate Park?"
One boy said, "I have something to say about banks! And money!"
But he never shared what that was.
One boy got mad that the girls chose other girls as their volunteers for charades. He said, "I NEVER get a turn."
At which point another boy turned to me and said, "I'm NEVER going to be a volunteer."
So I close the JA session feeling mixed about my success...wondering why we don't pay Ms. Foster more money...and I get through my afternoon routine with snacks and pick-ups and long lines and wardrobe changes and hair crises and then we get to church.
I see my favorite 4th grader who is always awesome and I say, "How are you?"
She says, "AWESOME! How are you?"
I say, "Awesome."
She says, "I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!?"
Then she walks away.
I wish I could absorb her positive vibe. I am so confused.
This was all a few hours of yesterday. Today, Svea got off the afternoon bus carrying a huge card. When she landed in the yard, tackling Corinne in a hug, I tried to freeze the moment in my brain as well as see what the large paper was about.
It was this:
I think I will save this forever.
Those Second Graders love me with all my failures and lack-of-planning and shortcomings.
What grace, what love.
I'll take it.
I know, right?!?