Saturday, February 02, 2013

When things play out similar to how they are in your imagination...

I was driving to the local store today to buy something glamorous...yep, toilet paper, and trying to complete the errand before our guests arrived. I was driving solo, listening to music and thinking away. Thinking of all the bits of wonder and magic that I have been hearing lately.

"Thinking is stabilizing." 

A perfect truth.  It is also empowering, especially when that which you are thinking somehow plays out right before your very eyes.  This week was filled with time spent with friends, old and new. An ending to January and the holiday season that overflowed with family time.  Family and friends, oh how I cherish both.  I can indeed be a bit of a hermit and become engulfed with the busy of our little life here on the Big Brown Farm and relish in the joys of it, but this week was a beautiful reminder of how glorious friendships are.

"If I really want to become good at something, I look to people who are experts at those things and watch closely.  What do they do? What tools do they use? and so on..."

It all began Tuesday with a visit from a rowing friend and her husband. The night before their arrival, the kids helped me scurry around and swoop away piles of costumes, random bits of creations and I don't even know what.  Unearthing benches and seating to welcome our friends. Mason organized the art shelf all on his own, taking pride in our space.  I cannot seem to figure out how to keep a clutter-free, clean home.  In my brain it works, but in reality, hmmm....maybe I need to be around some sort of expert.  To know me, is to know there will probably be piles of stuff swooped away into my room to make room for you when you come over.  I sometimes feel like "when I get things clean we can have people over".  I have given up on this as I have discovered I would never have anyone over while waiting, and it isn't worth missing out on.

Mysterious discoveries are the best
Tuesday evening was a bit of magic.  An awakening of sorts. A remembrance of times past.  A reminder of the time in my life when I began to become a stronger me.  Physically, academically, emotionally, socially.  A time when I was surrounded by strong women and men. When you are surrounded by strength you discover that even the strongest of people (physically) still have doubts and uncertainties, but they have strength in numbers. That power and sense that you can conquer fears and doubts in many forms.

Today as I work toward different goals, hopes, and dreams, many of the things I learned from that time still empower me today.  Their look is different, but the drive is the same.  I discover that although I must work to better myself, strengthen myself, I need my team.  I need to continue to surround myself with people that help push me to become the most powerful me I can be.  Sometimes it takes a visit from your friend to help you realize that what you do is the bit of magic that you were originally drawn to.

"You learn about cool things and share them with kids."

"Yeah, when I think about it, I learned the most from really cool teachers."

Didn't we all? Some of those teachers might not have had that official title, but it is when we learn the most. Those people that venture into our life and help us become better people for knowing them.  The people you are willing to let see the piles of mess in your room because the time you spend with them is more important than them knowing you don't really have everything as together as you wish.

"It really helps to have some people around who encourage you to be the best person you can be. Thank you."

Friday I chose to paint. I started my lesson telling the kids how I LOVE to paint.  I shared how an art teacher once taught me the importance of changing how we create art.  Most start with forms and then add color.  He challenged us to start with color and then create forms. As I taught my students, and took on the craziness of bringing paint out with 30 eager 4th graders, I unlocked something powerful. Just as the room was about to erupt into chaos, I successfully swooped away tools and kids relished in the fact that their hands were covered in paint. "Who knew art could be SO fun!?!" "Art is so fun with YOU!" "Who knew you could mix so many colors with paint?" "This was more fun that a field trip!!!!"  My heart soared and ached at the same time.  How is it that 4th graders are just discovering this?  Better late than never.  It was so telling of what I must bring.

We ended the day creating a collection of all the things we love about coming to school.  These ideas will be on our class banner, "erupting" from our painted collage volcano.  The class chose the name at the beginning of the year.  The Erupting Volcanoes, because we are erupting with ideas they told me.  I fell in love with that analogy.  I told them Friday that I loved it because it is how I feel most of the time. If only there was enough time to enact all the ideas I have. I suppose we just have to become more clever with how we use our time.  Mason counted all the ideas after school and there were 42 on the list.  I reread it and's true.  I get learn about cool things and share them with kids.  It's a pretty cool gig.

That night we had dinner with friends and today we welcomed more friends into our home - inside and out.  Our kids played and we shared stories.  The joy they have is contagious and it makes me happy to know they are around at Ellie's school when I can't always be there. The piles in my room will still be there tomorrow, but the fun memories we are creating overshadow them for sure.