Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Slice: Not much to say

I am tired.  End-of-school-year, deadlines-approaching-fast tired.  Not-sure-what-to-write-about-today tired.

I stopped writing after that last sentence to change into my pajamas.  Before 7pm.

It's not that I don't have tons of thoughts running through my head.  Most of them involve the task at hand--library inventory--and the time at hand--the last days of school.  

I want to focus on these last days with students and teachers, make connections to end the year on a high note and make them happy to return to the library in August.  

But I'm focused instead on cataloging and inventory and chasing down books and listening to excuses for lost items and tying up financial loose ends and making plans for next year and figuring out summer professional development and worrying about the annual report and attending meetings and...and...and feeling out of the loop once again.

Tomorrow morning, after managing broadcast, I'm going to help line up third and fourth graders in alphabetical order by their last names to prepare them for their awards ceremony.  For a few minutes, I will talk with them, laugh with them, tell them to bring their voices down to a dull roar.  Enjoy their presence in the library.

I'll try not to let the "ands" get the better of me for the next two days.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Slice: Time flies

Nine days ago, my firstborn graduated from college.

Last year, she studied abroad in Japan, taking classes and interning for her media degree.

Three years ago, she took her first trip to Japan, and fell in love with the country and the language.

Four years ago, she was anxiously deciding on which of the eight colleges that accepted her application she should attend.

Eight years ago, she began her high school marching band career, playing percussion in the pit.

Nine years ago, she made district level honors playing marimba.

Eleven years ago, she fought to become a percussionist.

Fifteen years ago, she was the smallest player on her coach-pitch T-ball team, and whacking 'em past the baselines.

Sixteen years ago, she started kindergarten in bobby socks and a dutch bob haircut, already reading.

Twenty years ago, she was enrolled in our region's infant-parent program, working to remediate a speech delay.

Twenty-one years ago, she attended her first NICU reunion.

Twenty-two years ago, she had just gotten off her apnea monitor and meds to keep her breathing while she slept.

Almost twenty-three years ago, she arrived a full trimester early, weighing less than a kilogram.  Her head was the size of a tennis ball, her eyes were fused shut, she had no fingernails or toenails.  We were told she had a fifty-percent chance of surviving the first twenty-four hours.

Well played, college graduate. We couldn't be prouder of our miracle girl. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday Slice: Happy birth-day to me

My youngest turned eighteen yesterday.  

I almost forgot our tradition, remembering just before I tucked in for the night.  I called him into my bedroom, and told him the story of his birth.  How it started the night before, with epigastric pains that I thought were due to the pepperoni pizza his sister and I had delivered to his night-shift-working father for dinner.  The pains were still there in the wee hours of the morning, and led to contractions which led to the hospital phone call answered by the same delivery nurse who took care of me almost five years before.  His father didn't believe I was in true labor yet, so we dressed the half-asleep four-and-a-half year old and took her to the hospital with us, but left the bags behind.  

The doctors didn't believe I would have the baby that day, either.  They gave me an IV, treated the stomach pain, and had me walk the floor for a bit.  Two hours later, they decided that yes, I'd be having a baby soon.  My husband went home to collect the bags and call my father, and I settled in for a day of labor.

The details became very medical after that point.  My epigastric pain turned out to be my overreacting liver due to HELLP syndrome.  There was a flurry of activity as the doctor and nurses prepared to speed up the delivery of my child and keep me alive in the process.

Which they obviously did, and did well.  There I was, in my own bed last night, recounting the details to my now-eighteen-year-old son. 

It will be a week bookended by birth stories.  My firstborn graduates from college this coming Sunday.  A great accomplishment, but not uncommon, until you consider that she weighed less than a kilogram at birth.  I'll be thinking of that as she gets her degree, and as we address a graduation announcement to her neonatal unit.  One more preemie that made it, thriving because of their care.

This week following Mother's Day, I am grateful for doctors and nurses who do their work, and do it well.  Very, very grateful, indeed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday Slice: Viorst speaks my mind

I gave myself a gift for my fiftieth birthday in March--Forever Fifty and other negotiations, a book of poetry by Judith Viorst. I started reading it in April in honor of National Poetry Month.  It's a slim volume, only 61 pages long.  My original intention was to sit and read it in one sitting.  I've found that I can't do that.

The poems appear frivolous at first, witty lines about the woes and wisdom of a woman in her fifties. There's a subplot lurking beneath the wit--serious commentary on this odd stage in life when we're no longer young but don't have one foot in the grave, either.

So I savor each poem one at a time, usually before bed.  I've stopped at the third from the last entry, stuck on one line, wanting to sort it out for myself, this feeling I've had since my thirties now found so eloquently stated on page 57:

"And when did we decide "mature" meant settling for a spoonful
    when what we all still crave is the whole plateful?"

The night of my fiftieth birthday.