May 23, 2016

Open The Sky

I’ve decided to move my Monday/Wednesday runs to Tuesday/Thursday. Exciting news right? I know you were dying for this information so you could carry on with your week. The change of the schedule was not the point of this introduction. The following scene in the kitchen around 6:00pm which was made possible by this timetable shift.

Start scene:

A father and daughter excitedly unpack the necessary ingredients to make dinner- frozen soy nuggets, pasta with tomato sauce, broccoli, and red pepper. The girl chooses the first song and in a effort to please the dad starts with Michael Jackson’s 1990’s classic Do you Remember.

Daughter- You like this song right? See. I used my song choice for you.

Father- Great choice.

He turns it up and there is a vibrant festive mood in the kitchen. It doesn’t feel like a routine tired Monday night. They are alone together and happy to be working on a shared task. The girl lights the stove and starts the water boiling. The father cuts up the broccoli and red peppers.

There is dancing. Alone and together.

The father thinks about how he should cook more often with her. Next she plays a One Direction song and as he watches her dance about the kitchen, the father is saddened and excited to see her so grown up. He remembers her as a baby and the nights he held her in her room listening to Jack Johnson sing Ben Harper songs. He remembers the overwhelming sense of joy she emanated as a baby when he smelled her hair and kissed her gently in the darkness. How her presence changed his life forever and allowed him to finally let go of so much anger and pain and just be himself. He owes the person he is to the person she has always been. And now, in this kitchen she looks like a young women. A tween. A teen. A confident queen.

She does this weird Spanish dance with eyes low and fingers snapping imaginary castanets.

Father- Where did you learn that dance?

Daughter- I don’t know. It just felt right.

She smiles coyly and the father realizes that this phase in her childhood is rapidly changing. She is still his little girl, but he realizes that he needs to talk with her more and spend time exploring ideas with her and less time hyper-parenting and setting up boundaries. They listen to The Who and Kelly Clarkson. Singing out loud…Since you’ve been gone and teenage wasteland.

Parenting is about creating a childhood the adult version of your children want to revisit. It is about planting experiences that will blossom into memories. Sometimes, the simplest seeds, like making dinner with music and dancing, will grow into the mightiest trees.

Marin bought the girls some plain notebooks today and Skye turned hers into a book of poems. She said that they are learning about poetry in school and she is ready to be a poet. Another big thank you Gillian. After scrawling the word powems on the cover, she proceeded to crank out a few quick rhymes: Skunk on Trunk. Dog on a Log. Cat on A Bat. I’m a Flower Look At Me and Ice Cream Ice Cream, Quick Quick. She spent the next few minutes reading her verse to her dolls.

It was a thing of beauty. A moment of poetry.

Getting back in the swing of things at school was not easy today. My body and mind are still floating under the sun in Tioman. I wish there was a way we could teach in the wilderness all year and come back to campus once a year to…..well, I don’t know what we would do, but I wish we could teach kids in nature more often than we do.

There are so many things that need to get done in the next few weeks (22 school days) but I am pretending that it will all happen without too much anxiety and stress on my part. I know that I should start to panic and get things done, starting tonight. But it is Monday, I just got back from a trip and Game of Thrones is not going to watch itself. So tonight will not be the night I start my mentor comments or give some feedback on a formative assessment I sent out last week. It will happen this week, it has to, probably tomorrow night, but tonight is begging for a slow transition from island life.

Played a lot of guitar after school today. Working up a batch of songs I will be playing in a few weeks. I’ll be opening for Scott Macdonald at the Little Island Brewing Company. Details forthcoming and needless to say I am a bit nervous. I haven’t performed in a while and there is a chance there could be a decent crowd from school. I am excited about this batch of tunes. Eclectic and diverse for sure and they feel good to play.

I’m reading some books about The Big Lebowski given to me by Katie Day and they are keeping my attention, but I am on the hunt for some “rock-my-world” fiction for the summer. Any suggestions would be welcome. I cannot wait for the Joshua Mohr memoir. Anything else out there that I should get my hands on?

tore open the sky tonight.
everything’s a buzz

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