xmlns:og>='http://ogp.me/ns#'> Pedals & Pencils: February 2014

February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday #104

This week I'm thankful for...
  • Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.  'Nuff said.
  • the Olympic ice skating gala
  • the French ice dancers who skated the final dance from Dirty Dancing.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
  • slow dancing with The Hubs
  • medical insurance
  • strawberry & spinach salads
  • the celebration of Russian artists, writers and dancers at the Olympic closing ceremonies
  • these haunting and beautiful photos of the remnants of the 1984 Winter Olympics stadium in Sarajevo
  • taking a half day off to visit a friend
  • eating on the patio
  • Tagalongs, the most delicious Girl Scout cookie ever.  Your argument is invalid.
  • Andrew Solomon's hopeful, yet realistic, TED talk about living with depression.  It's worth so much more than the half hour it takes to watch it.

February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday #103

Photo courtesy of gailweithers.wordpress.com

This week I'm thankful for...
  • free frozen yogurt
  • the rainbow painting one of my little ones gave me
  • the little one who stopped at the end of the day just to tell me, "Thank you for teaching me, Mrs. McCauley."
  • the film Rising From the Ashes
  • Naomi Shihab Nye's poem Kindness
  • Lori Gard's article What Students Remember Most About Teachers
  • waking to the sound of rain
  • the smell of rain
  • Edith, my new Ugandan friend, who lives right here in my town
  • the inspiring athletes of the winter Olympics, specifically the ice dancers, the short track speed skaters, the curlers and the snowboard cross racers.
  • explaining the winter Olympics to my youngest son in Uganda
  • catching up with old friends
  • Valentine's Day with my little ones
  • homemade cheesecake
  • Glide floss
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • silly dancing with The Hubs

February 11, 2014

He Used To

My heart is heavy tonight.  Within the last month, two of my former students have lost their fathers.  There is no grief so searing as a little girl losing her father too soon.  The latest loss leaves me hollowed out.  This father was a great man, the kind of man who all the children gravitated to because of his gentle way.

I am locked in grief.  For his wife.  For his son.  For his darling daughter.  For everyone who knew him.  It is a piercing loss and all I can do is blink back tears and write.

He Used To

He used to walk her to class each morning,
Hug her tight,
Kiss her freckled nose with kindness.

He used to smile at her,
The corners of his eyes crinkled with happiness,
Her eyes mirrors of his youth.

He used to adjust her helmet strap,
Remind her to hold on tight,
All at once holding onto his little girl,
All at once letting her go.

He used to be able to kick free from the deep,
To push toward light,
Toward air,
Toward truth,
Toward life.

He used to look into her adoring eyes,
Know her love was real,
Know he was worthy of being loved.

Then he stopped knowing
Her freckles,
How to hold on tight,
How to kick to the surface,
How to quell the lies with truth,
That he was worthy,
That he was loved,
That love was real.

I used to know that man.
Now there is only his freckled girl and the
Beautifully raw memories of 
Who he used to be.

image courtesy of weheartit.com

February 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday #102

image courtesy of okdani.com

This week I'm thankful for...
  • the 7th grade Vigilantes of Kindness at my school
  • my fellow teachers
  • leftover pizza
  • The Hubs who takes care of me when I'm sick
  • fresh pajamas
  • my little ones
  • a clean haircut
  • Swedish Fish
  • singing with The Hubs in the bathroom in the mornings