Tuesday, October 12, 2010

His and Hers

Next time you are driving through our small, quiet town you might notice something a bit disturbing. You may have to look twice, maybe three times, but I assure you, your eyes are not deceiving you. Don't be frightened. It was only a matter of time before it happened. Yes, that is Larry and I peddling through town on our matching bikes.

We have been talking about getting bikes ever since we moved here. It is the perfect bike riding town. There is very little traffic in our neighborhood and we live just a short ride from the park. We could just imagine our family of five cruising through the streets together. We were not actively looking for matching bikes. Actually, I had purchased a bike already when we went to Sears to see what they had for Larry. But when we walked into the store and saw the beauty of the two Schwinn's standing side by side my mind was made up. We both had to have those bikes. We were going to officially become the dorkiest couple in town.

The bikes don't match exactly. Larry's is black and white and mine is pink and white. But they both have a very distinctive style. You can certainly tell that they are a pair. So when you do drive through and see us be sure to give us a wave. And please don't laugh too much!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wow. Just wow.

Wednesdays are my days to volunteer in Natalie's first grade classroom. I'm in there from 12:00 to 1:30 and in that short time I learn more about Natalie's school, her teacher, her friends, and what she is learning then I EVER do when I ask the standard "how was school today?" question every afternoon when I pick her up. Here is a sample of what I learned today:

1. When Natalie came home the first week of school and made the grand statement that everyone had a pair of Skechers Twinkle Toes she wasn't exaggerating by much. Just in Natalie's class alone there were three girls wearing them. That doesn't sound like much until you realize there are only seven girls in her class. And two of the girls NOT wearing Twinkle Toes were wearing a different style of Skechers (including my daughter).

2. Teachers have the hardest job in the world. Even when there are only twelve kids it can be completely overwhelming. It is so hard to balance the classroom so the more advanced students are not bored and the not-so-advanced students aren't completely lost. On top of all that there is the discipline, the praise, the questions, the answers, the complaining, the random singing (yes, random singing), the crying, the protesting, the out and out hostility, and the time management.

3. Teachers have the best job in the world. When you get past all that other stuff it really is fantastic to see that light bulb go off over a kids head and you know that they are finally getting it. When they are having trouble with a problem or a work sheet or life in general and something you say, or a piece of advice you give, makes things better or easier for them it is the best feeling. I especially like the hugs.

4. It is odd to be called Mrs. Roat. Just odd.

5. Kids will ask questions that they totally know the answers to. Maybe to get some attention? Maybe to see just how much you are willing to do for them rather then them doing it themselves? Maybe just to hear themselves talk?

6. Having to sit two extra minutes in silence before you can line up for recess because you got especially rowdy is TORTURE for six and seven year olds.

7. Natalie's teacher is awesome. She is young and kind and sweet, but can also turn it around and make a kid behave. She is just the kind of teacher I liked having and wanted Natalie to have.

8. I am completely at peace with my decision to send her to this new school. All summer I fretted and worried that it wasn't the best choice. Now I couldn't be happier. It is a great school with a great building and great resources. The staff is caring and involved (as I was walking down the hall the principal stopped me to ask if I knew I had one of the pickiest eaters in the school. How many principals know that about individual students, and care enough to stop the parent to tell them.) I love the small town feel. The everyone-knows-everyone vibe. It is perfect for our family.

I love volunteering in Nat's class. I can't wait to see what I learn next week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Calm

I'm sitting alone in my living room, basking in the glow of the computer screen and the quiet of my house. It's not silent. I can hear the low hum of the TV that Larry is watching in the basement. I can hear the rhythmic tapping of the ceiling fan as it lazily stirs the air. Every now and then I can hear one of the girls whispering a song or a story, anything to keep themselves awake just a little bit longer. I can hear the dogs toenails clicking across the hard wood floor of the dining room, on a mission to find any lingering morsels of dinner that might have fallen from a small hand and been missed by the broom. I don't mind listening to these sounds. The sounds of another day coming to an end. Sleep will come soon to my babies and I will go in and tug the covers just a little higher on their chests. I will tiptoe out of their bedrooms and join Larry downstairs to relax and enjoy some time to ourselves. This might be the most beautiful moment of every day. My time. My calm.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sister Time

More often than not, when I find all three of the girls huddled together they are concocting some sort of evil plan to annoy/anger/exasperate me. And then there are times like this. Times when I find them all together on Vanessa's bed sharing some sister time and a book. Natalie is at the wonderful stage where she is able to read and is so excited to share it that reading a Dora book to her little sisters is fun. When I walked in on this private moment it made my heart melt. My hope is that the girls always want to spend time together, but I realize that as they get older and other factors come into play (hello friends and boys and talking on the phone to those friends and boys) times like these may happen less and less. So we will enjoy them while they last and someday down the road maybe they will remember how special it was to snuggle together and share a book.