Being dispensible

I need to

I must

Oh, no, first I should

But if I’m not

No one else can

Everyone counts on me

Did I forget to

I hate to, but if I don’t

If I don’t, who will?

I haven’t had a chance

I’ll do it myself, just as soon as

Don’t worry, I’ll get to it

We teachers take on so much,

We forget that we take it on voluntarily

And we forget it’s okay to say no. 

We caretakers and quiet leaders need care, too. 

It’s time we put ourselves first – and mean it.

Hershey’s Treasures

Two tiny pieces
Little treasure chests built of sugar and cocoa, storing creamy caramel or peanut butter.
In their shiny pink and purple wrapping
Fit perfectly in the cozy cubbyhole beneath my car’s radio.
Sharing their intimate space with extra sunglasses, they wait patiently.
For the day they’ll be needed
When their sweet aroma
And savory filling
Will satisfy Mom or Dad or child or teen
Traveling a long distance
Or running errands until dinner time is past.
How long will these little treasures last?
They will provide pleasure far behond
What their diminutive size might suggest.

The Stockpile: Ten Years Later

based on a poem written in 2002 and “inspired” by Homeland Security

Remember after the Twin Towers crashed?
Remember the panic, the advice
from government leaders
to prepare for anything, everything
by buying

Bottled water, analgesics, thermometers,
Batteries for the flashlights and radios,
And emergency rations, enough to last six weeks or more.

Nuclear Power Plants are nearby,

Viruses are everywhere, and
Quarantine is inevitable.

But now —

Osama bin Laden is dead and his organization
Our economy is in recession, and cash flow is very tight.
Think about it.
Closets packed with canned food,
Over-the-counter meds,
And cases of bottled water?

Shop, yes. And replenish the woodpile, too.
But I’ll buy a bottle of wine
A good book,
Cheese and crackers.
Seeds and seedlings for my garden,

Not stockpiles of panic.
We’ll cozy up by the fireplace,
In our favorite blankets and quilts,
To enjoy each other,
And take care of our family.

We’ll continue living our lives.
Common sense, love and caring,
and family
Make survival after any disaster

Beauty in simplicity

My garden isn’t lovely
in the conventional sense.
It is home to vegetables, not flowers.

Shades of green
With an occasional spot of color:
Golden squash blossom, yellow bean, orange and red tomatoes

But the real beauty
Among the deep green of the spinach or the deep rich brown of the composted soil
Is hearing my kids call out, with complete honesty,

“Mom’s playing in the dirt again!”

Where I’m From

(inspired by a post at The Little Egg Farm)

I’m from city sidewalks, the kind that need shoveling in winter and grow hot enough to blister bare feet in summer.

I’m from four distinct seasons. I’m from vehicles with heat and air-conditioning, in a climate where both need to be in working order.

I’m from trees of all sizes, giving shade in summer, giving leaves in autumn and if we’re lucky, maple sap for sugar and syrup in spring. I’m from climbing thick branches, seeing old behemoths fall in storms to become fuel for the fireplace around which we gather.

I’m from snowmen, snow angels, and dangling icicles, spreading rock salt and litter and sand when walking becomes precarious. I’m from mittens and boots, gloves and scarves, lined jackets thick enough to withstand any wind.

I’m from earth such rich, dark brown it’s almost black, grass so very green when it rains, and flowers of every hue; fresh vegetables in August, rhubarb from the freezer in January, and homegrown basil and thyme in pots on the piano all year round.

I’m from chalkboards, pencils, and multi-colored pens. I’m from reusing papers and copying half sheets on the back of old pages. I’m from books to read, stories to write, experiments to explore.

I’m from the arts, music, drama, storytelling, and the multitudes of venues for self-expression.

I’m from song and dance, stage and scenery, prose and poetry. I’m from rhythm and rhyme, andante to allegro, opera to jazz, vocal to orchestral to symphonic brass.

I’m from the land of Green and Gold, a home with at least one headpiece made of “cheese,” and Sunday afternoons spent with the big screen TV tuned to Lambeau Leaps at the not-so Frozen Tundra.

I’m from a homeland where hearing, seeing, and neurotypical development are never taken for granted.

I’m from a land where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average. Wait – strike that, it’s one state to the west of mine.

But I am from a changing and evolving local culture, a place where family counts, a neighborhood where neighbors share their cookies and coffee. It’s a great place to visit, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

I Eat Pizza (the dreaded IEP)

Haiku Friday

IEP Season
Fighting for what’s right
In education.

Asperger’s Syndrome
Doesn’t doesn’t make
Anything come easily.

Blindness means Braille books
And talking calculators
But Asperger’s – What?

Here we go again
On the roller coaster ride
Of an IEP.

Dreams of a Mother

I dream that differences will be valued, not disdained.
Eye color, hair color, body shapes, and skin shades will be appreciated for their beauty and variety.
Cultural traditions will not disappear, but will thrive and grow together into a rich and fascinating sharing of knowledge and beliefs.
I dream that blindness will be merely a different way of seeing, and deafness impair only the quantity, not the quality of the language ‘heard’.
Children will matter because they own the future. Their education, academic and social, will become and remain of utmost importance.
Mediators and peacemakers will be recognized as the strongest leaders.
Questions will come from curiosity, not ignorance, and the answers will breed respect.
Knowing each other, knowing ourselves, will lead to knowing that fights and conflicts, wars of all kinds, can cease to be of value.

MOMocrats: Dreams of a Mother

Haiku with apologies to Weird Al

I slaved by the stove
Creating a balanced meal
Eat it, just eat it.

Lean meat and veggies
Put a salad on the side
Don’t want Leftovers.

New recipes stink.
If you don’t like it today
Eat it tomorrow.