Friday, June 06, 2008

Mom's last day and Dad's birthday!

I went with Mom to work June 3. The school day began with the students filing in and listening to announcements. Then they sang and danced to a song from High School Musical. Mom taught a few lessons, and then it was time for the students to go to a talent show. Mom placed me at the back of the line, and I soon figured out why. Right in front of me were a couple of mischievous boys. I informed them that I, too, was a teacher. “Your name tag says ‘Visitor,’” one boy replied. I told him I was a teacher at another school, and gave him my teacher look. That convinced him more than any words ever could.

One of Mom’s students was a talented dancer, and another sang beautifully. I’ve never seen a third grader with such stage presence, and I made her day when I told her so. At lunch, the students all called mom and I for help opening oranges and cartons of milk. “Ms. Kiley! Mrs. Kiley!” They found mother-daughter teachers with the same name quite amusing. After lunch I sat down and drew pictures with them, and several of them gave me pictures to take home.

After they were all gone for the day, I began packing up Mom’s room. Next year, she’ll be teaching second grade, so she needed to trade books and supporting materials. I pushed Mom a little harder than she’s used to. Usually, she’s still packing up her room weeks into summer vacation. While she was turning in her paperwork, I took on the most daunting task: sorting her classroom library into its proper genres. (It’s hard to convince children to put books back where they found them.)

Mom kept telling me to stop because we were leaving. I would agree, but the moment she was stepped away, I started again. The other teachers were jealous of her assistant. (Me, too! The last day of school it was always so stressful to pack up my whole classroom, and at I.S. 318 you had to get it all done in one afternoon to sign out and get your paycheck. I would have loved help.) When I was 3/4ths done, Mom forced me to call it quits. Then we went to Sam’s club and shopped for all the upcoming birthdays.

When we got home, we wrapped Dad’s presents. After dinner we gave them to him and sang Happy Birthday. I think he liked his present. As requested, I got him a Journey boxed set.

The weather has been interesting lately, and I've been taking lots of pictures of Mom's garden.

Yesterday I awoke to a green thump at my window. How can a thump be green? you may be wondering. I'm not sure, but it was. I think I must have awakened a second before the thump, and I must have been looking at the window when it hit, and seen the green through my blinds. Just as improbably, I knew exactly what the sound meant, because I'd heard it before. It's the distinctive green thump of a frog jumping into my window well. Why does this only happen when I'm home? Ever since the one-eyed frog jumped into my window well last summer, Mom checks occasionally and never finds any. Some of you know that bees and cats and dogs like me. That's kind of cool, but frogs?

Today we celebrated Dad’s birthday with Ronnie and Alice Wicker, some of Mom and Dad’s best friends. Alice brought some gorgeous flowers and a rhubarb cake. We sat on the patio and chatted a long time, throwing and kicking the ball for our Border Collie, Mac. He was in heaven. All in all it was a nice celebration, and tomorrow we’re off to Iowa City for the wedding of my godfather’s oldest son.

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