Friday, April 29, 2016

The Wax Museum :: One Hundred Nineteen

Before turning out the lights and passing out, I got a bit effusive on social media, and posted to my FB wall, "I love our community... schools and teachers, peers, neighbors, the locals we see around town. Life is very good here." It was inspired, in part, by this moment at Maria's school, and countless others like it. It was inspired by coming home from a long day, feeling deeply grateful, so that without explanation, or particulars, I simply had to say it, something, aloud, to put it out there. I wanted to single out each friend, each classmate, every teacher, and classified employee, all the families and volunteers, mentors, and acquaintances we cross paths with... in our community, at Maria's school, at Max's school, at Alex's school, in markets, at that cafe Geoff loves so much. It may have something to do with staying in one place long enough to develop relationships, make connections, and become familiar with familiar faces. It may have something to do with being in an especially warm and generous neighborhood, and town, with exceptional people. I cannot literally single out each and every individual, but I think people will know... and I hope they know that I am thinking of them, and feeling happy to know them, to share in the experience of consideration, kindness, generosity, support, caring, and dedication that we enjoy in this town.

My friend, Stacy, commented on my post, "Indeed. Did something extra wonderful happen today to inspire this post?" And the answer is, "Yes." It was the open house at Maria's school, the culmination of study and effort from our children, the patience and dedication of their teachers, the support and extra contributions of the volunteers, and families. Every fifth grader chose a person in American history to portray in a museum of their own creating, where they shared all they'd learned, and made. It was fantastic, those presentations, and their earnestness, diligence, tenacity. It was about seeing a school and classrooms overflowing with children I admire and respect, teachers I appreciate for the extra measures and thoughtful efforts they extend to those students, the families that I've come to know as friends, as a part of a greater network, a caring safety net. It was about feeling part of something good, and realizing that it extends to so much of our lives here, in places all over our community. The wonderful thing that happened was that I was reminded that we are part of a beautiful, safe, creative, caring, invested, compassionate community.

I am savoring the details from last night, like how much I learned about great people in American history, how deeply touched I was to see everyone's displays and presentations appreciated by the parents, by siblings, and other schoolmates. I love the new art Maria's teacher framed and hung, how beautifully and thoughtfully their self portraits were developed and displayed... it reflected not just the talents and beauty of those students, but the caring and respect of their teacher. I love that once again Maria was eager to visit the next grade classroom, to look for her friends' work, to meet sixth grade teachers, and eagerly anticipate next year. I love that she saw and greeted teachers from past years, that she fell asleep talking to me, saying, "I know I am lucky, and I'm so grateful." She feels it, too... that happy realization that she is surrounded and supported by a lot of good people, and I think it's wonderful that she knows it is special.

We click like, or tag friends, because we want them to know we appreciate them, or agree with them, that we want them to know, "I'm here and thinking of you." I'd like to tag everyone I care about, everyone I wave to, or share a moment with, the cashiers at the markets I visit, the woman who makes me hot chocolate, the friends who I could call for a ride, or soup, or sympathy, the dad last night who leaned in closer to catch every word from the child speaking as Emily Dickinson, or William Clark, the friends who lent a dress, or shared their flowers, the brothers who said encouraging things, and stayed up late to lend a hand. I would tag the mentors and students in St Louis, FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, shout-out to them and share in their elation and success, the challenges they meet. And, you, too, when you've clicked like, or left a comment... I know this local community extends far and wide, across town, across the country, abroad. Thank you. I am lucky and so grateful.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

1 comment:

Tracy Batchelder said...

So many people overlook the blessings in their lives or just take them for granted. It's so refreshing to hear someone excited and grateful (like you are) for all the good things happening all around them.