The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Me Sunday

Today needed to be about doing what I want. So I made sure it was.

This morning, I took the kids to the beach. Vinny needed "ocean artifacts" for a school project, and I needed sand and sun. I love everything about going to the beach, even the drive.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the straightest line between my house and the beach ironically is through several winding canyons. These winding canyons actually make for a positively beautiful drive. Vinny loves driving through the canyon. His therapist is in the other end of the canyon as well, so this is a drive we make regularly, but he still loves looking for the flying pig and Cinderella's castle. (Yes, you read correctly, and no, the canyon does not involve a tumble down a rabbit hole, but we live near some pretty eccentric people).
Look in the center... flying pig.
I love the spots where the greenery creates a tunnel of leaves and the unique mailboxes and address signs.  Malibu Canyon is also beautiful. It is the stuff you see in movies. Literally... actually, there was a spot today where traffic slowed because a movie crew was taking up most of the road. Haha. I sincerely love California.

The beach was wonderful. Tiana was in a super cuddly mood and spent most of the day sitting on my lap. I sort of like these moments. And I love the way she just backs her little tush up to me and plops herself down so confidently and snuggles right up against my chest. And then, the way she sometimes looks up at me from my lap, smiles, and says, "Hi."  She is so funny.

Vinny at the beach is clear evidence of what happens when you drag your child to the beach a good 50 times a year or so. They become one with the sand and the surf. From the moment we arrived, the smile did not leave his face. He buried himself in the sand. He jumped in the waves. He also completely missed the moment that a dolphin surfaced a mere 10 yards in front of him. He keeps talking about putting a picture of a dolphin on his ocean poster. I could barely get him to sit still long enough to finally see its fin.

After the beach, I went out with Tina for the afternoon. It was wonderful. We had jamba juice, and pedicures, and an early dinner. Although I probably should have spent some time working this weekend, I think that today was good for my soul. There is a section in The Happiness Advantage where he shares that, although our brains might tell us in stressful times to pull ourselves away from everything and pour all of ourselves into work, those who maintain healthy social connections actually tend to be more productive and more successful. I believe it. I feel far more ready to go back to work after a day like today than I would have after working like crazy all day.

Spring is hard. Teachers and students are all at their breaking points, trying to shove everything in by the end of the year. No matter how hard I try to keep Spring from getting this way for me, external forces seem to make it impossible. I think all I can do is take back a Sunday where I can.

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