‘Twas Almost Vacation

Written for the teachers at my school…

‘Twas almost vacation and throughout the school
While kids were frenetic, the teachers were cool
A few students traveled but most were still there
To finish December with ganas and flair.

Assessments completed and conferences done
This last week of learning was different, was fun
ManageBac housed all the comments, each grade
The teachers drank coffee. The children?  They played-

They argued at 4-square, though no one was mean;
They gossiped of summer- The beach! What a scene!
They played (it was recess), they hadn’t a care.
They knew their escuela would always be there

Then one of the students she noticed the time
The teachers were missing, the bell didn’t chime.
The counselors, Katie and Rox, disappeared
With Sandra and Rosi and Victor.  How weird!

“Should we be worried?”
“Or should we be scared?”
Some started screaming but mostly they stared.
When up on the bridge there arose such a noise
That it grabbed the attention of girls and the boys.

First Flores, and, Dierkes then Reeves and Bené
Ms. Mincha and Uchi, Ms. Wiley, Ms. Lay,
Ms. Delia, Wellner and Page, Hollowáy
Ms. Emily, Fuller, McGlothin and Rae.

They stomped on the bridge and they stomped really loud
The rest of us teachers we joined in the crowd.
We sang for the kids and we danced way up high
They applauded for us then we chanted goodbye-

“The time is 12:20, it’s time for vacation
“Go travel! Go Read!” we sang with elation.
“Your work is now done here we’ve journeyed quite far
“Don’t’ stop and play 4 square, Go get in your car!”

The children all cheered as they said their goodbyes
They raced to their rides a bit older, more wise.
We waved to each bus as they drove out of sight-
Great vacation to all and to all a good night.

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Resurrection

A few days ago I received a phone call from a friend of mine.  He had recently learned that he and his mother will receive their social security cards and residency papers.  They will be able to stay in the United States.  Wonderful!  We are lucky to have them- good, caring people; hard working people.  Gentle.

This family was forced from their home country by negative situations beyond their control.  They moved to the US only to live in the shadows, experiencing violence both personal and systemic.  When you live in the shadows you cannot fully participate and share your gifts.  You live in fear – fear that you will be sent back, you might lose your job and a thousand other fears.  Those fears, though, are nothing when compared to the lived experience that sent you away from home.

Now there is hope.  There is hope of permanence and pertenencia, belonging.  Having grown up in the only city he has ever known, he will now be able to participate fully in all of the rights and responsibilities of belonging.  Moving out of the shadows.  May we hear the same positive news for many other immigrants so that they, too, may move out of the shadows.

This blog was started about 5 years ago as an Advent gift for a 12 year old.  The waiting of Advent has come full circle to an emerging from the shadows:  Resurrection.

You always belonged.  Now it’s official.

A Song for Christmas (just add music!)

Working 2 part times, ‘round minimum wage
I pay all my debts but I can’t turn the page
So during the year I put coins in a jar
To make Christmas special and point to the star

In our simple home it’s just me and my son
His mother was taken when he was just one
Though strong till the end the disease was still stronger
It’s seven years later, some nights still feel longer

Chorus:
The best part of Christmas right here in this part
Is the time spent together, it’s here in the heart
The star of great wonder that shines from above
Is not about presents, it’s all about love

There’s one gift to cuddle and something to wear
One gift for learning and a fun-thing we’ll share
Most were bought used, now cleaned and with bows
I imagine him smiling from head to his toes

The four little presents wrapped, under the tree
There’s a gingerbread cookie for him and for me
The night before Christmas he sits in my lap
Together we read, together we nap

Chorus

I heard him start coughing and quickly awoke
The house wasn’t burning but filled up with smoke
The candle that flickered to brighten the night
Burned into the table and gave us a fright

“It could have been worse,” the firemen said in my ear.
“Insurance can fix it, there’s nothing to fear.”
I cried as I listened, still hugging my boy
Who whispered, “Merry Christmas, Dad” with tears and some joy.

Chorus