This is my favorite photo of our dog Paul. Why? Because he is always in trouble, and when I took this he was apologizing.
I don’t remember why my phone was photo ready, but I am certain that he was raising some kind of doggie hell just before I tapped the picture button. The clovers that got stuck in his collar are the clue that he was up to no good in the yard. Right before I plunked into my reading chair to calm myself, I likely stepped onto the back porch and embarrassed my family
by forgetting that I live in a city now. Three years later, I sometimes still yell in my farm voice.
That look on the face of Paulie is his “apology face” and it works, of course, every time. He doesn’t try to convince me that he will never do IT again. Our other dog. Lennon Francis (Lenny) cowers, and hides and shivers when he is in trouble until the issue passes. His way of apologizing is to drop a ball or chewed up play toy at me feet and then step back and sit down. It’s like he’s saying, “seriously mom, we both need a round of fetch to resolve this tension.”
Paul McCartney on the other hand, manages to make me stop shaming him by insisting that I NEED him, and I need him right now! Right here. On my lap, in my arms, or his favorite – like an infant resting his head on my shoulder.
Isn’t shame an interesting topic?
If you don’t agree, you should.
JeezlePete. I did it again. Shame on me.
I have had some really great things happen this summer, but right now near the top of the list is reconnecting with my friend Therese Borchard. She is so funny. We hadn’t had a private chat online in a long while and for some reason time alllowed for that to happen more than once over this school break.
It’s interesting – she and I share a birthday and when we lose touch and reconnect a little bit, it’s pretty common that similar things are on our minds. I really appreciate that she passed on some facinating resources in between our twisted and humorous conversations.
I’ve mentioned here a couple of times, I think, that last year I started my studies to become an Educational Sign Language Interpreter. Well, this year I am able to move ahead with three classes and I am so excited. The frustrating and disappointing thing is that I had to turn down a great offer to continue working at the school I enjoyed so much last year. My classes will be during the day.
Backer to my writer friend Therese: here’s the short version of what we are connecting about right now and are both sort of, well, tearfully even, thankful about: we are a little bit stuck on the topic of shame and redemption.
I know. Strange. Isn’t it? I envy the the people that start their break with plans to be light hearted and and keep up with that commitment.
I promise that I started the summer with three goals: lose twenty pounds, create a kitchen that looks like this:
I did clean out the cabinets, and I am still obsessed about the topics of shame and redemption – but it is in a super charged and good way now!
Through conversation with my college roomate and writer friend, along with gathering some books, I sort of clarified why I was so angry during that first year and a half back in the work world. I had taken a much longer than I should have sebatical.
I’m not the only on that was, and still is enraged about the Sandy Hook massacre. But, for me, the impact was to realize that realistically, people my age don’t have forever to enjoy their careers. Maybe that’s why it is common to start one, or restart one at age 50 – which is what I’m doing.
And pardon my french, but I am thouroughly pissed at what the world has become while I was home loading the wood stove and packing the moving boxes and discovering the great Mississipi river.
Thank God I re-stumbled onto to my mental health and spirituatlity writer friend and now have some resources to try and understand and cope with how obessesd society has become with shaming and blaming each other. The first thing I learned is that what is most destructive, is that we, America espeically, are keeping our worries and secrets private and losing our sense of place and self.
How in the world did this happen? Is it because of social networking? Global warming? The Berlin Wall? The death of Fred Rogers?
I don’t know – but it was a huge shock to me when returning to the classroom and teacher lounge after a fiver year or so break,
yet, I have never been so thankful for work in my life.
My confidence is slowly regaining it’s speed and my faith life has taken off again. My family of course means the most to me, but I am also the one who was lucky enough to hold a hungry first grader who was throwing a crying fit about sounding out a WHOLE page of reading After I convinced him that sitting in the hallway with me is the most boring idea ever and that carpet time is the Bees Knees, I ended up being the lucky one. I get to remember that In grade one my belly was always full enough and I spent hours watching Fred from Dad’s lap. And while I sorely miss to my sons…those were good days indeed.
But you know what? The world has gone mad.
We are shaming this fantastically charming little generation of readers in epic proportion and I will not put up with it another minute.
Someone, somehow, somewhere – decided that name calling is no big deal.
Well, guess what.
It is. And the last thing that these teachers and students need, in the face of gun violence and hatred, is more wasted time on tattling and idioticTom Foolery.
If you are feeling frustrated on similar topics here is a video, and here is a **killer good** article, and here is a song. Each of them have helped to calm me down while I try to sort all of this out.
By the way – isn’t that tin of buttons that my friend Marti made the coolest rainbow you have seen since yesterday?
I do like buttons.