An act of kindness ~ #sol19

On Friday…

“Mrs. Driggers, what color bracelet would you like?,” asked one of my kiddos.

“Oooh, I’ll take rainbow.  I just love rainbows.  They bring me so much JOY,” I replied.

He wrote down ‘rainbow’ on a piece of paper and moved on to something else.  I sat and finished my snack – thinking nothing about the question.  I just figured I’d be adding to my collection of paper jewelry custom made by First Graders.  But, I was so wrong…

Fast forward to Monday…

My daughter had been sick for a few days and I stayed home from school in the morning with her.  When I walked in the door at noon, L came right over to me with a big smile,  said “here,” and handed me a rainbow colored friendship bracelet.  His face was beaming – smiling ear to ear.  I thanked him and noticed a buzz around the room.  Everyone in the class had a friendship bracelet on.  I felt the lump form in my throat and the smile form on my face.  He made one for everyone over the weekend.  My heart was so full.

At the end of the day, during our “end on a positive note” sharing circle, I couldn’t wait to share that L’s bracelet is what filled my heart with joy.   The first child to share immediately said “getting a friendship bracelet from L brought me joy today.” And then the next child and the next and the one after that, all said the same thing.  I could feel my heart swelling inside.  Then… it was L’s turn.  He looked at everyone when he spoke and said “making these bracelets and giving them to everyone brought me so much joy.”  I just looked him – holding back my tears as my huge smile was hurting my cheeks.  He gets it.  He gets what it means to be kind.  His act of kindness filled him with JOY.    He saw the impact it made on everyone.  I thought my heart would explode!

I told his mom about our sharing circle and how much happiness he brought to everyone.  She said she was so lucky and blessed to be his mom – so proud.  She said he was so excited when he got home Friday and shared his list and bracelet making plan.  (Apparently, he asked everyone what color bracelet they would like).  They agreed to start over the weekend and finish during the week.  But, L had other plans.  He started each day off with making some bracelets – determined to finish them by Monday.  Simply amazing!

I’m so lucky I get to be this kiddo’s teacher.  Each and every day we talk about ways to be kind and respectful humans – the world needs us!  L definitely gets what it means to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud (thank you Maya Angelou).  He sure was the rainbow in my cloud yesterday!

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(What L doesn’t know is just how special rainbows are to me.  Whenever I see a rainbow, I immediately take it as my dad saying hello from heaven.  Now, there’s double JOY when I look down at my arm!)

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-10-42-06-amThank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers.  Join us for SOL Tuesdays!

 

One Little Word (OLW) 2019

This is my third year trying One Little Word for the year.  The first two years sort of flopped.  My first word was Breathe, and it made sense to me in the moment.  However, it ended up being an impulsive choice – didn’t really try it on for size.  Then the second year, I made a list of words, read through them, pondered, and chose Prioritize.   Again, in the moment, and with more careful thought, it felt like the right choice.  But, just like the word before, it didn’t stick with me throughout the year.  I guess they weren’t really the right choice.  Or maybe their purpose was to help me be more thoughtful and reflective.

Now, here I am, finally writing about my word for 2019.  I’ve had it in my mind, in my notebook, and it’s always part of my day for longer than this month.  My word for this year is JOY.

The journey to choosing Joy actually began at the beginning of this school year.  Last year, my first grade colleagues and I had lots of ups and downs.  Some of us were dealing with personal issues, and then the list of things to do for school became overwhelming, and we had some tough classes.  When we started getting ready for the year, we all decided that we were going to “find the joy” in some way, every day, to keep us going.  I feel like we’ve all been focusing more on the positives and helping each other find joy each and every day.

I’ve been spreading the Joy to my personal life as well.  I just believe that even in the worst and gloomiest times, there’s still joy – sometimes you just have to look harder to find it.  My quest for this year and always is to Find the Joy!

Maybe the key to a successful One Little Word is to find others to go on the journey with you?! (Even if they don’t know it!)

What’s your OLW for the year?

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Just One Thing ~ #sol18

It’s National Poetry Month!  This poem was inspired by a trip to Walgreens my daughter and I made tonight.

Just One Thing

Went to the store

for just one thing –

Was that all we bought?

What do you think?

Hair ties,

A Hairbrush,

Hair clips in hand.

Body wash,

Loofahs,

Chapstick, on man!

What did we come for?

Oh that’s right –

Vitamins for me

Vitamins for B.

Oooh what’s this?

One more thing I see

Cold pack wraps,

one for each knee.

Went to the store

for just one thing,

110 dollars and 3 bags –

CHA-CHING!

~Jen Driggers 2018

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Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers.  Join us for SOL Tuesdays!

#NPM2018: New Life

I’m giving Poetry a try this month.  I’ve wanted to keep up with my daily writing, so I figured writing a poem a day will help me with this new goal!  My daughter and I love Peter H. Reynold’s The Word Collector.  We spent this unexpected April Snowstorm cutting out words from newspapers and magazines.  Today’s poem is a list poem using some of the words from our collection.

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The Matriarch

April 1, 2018

Day 1 – Poetry Month

My Grandma

The neighbors call her the

“Unofficial Mayor”

We just call her

Grandma or Gigi Anne.

The Matriarch –

Our Fashionista.

Lover of God,

Family,

Fun and life.

Plethora of knowledge,

history,

stories,

and

love.

Our family is blessed!

~J.Driggers 2018

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Emma and her Great Grandma (Gigi Anne)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing the Finish Line

Day 31 – March SOLSC

Hooray! I have made it to the finish line.  31 straight days of writing!  So why is today the day where I’ve typed and deleted my post over and over?  I’ve sat here staring at my screen, starting to type and then quickly starting over.  Today’s the day I get writer’s block?!?  I think it’s because I was trying not to just write a reflection post.  But, maybe that’s exactly what I need to do –  reflect on the past month of writing.

This was my second year doing the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  I remember being so excited in the days leading up to March 1st.  I created a list of possible writing ideas in my notebook.  I went onto Pinterest to pin various ideas as well.  I just started to listen and look at the world around me differently.  It was like my writing warm up.  Of course, I had the typical self-doubts….March is so busy.  What am I thinking adding something else to my plate?  I have to do report cards too!  But I shook them off, and jumped in.

Once the challenge began, I just got into my groove.  During the week, I set a goal to write the night before so I could post in the morning.  This routine helped me to be successful.  On the weekends, I wrote and then posted the same day.  I found myself looking for slices in every part of my day.  I even dug deep back into my memories and wrote about some things from a long time ago.

Last year, I was more overwhelmed with getting the posts done and I only really read 3 other slices (the minimum).  This year, I found myself reading more and returning to the same people’s blogs – commenting and being inspired.  I followed many more blogs and made sure to read the slices of the people who commented on my posts.  I looked forward to reading the comments and found myself taking suggestions and trying different things.  Such an amazing, supportive community.

I enjoy writing so much now because of participating in this challenge for the past two years.  The goal of writing every day was a routine that helped me.  Last year, when the challenge was over, I sporadically posted for the Tuesday slice challenge.  But, it never became a part of my routine.  I really want to keep my writing going.  So, I’ve put calendar appointments in my phone for daily writing and a reminder to publish and post on Tuesdays.  I’ve also joined the Facebook group “TeachWrite: A Tribe for Teachers of Writers & Teachers Who Write.”  Hopefully, both of these new plans will help me keep up with my writing.  It really does bring me Joy!

Thank you to all of the Slicers who read my posts and made comments.  You’ve helped me become a better writer!

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I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers. 

 

The Dance

Day 30 – March SOLSC

Poetry Friday with a poem that comes directly from a memory that’s etched in my heart.

The Dance

What a wonderful world

Starts playing

He looks at me

And tilts his head towards the dance floor

Not too long ago I would’ve said

“No way” and ran off

But I grew up – no longer embarrassed

I slowly rise from my seat

And take his hand

Moving to the rhythm of the song

He begins to sway to the left and to the right

“I don’t know how to do your dances” I say.

“Don’t worry. Just follow my lead”

Back and forth, back and forth

Swaying to the music,

Covering the dance floor,

Feeling the music take over – 

All while he sings in my ear

“And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

 

When I return from this memory,

I keep my eyes closed a little longer,

savoring this memory.

I swear I can still hear my dad’s voice singing in my ear,

Feel his hand in mine,

And my head resting on his shoulder

While we sway to the music,

following his lead. 

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I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers. 

Thankful Thursday

Day 29 – March SOLSC

Today is my last day of “Solo” Spring Break.  Tomorrow my daughter will be off from school and we’ll have a great “girl” day.  Since it’s my last day of just me, I thought I’d take some time and think about what I’m thankful for this week.  Having this time to myself is great for reflecting!

I’m thankful for…

  • Being able to go to the gym every day this week.
  • Having an amazing personal trainer who is giving me the “push” that I need to get myself healthy and in physical shape.
  • Having the time to do things I normally wouldn’t do: go out to lunch alone, sit in Starbucks writing and reading, doing laundry every day (although that one isn’t as fun as the others).
  • Being able to drive my daughter to school every morning (even in pajamas one day!).
  • Meeting a friend for lunch without having to coordinate childcare.
  • Less stressful mornings.  It’s amazing how much more pleasant my daughter is when I don’t have to rush her in the morning.  She’s just not a morning person.  It’s been so nice not fighting to get out the door.  Has she been completely on time?!?  Ummm, nope.  Mommy’s on vacation!
  • Less stressful evenings.  Of course, there’s still a routine and bed time, but I’ve just been more relaxed and we’ve been enjoying each other much more.
  • Being able to pick my daughter up from her after school program a little earlier.
  • Having the time to play catch with my daughter and begin to teach her to pitch.  During the work week, there never seems to be enough time to do these things with her after school.
  • Having the energy to do all of the above things.  During the work week, I definitely am more tired and stressed.

I’m so thankful for having these 4 days to just be me.  I’ve been able to exercise, relax, and in many ways rejuvenate.  I have to admit….even though I have had these 4 days to myself, I’m going to be so jealous of Brad and Emma when they’re home together next week.  I hope they come have lunch with me at least one day!

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I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers. 

Clogged Drain

Day 28 – March SOLSC

An expected problem while on Spring Break – a clogged tub drain.  For the past week or so, we’ve noticed the water draining a little slower than usual.  While showering, the water tends to pool over the feet.  I kept telling the hubby about it (because obviously I can’t handle a slow drain myself) and he kept saying “yeah I’m going to flush it out soon.”

Well “soon” happened sooner than we had both thought.  Yesterday, Emma took a shower when she got home from school.  Still a slow drain, but nonetheless, the water went down.  When Brad got home from work to shower, that’s when it happened – no draining.  The water rose and stayed.  It wouldn’t budge.  He took the drain out and tried to work his magic – but nada.  It was late, so we had to wait until today to deal with the clog.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m on vacation this week because I could be home to let in our Super and the “Drain Guy.” The “Drain Guy” brought in his machine – the snake!  I showed them to the tub, and backed away!

The two guys were chatting away about other jobs they had for the day.  I could hear the machine getting set up.  Suddenly, the snake came to life.  The motor whined, and whined, and whined as the snake crawled deeper and deeper into the pipe.  I thought to myself “how far is that thing going?”

Right as I was thinking that, I heard our Super say “Wow, you going all the way down to the river?”

The Drain Guy responded without skipping a beat, “I think I just pulled up something from the river.  Hair today, gone tomorrow!”

I sat on the couch and held in my laughs as I heard him say that.  Not only was the Drain Guy amazing, he was also hilarious.  However, his next question had me doing the opposite of laughing.  “Does she want to see what we pulled out?”  (Gag! Ummm no!)

The Super quickly said “nah, let’s just through it out.”

“Ok.  You know a lot of people want to see what I pull out of the drain,” the Drain Guy replied.

Well, buddy, I’m not one of those people!  I don’t need to see anything but the water flowing down that drain!  I thanked them and off they went to save another drain from the Hair Monster.

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I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers. 

 

Spring Break thoughts…

Day 27 – March SOLSC

This year, my Spring Break has been a little different than past years.  No, we aren’t away on any exotic vacation or anything like that.  I actually have the week off and my daughter still has school.  Now, I’ve only been on vacation for the past 2 days, but I’ve already noticed myself having some firsts.

  • I’ve driven Emma to school 2 times.  This never happens.  She’s usually at my mom’s house by 7:30am and I’m on my way to work.
  • I was able to go to Emma’s class party without having to take a half day or day off of work.
  • I’ve been to the gym twice before 4:30pm – on a week day! (unheard of)
  • On Monday, I went to have lunch.  By – My – Self.  I actually went to my favorite Japanese restaurant, sat in a corner table, and read a book while eating my sushi.  I’ve never, ever, gone to lunch alone.
  • I went to Starbucks with just my laptop and wrote and read blogs without having to coordinate what to do with Emma so I could have “alone time.”
  • I’ve gotten to pick Emma up from school before 6:00pm 🙂
  • We both went to my niece’s first softball game.  If I was working, I would’ve never been able to get Emma and make it to the game.

Those are just some of the things I’ve been able to do being on vacation the opposite week of Emma.  Notice I didn’t write clean the house or do all of the laundry!  I’m not going to waste my precious alone time on those chores.  Another thing I haven’t done is have Emma do her homework.  Usually, her homework gets done at her after school program.  Since I’ve been picking her up early, the homework has gotten forgotten.  I’m not stressing over it.  (Maybe I’ll write my feelings about homework in a blog post soon – ha!)

I have two more days of my own Spring Break – What else will I do with my gift of time?

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I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers.