Day Two: Reunions, Tips and a Toddler Takes Notes

Welcome to Day 2.

Based on the 7,100+ hits on yesterday's post (which you can find here if you are  a deadbeat  just joining in) I think it's fair to assume that some of you reading this are strangers. There is a fairly good chance that at least 83% of those hits are my mother... but even so, I don't know that many people, so it's safe to assume that at least some of you do not know who I am.

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Lara and I miiiiight be a bit of an over-sharer. #shockingiknow 

I live with my family in New York. (Upstate, not the cool NY.) My husband and I have five children. We are a colorful, adoptive family, so some of my babes came to me via adoption, and some are biological. My husband, Tom, borders on sainthood at all times, so you may find me playfully abusing him a little bit, because you simply cannot have two saints in one marriage. That'd just be obnoxious. We just moved to a new house a week and a half ago, so life is a little hectic, always, but especially while we don't have laundry hook-ups yet, and all seven of us are still living out of boxes. I am going to need all of you to set your expectations of me to a nice, low standard, and let's just go ahead and accept that my not harming any of the children during this crazy season will likely be my greatest act of kindness. 

Now that I have introduced myself and crushed any lofty expectations... let's talk Day 2.

I had a few ideas up my sleeve for today, but I settled on a surprise reunion between my two older girls (Annalee -11 and Marlie -10) and their favorite teachers from their former school. When we moved, we left some really fantastic teachers behind and I wanted to bring the girls by to say hello and that we miss and appreciate them.

Both of my parents were public educators and at one point or another, so were both of my sisters, my brother-in-law, my step-sister and step-brother and step-mom. It goes without saying that I have a healthy respect for what teachers have to do on a daily basis. Teaching is often a thankless job, and I gave some of my teachers a serious run for their money. 

In 8th grade, I refused to take notes in Earth Science because I believed myself to have a somewhat remarkable auditory memory. However, note taking was required and my teacher refused to change the overhead slides until everyone had taken thorough notes. I acquiesced, however, I did so in the most irritating way possible. I did take notes. With my left hand. It took me approximately one thousand minutes to write a barely legible sentence. I remember, quite clearly, realizing that I could technically obey, but still punish him for making me do the thing I did not want to do. So, I took my sweet time, writing like an enormous toddler.

And my teacher did not hit me with a bat.

If I could go back in time and hit that passive-aggressive version of myself with a bat, I would. Since that is not an option, I have resolved to work very hard to build good relationships with my children's teachers, since I sort of owe it to public educators for my generally bad behavior.

We had grand plans to show up with coffee and donuts, but we found out that they had an assembly scheduled so we had to high tail it over there sans treats in order to see them. Still, the teachers and students that we saw agreed that bringing my two sweet girls for a visit was treat enough.

After popping in to see the teachers, Marlie and I left for our Double Digit Getaway. This is a tradition I started in order to force myself to have my Claire Huxtable mom moment with each of my girls.

(Tom can do the guy thing, and I don't want to know anything about any of it, Because, no. Because, gross.) But for the girls, the tradition goes like this: I give each girl an invitation on the exact birthminute of their tenth birthday. This is the moment they hit the double digits, going from 9 to 10. We schedule a weekend away to discuss all the things that are about to go down in the double digits. It is a lot to cover, ya know... everything that happens between ages 10 and 99. So, we talk body stuff, we talk birds and bees stuff, we talk modesty stuff, we talk boy stuff, we talk Jesus-and-daddy-are-the-only-men-you-really-need kind of stuff. I am pretty terrible at it because I am a middle school boy at heart and anatomically correct verbiage either grosses me out or makes me giggle uncontrollably. It's a problem, Still, it is a great kindness to give a child one-on-one time when they have four other siblings vying for my attention.

Even if you make them learn about periods.

We were at least able to give the waitress a generous tip when we got Marlie some hot cocoa. (Chocolate is a big part of a girl surviving the Double Digits, so this felt like it tied in nicely.)

And for my final #AdamsActs for Day 2. I would like to publicly apologize to all my teachers and coaches for being a giant pain much of the time, but specifically to my 8th grade Earth Science teacher.

Mr. Holwerda, I am so sorry. I think you and I both know that I am not left-handed. I am sorry for my behavior and I thank you very much for never hitting me with a bat. 

So, that's that, Day two. I cannot thank you all enough for joining my family and so many others who are sprinkling kindness confetti around the globe in memory of my brother Adam. He was a phenomenal student and, incidentally, could actually write very nicely with both his right and left hands. I often grapple with this feeling of survivor's guilt, like if Adam had lived he would have done so many more important and astounding things than I have done with my life. But, as I see the impact his legacy of kindness is making here in the US, but also in India, Ghana, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, etc. I can't help but be overcome with gratitude. For though Adam's life was cut short, you all have helped me to do something important and astounding. Nothing can bring him back, but for those that loved and knew my brother... this sure does make it feel like a part of him never left.