All day long I wanted to write. I never found time. Now it’s near eleven. I have a few minutes and will try. I don’t know what to say, only that I miss the writing habit.

My son Ben and I have been working hard the last month or so to complete his college applications, my yearly accounting and 2011 tax return, and our financial aid applications. The holidays are past. We’re in a lull between events in the life of the Charter School. I’m communicating with prospective day care families for September 2012. Two families visited today, and many more will visit over the next few weeks. Yesterday Liana attended a workshop about documenting children’s learning. When I stopped to visit at the end of my second parent interview this morning, she was deep into a conversation with the children about her experience. I left them doing egg experiments, physics. This evening one of the parents shared more about the egg experiments, which her son and his dad were enjoying at home. She shared her gratitude and wonder at Liana’s teaching. I felt lucky, as I often do, to be working with her, and a little envious, both of her for having attended this workshop, which I would have loved to attend, and also for her pure love of children and her way of engaging with them so wholeheartedly in their learning. On days like today, I love talking with our new families and having time to do my desk work, but I feel like an administrator more than a teacher. I miss the kids and being with them and Liana and Alice.

Tonight I had my kids at home. I finished more of the financial aid process, got my bills in order, communicated with a financial advisor, wondered at the steps still ahead in this marathon of college applications. When I took a break at last, near eight, my son and I made dinner, then my daughter joined us and we ate and talked. As I sat back in my chair I wondered at the normalcy and the specialness of it, that time at the table with my children talking, as I had as I looked in the side view mirror of my van while I waited at the drive through window of the bank, where I caught a glimpse of workers on scaffolding putting together the newest luxury condos in what used to be a our working class neighborhood, and of the delicate, sparse snow flakes catching the sunshine like fairy dust floating in the air around me and my van and the bank windows and the workers, and I thought I caught the worker’s eye, which makes no sense now, but did in the moment of feeling myself adrift in a magical world of normal.

Now my daughter is beside me sleeping, having drifted off before I realized it, while I read to her from The Wheel on the School, tired girl, near eleven, past her bedtime. We stretched out the night, as we have only two nights together  this week, then the girl and her brothers are gone five nights with their dad, this weekend and then again next weekend, so they can go winter camping with him and our friends. I worried with her before she drifted off that her boots are not right for winter camping. They’re leather and the winter camping advice sent from the campground to her dad to me to her today has warned us all that leather boots may freeze, even if they are, as my girl reminds me, waterproof. The boys are home, too, the oldest from a babysitting job, the middle guy here all night long, telling me as we cooked about Colbert and his election antics, and about Mitt Romney and his foolishness, and I’m grateful as I listen and join in, that I listened to NPR on my drive around town today, all about Mitt Romney and his money and the elections, rather than listening to music, was grateful even as I listened, to be back in the world again, to have passed that phase of my life where all news was overwhelming, where only music on WUMB or from one of my favorite CD’s would do.

I thought then of how passing into the dark for awhile makes the light all that much brighter when we emerge. Later I wondered if that was why the snowflakes in the sun looked so much like fairy dust, if that was why my childrens’ conversation over dinner made me so especially happy, if that was why my son’s new facebook profile picture looks like a new boy.

I’m grateful to be back amongst the living with some cash in the bank, with our bills paid, with a job I love and children who are strong and healthy and happy and fun to be around, with kitties who have their bad habits, but who fall asleep occasionally on my chest while I watch tv with my youngest two and we all laugh at the silly stuff and sometimes I cry at the not so silly stuff. Watching tv and dinner and chores and npr and store bought salad dressing and a new pair of pants in a larger size that fit and won’t remind me too much of the weight I’ve gained, and the e-mail my mom sent yesterday about being thankful for small things remind me to do just that. Happy New Year 2012!

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