Several weeks ago I substituted at OPA. Clearly, on a day that I substitute, I am not normally scheduled to teach. On most days I am not scheduled to teach, I am scheduled to run the carpool for Miles and two of his boy buddies. On the day I scheduled myself to substitute, I had also scheduled myself to run the carpool which would NOT have been a problem IF I had remembered my carpool obligations but such was not the case.
I did not remember that I was to have run the carpool until our days later. Four days. How did the boys get to and from school? I had no idea. And now for the “truly amazing people” part…… Between the time that I was supposed to run carpool and the time that I remembered that I was supposed to run carpool, I spoke with BOTH of the other carpool mothers, both to them, and NEITHER of them, not either one of them, said anything to me. They did not condemn me, mock me, tease me, or in any way remind me that I was a flake. I spoke with Randee (the mom who ended up driving the boys) multiple times during that my four day clueless period. She did not even drop a hint that she picked up the ball for me. WOW and WOW!!
Her graciousness astounds me. I know for certain that I would not have been so gracious. I would not have mocked but I certainly would have teased in a reminding-sort-of way. I wouldn’t have been able to help it; my very human self would have felt compelled to let her know that she messed up and that I fixed it. Until now…….I hope!
I hope to follow Randee’s example. The next time someone flakes on me, I am not going to crumble. I vow to be gracious and good and kind and quiet, especially the quiet part. Ironically, no one will ever know if I have kept my vow because to let it be known would be to break it. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
Boston. More truly amazing people. Truly. Amazing. Though my heart aches for the families of those slain and for the people whose bodies will never be the same—May God miracle them with comfort and peace—my hope is heartened by the responses of some many thousands of authentic, good-souled people; people who reached out to victims in the very moments of crisis, who belted out the National Anthem at a hockey game, who submitted thousands of photos and videos, who worked tirelessly and relentlessly to analyze thousands of submitted photos and videos, who stayed obediently in lockdown all day, who erupted in spontaneous parades honoring police officers when the final suspect was in custody, who participated at on the SLC Marathon and, to honor those whose lives were forever altered by the Boston bombings,
timed their finish to coincide exactly with the time the bombs detonated, and people nationwide whose hearts were
drawn in by the tragedy and whose prayers were poured out. I am honored to be part of such a great nation.
Finally (for this letter) there were some pretty amazing (and amazed) creatures at Syracuse Arts Academy (SAA) on Wednesday. [NOTE: Lance was at SAA Wednesday and is there most days. He is truly amazing in many fabulous ways but today’s SAA story is not about him.] Let me explain….
The CTE (Career/Technical Education) core curriculum in Utah includes a section on agriculture. Grace’s CTE teacher is incredibly good hearted and fairly ignorant about livestock. Grace happens to be fairly knowledgeable about livestock and incredibly eager to share her knowledge. After assuring himself that the animals would be safe—“What if it gets cold? Will the sheep be okay being outside all day?—the teacher gave Grace permission to bring the farm to school.
Early Wednesday morning Dad Noel, Grace, and I loaded three hens, three sheep, and two hogs into the horse trailer and drove to SAA. We built a small barnyard in the school yard and let the show begin. All day long, first period through seventh period Grace instructed her peers (every 7th grader in the school) about livestock; she taught them the difference between Suffolk and Soay sheep, she showed them that sheep have no front teeth on their upper jaw, she demonstrated sheep shearing on the Suffolk ewe, she displayed four different colors of chicken eggs, and she held the pig as she explained the subtle hints offered by pig skin color and degree of tail curl. Grace, who loves livestock and loves an audience, was in hog heaven.
It was cold and the sheep were okay being outside all day. So were the chickens, hogs, parent and grandparent. In fact, parent (me) and grandparent (my dad) were much better than okay; we were in our own version of proud progenitor heaven. How fun it was to see our love of land and animal manifest so expertly in the life of our progeny.
P.S. The Suffolk ewe was shorn to the skin Wednesday; her wool coat (six inches thick) was removed. Temperatures reached 29 degrees F and she was outside all night…and she was fine.
P. S. S. Tawny--who qualifies as a neighbor though she lives two towns from us--saw us shivering on the SAA lawn and brought us three steaming cups of gourmet hot cocoa and a couple pounds of trail mix. Amazing. Truly!