I love…

Sometimes after a challenging day at work I need to remember that there really is a lot to like in this world, a lot to love even.  This was one of those days and so turning the corner into this blissful three-day weekend, I’m focusing on the parts of my life I love.  It is not a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, I’m going to come back and add more over the weekend.  I hope you’ll let me know about all the things you love in the comments section.

  • I love the smell of Terry just out of the shower, wrapped in steam with stray drips of water still behind his ears.
  • I love when we’re laying in bed and Terry reaches over and touches my leg, acknowledging I’m there with him.
  • I love the steady beat of my heart.
  • I love reading blogs in the morning before work to see how friends in other parts of the world are starting the day.
  • I love tucking under a blanket with a good book as the rain streams down my windows.
  • I love riding my bike the long way up to Shasta Dam just because I can.
  • I love the pink casing on my bike that matches my jersey and my water bottles.
  • I love going to church and closing my eyes to worship.
  • I love praying with Terry as we part ways in the morning.
  • I love when my nephew begs for more tickles and kisses me with crackers in his mouth.
  • I love when one of my students says, “I love writing.”
  • I love eating summer blackberries from my backyard.
  • I love writing.
  • I love writing so much I’m putting it on the list twice.
  • I love talking to other teachers about how to foster young writers.
  • I love visiting new places, but I love coming home even more.
  • I love Abby and her candy drawer.
  • I love Nick because he believes I’m a better person than I really am.
  • I love my Gramma because she understands the worst parts of my life and doesn’t judge me for them.
  • I love green vegetables.
  • I love when my principal has my back.
  • I love my grade level team for making me a better teacher.I love my home.
  • I love burritos.
  • I love parasailing over the turquoise Caribbean ocean.
  • I love the Olympics.

The Auntie Diaries: Happy Birth Day, Aiden!

Dear Aiden,

It’s your Birth Day today.  For reasons beyond my understanding this is not technically your “first birthday”.  Even though it really is.  You were born on the most perfect day.  At around one in the morning your dad sent me a message saying they were on the way to the hospital because you were finally ready to see the world.

I got the message from your daddy and probably responded with a “afhoighyerhjans” because I am always very coherent in the wee hours of the morning.  What I meant by “afhoighyerhjans” is that I said a prayer for you to begin your life happy and healthy.  I laid awake breathing in the scent of summer rain.  I wondered when you would take your first breath.  I wondered if you’d be lucky enough to catch the same scent of rain.  All night long I awoke to the steady tap of rain dripping from gutters.  Each time, I checked to see if there was a message proclaiming your arrival.  The veil of night gave way to morning sun and the rain slowed to a mist.

At 6:59 am, your mom ushered you into the world.  Your daddy called me a little while later to tell me you were healthy and that your mommy birthed you naturally.  She is a strong woman, your mom, a fact you will surely appreciate many times in your life.

I came to meet you this afternoon.  You were asleep and kept flinging your blanket off.  Swaddling is not for you, almost like you’ve been cooped up too long and just want to stretch out.  Your mom wasn’t wearing a stitch of make-up and her hair was pulled up with curls escaping here and there.  She looked beautiful and happy with you by her side.

You are surrounded by people who love you and I thought I’d give you a heads up on some of us.  Your daddy knows everything about cars and will teach you as you grow up.  Your mommy is selfless, always putting her family before herself.  Your brother is awesome at kicking a soccer ball and I imagine the two of you playing many games together.  In case you need a laugh, your brother does a side-splitting impression of a duck.

Your Uncle Terry knows everything about sports.  He is convinced kids don’t like him, but you two will get along perfectly, especially if you root for the Chargers.  As for me, I love to read and write.  You’ll live among piles of books upon books upon books.  When you’re a little bigger we will go to the park to look at bugs, dig in the dirt, zip down the slide, and talk about all the things we see.

It’s going to be a great life, Aiden, full of joy, full of love.  Happy Birth Day, sweet nephew of mine.


Auntie Alicia