Dear Reader

  1. Dear Reader, As a millennial, I have read quite a bit of listicles.
  2. But to you, dear reader, I say: You are here. Alive. Breathing.
  3. What are you reading, dear reader?
  4. If she knew, dear reader, would she step off, or would she sadly wave as this world passed her by, a blur through the glass?
  5. Which slice do you want to take a bite from, dear reader?
  6. Please, dear reader, enjoy my live(ish) updates on the latest episode.
  7. This slice does not quite do justice to my mom, dear reader, but I’m sure you already knew that.
  8. Here’s a mashup recipe for me to enjoy later, and hoping you might too, dear reader!
  9. What I should say, dear reader, is that I like the feeling music gives me.
  10. I am rusty with poetry, dear reader.
  11. What on earth did I do to earn this powerful role, dear reader?
  12. I know this is a band aid, dear reader, but I feel like this challenge is pushing me creatively and productively, and I know my real and true story will come.
  13. You know Mick, dear reader.
  14. But they’re not just places, are they,  dear reader?
  15. What is your favorite part of a road trip, dear reader?
  16. I’d prefer to spend my time with my dear friends than write today, dear reader.
  17. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear reader!
  18. So sorry, dear reader, if you were hoping for subtle like my husband.
  19. Dear reader, The first illustration with humans. A friend in Vietnam.
  20. Enjoy, dear reader.
  21. I think I’ll pour a glass of wine and get in bed, dear reader.
  22. I tried to type to you that I played Snow White, dear reader, but it autocorrected to Snow Whore.
  23. Dear reader, World Down Syndrome Day was on 3/21.
  24. What is your family like, dear reader?
  25. If tomorrow’s coming, dear reader, I hope it waits.
  26. To be continued tomorrow, dear reader.
  27. Dear reader, I hadn’t intended for this to be a three part story.
  28. I could tell you, dear reader, about how our afternoon went from dream to nightmare when two unleashed dogs approached us minutes apart.
  29. I was more myself than before, dear reader.
  30. (if you know me you know what this means, dear reader!)
  31. This is a compilation of the pieces i wrote for you, dear reader. This month I’ve spent writing to you has been a light in my life. Thank you for you time, patience, acceptance, and support. It makes this reincarnated writer’s heart very full. Signing off for now.

That Time of Year

This year has really been a lesson in resilience. My students started the year quiet and a bit anxious to make mistakes and take risks. I started out the year wondering how I could keep my students safe and smiling while each student adjusted to the structure of my classroom at different rates (if you know me you know what this means, dear reader!). This week, we have seen some amazing leaps and bounds in our toughest subject, writing. This little one had never held a pencil in August, and just published her first narrative BOOK about a family visit to Mt. Vernon. Proud is an understatement!

Paul

Austin, Texas. A blur of double whiskeys, Friday Night Lights references, shaggy bartenders with polite drawls. Graffiti lit the path of “up and coming” street, shadows of construction cranes threatening to bring us down from our adrenaline high.

Over tacos, it was decided. Our deepest loves would be painted on our bodies, Texas forever. We mosied up the steps of a quiet, clean building. It kept its graffiti on the inside.

I felt the numbers on my skin before they were sealed. I felt kind eyes on me, envisioning his canvas. Paul.

Vulnerable, I felt the gun pierce my skin. Paul put pen to paper. The value of the numbers increased as they were polished and dabbed. I was new. I was more myself than before, dear reader. I was a canvas.

Park Part 3

We slow from a crawl to a stop as I park the car. A whine of excitement escapes from his throat. PARK!

Two paws, four paws hit the pavement. We weave down the street to the entrance. Nose immediately to the ground. Jungle Fin has emerged. He is a detective, a hunter, an explorer, taking in as many scents as he can. It is a dance – bob, weave, rush, halt. He steals a look back at me as he flashes his signature grin. His ears are radio antennae, taking in a faint trickling sound as we approach a stream. Stepping stones are new. I teach him – hop, pause. Hop, pause. Hop, pause. Behind me, I hear hop, pause, licklicklick. Hop, pause, licklicklick. He drinks as if this moment is the stream, and there will never be another moment (or stream) this delightful again. Sunlit green surrounds us. The Emerald City. A smile now plays at my lips. Has there ever been a calmer, quieter, prettier afternoon?

I could continue. I could tell you, dear reader, about how our afternoon went from dream to nightmare when two unleashed dogs approached us minutes apart. About how their owners were either not to be found, or turned up their noses at us. At the royal we – a sweet, anxious, leash reactive dog and his well intentioned, anxious, boiling owner. But don’t you prefer to remember it how I’d like to?

Park Part 2

Dear reader,

I hadn’t intended for this to be a three part story, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I feel that this post is more integral to the rest of my slice from yesterday. I didn’t want this story to feel fake or forced. I knew I could write about a previous visit to the park, but I really wanted to write about today’s visit, so here is my preface. Tomorrow, please enjoy the frilly version of my story, knowing its edges are little bit dulled and its bite, a bit sweetened.

My sweet dog, Fin, struggles with leash reactivity. He loves walks and being outside, but is only successful due to training and treats. He still barks at random humans or dogs periodically. It’s really challenging watching your dog turn from Bruce Banner to the Hulk sometimes. As a result, Fin is a part of the Yellow Dog Project (www.yellowdogproject.com). As part of your spring safety lessons in your classroom or at home, consider including provisions about approaching unknown dogs. Kids and adults should always ask to pet a dog they don’t know! And unleashed dogs and owners should always ask before approaching a leashed dog they don’t know. It saves the dog (and its grateful owner) stress and time, and keeps everyone safe!

*gets off of soap box*

Park Part 1

“Do you wanna go to the park?”

Immediate play stance. Emotive, begging eyes. Folded ears intently forward. Skinny butt in the air, shaking as fast as his too-long tail.

I grab the leash. Butt down, chest out. Tail still at work, sweeping along the floor. One paw, two paws independently hop into the harness. He’s all but buckled it himself.

Down the stairs and into the car. His gums stretch into a smile. PARK!

He is a metronome, tilting from one window to the other, desperate to take in every moment of the afternoon. I reach back and tousle his sun kissed hair. His eyes flicker to me for a moment. A walk in the park is our love language.

To be continued tomorrow, dear reader.

Good Things

Not just a moody song I love by a band called The Menzingers, it ACTUALLY describes my day!

Wore my favorite jumpsuit today for the warm weather.

Sun was shining on my commute.

THAT student had one meltdown instead of his usual 2+, and used a calming strategy independently for the first time EVER.

Breathtaking bouquet of flowers waiting at the door from my stepmom.

Monday Runday with my sweet pup.

If you follow me you know I had cancelled dinner plans last week I was really looking forward to – rescheduled!

Delicious and comforting dinner with my dad and godmother.

Cozy and relaxed by 8pm.

If tomorrow’s coming, dear reader, I hope it waits. I want to bask in today a little longer.