Sunday, September 23, 2007

My first day "teaching" and my sweet daughter

Today was my first day teaching religious education at our church. I'm working with the 2-4 year olds. My sweet daughter greeted me this morning with a big smile and a "Good Morning, Mrs. Sunday-school teacher!" Then before I left (she needed a day off so stayed home with dad) she gave me a hug and said "You'll be a great teacher, because you're the best mom that was ever born." Awww. She is such a sweet-heart!

So my first day went really well. Only about half the kids I was expecting were there, but I was glad because it made it a lot easier to work with the group. The kids were great and followed my directions well. The lesson plan went off without a hitch. It was such a welcome change from the first day working at my daughter's co-op preschool, which I wrote about last week. I'm looking forward to next Sunday!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The best big sister in the world

Today was DD1's school book fair. I only sent $12 with her, as last year that was more than enough for her to buy two books. One for her, one for her little sister (this was her own idea). So this year apparently she picked out her sister's stuff first. A book, a pencil and an eraser. She ended up spending ALL her money on her sister, so she couldn't buy anything for herself. It's so sweet and so sad at the same time, it makes my heart break. I couldn't ask for a more loving and thoughtful child, this girl is always giving to others, sometimes to the detriment of herself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The first day of preschool

Today is my 3 yr. old's first day of preschool. I'm really happy to get her into an environment where she can socialize with other children her age. Right now all her friends are actually her sister's friends, and consequently 2-4 yrs. older than her. She is great with one-on-one playing, but not with group play. She likes to be the center of attention too much. I am hoping that preschool will give her a chance to learn how to interact in a group and play more age appropriate games. Plus I'm looking forward to two hours to myself! Yeah preschool!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remember Beslan

I am late in posting this, but the memories just came surging back.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia, for those who may be unfamiliar with the tragedy:

"The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan Massacre) began when a group of armed Chechen separatists/Islamic fundamentalists[1] took more than 1,200 schoolchildren and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation). On the third day of the standoff, a chaotic gunbattle broke out between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. 334 civilians were killed,[2] including 186 children[3] and hundreds more were wounded."

I was in Germany when the hostage crisis took place. On the first day of the new school year in Russia terrorists took this school and 1200 children with their parents hostage, in the name of Chechnian freedom. I watched for days as children suffered and were killed. The Russian government completely bungled the negotiations and rescue efforts. It was horrible. Some of the terrorists were women. Possibly mothers. Yet they killed other mothers and their children. Why? I do not understand this insanity in the name of God or Country.

So when September rolls around, we must remember the victims of 9/11, but we must also remember all the other victims of terrorism in the world as well.

6 years ago today...

I was living in Frankfurt, Germany. My first baby was only 3 weeks old, and I was trying to adjust to motherhood. Honestly it wasn't that hard, as this fierce, overwhelming love, more intense than anything I had ever felt before, was carrying me through. It was afternoon in Germany, when my husband called home to say that 2 airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers. I thought he was mistaken, there was no way such a thing could happen. Maybe one small plane, but two? I rushed to turn on the TV, my baby in my arms, then sank to the couch in shock.

I spent the next several hours on that couch, switching back and forth between CNN and BBC, trying to learn, trying to understand what happened. It was only 6 am on the West Coast where my family lived, but I called and woke them up; "turn on the TV" I told my sleepy mother. We cried together on the phone.

The thoughts I remember from that day are those of a new mother who only wishes for her child to have a safe world to grow up in. I grieved for those lost, and the ones who lost them. I was angered that anyone could have such a callous disregard for life. I was also scared. Scared because Bush was in office. Scared that his reaction would lead to another World War. Scared because my home was just minutes away from one of the financial centers of Europe, and if an attack were to come to Germany we could be in danger. Scared because I was an American on foreign soil. Scared because I didn't want my baby to grow up in a world where strangers would kill strangers over ideology...

Now, 6 years later I look back to find that only some of my fears came to pass. But I think the potential for world-wide disaster is still near. For me, today is a day to remember the innocent people who lost their lives, and it is also a day to remember that it is fear, hatred, and zelotism which caused those losses. It may sound idealistic, it may sound naive, but wouldn't the best way to honor the victims of terrorism be to find world peace?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to school blues

Tomorrow my 6 year old will be starting 1st grade. She is very excited; she made her new teacher a present and has been practicing reading for the last couple of weeks to get ready. She wants to ride the bus, eat at school and learn lots of new things. I'm happy that she is so excited, but I am sad to see her take this big step. To me this year is 100 times worse than when she started Kindergarten. For me it is one more blow towards her becoming an independant adult. She keeps telling me, "you'll be sad when I'm gone all day in school". Yes, darling, I will!

What makes the whole situation worse is my job requires me to work 4-10pm. That was great when both girls were little, as they had either mom or dad taking care of them most of the day. But now she will be in school until 4, so I won't even see her before I leave for work. I can't help her with her homework or ask about her day. If anything bad happens I won't be there to see her face when she comes home and talk to her about it (getting info out of her can be like pulling teeth, it takes great care and understanding plus a lot of time). I have Tuesdays off, so I've promised her that will be "our day"; when dad gets home to watch the little one she and I will go out for a walk, hot cocoa or whatever else she wants to do.

It is just so sad to see my precious little one, the girl who was permanently attached to mama's hip until age 3, make these transitions to independance, even though I am fiercly proud of the girl she has become.