One of our bedtime rituals is to ask our daughters what was their happy moment of the day. The idea is to pick one thing that stands out that brought them happiness. They always find something good to share, or if nothing particular stands out, they just reply that the “whole day!” was their happy moment. It kind of misses the point of focusing on one thing, like seeing a rainbow or a beautiful sunset or having ice cream for dessert, but if they think the whole day was happy, then shoot, I’m happy for them. Of course, they always make me share my happy moment too and I don’t always have as easy a time coming up with something. Often, I am honest that the moment we are sharing then, as I sit on the side of their bed about to kiss them goodnight, is my happiest moment of the day. With that recognition, the stress of the work day or other personal anxiety provoking issues can melt away and I am truly happy.
Literally the day after we declined the spot at Community Magnet, I came home from work extra late, my husband having done pick-up, dinner, the bedtime routine (when I say routine, what I really mean is the repeated nagging to get in their pjs, brush their teeth, get in bed, etc.) All that was left when I arrived home late was to go in to kiss them goodnight and ask them their happy moment. My older daughter’s happy moment was a new one and involved a longer explanation about how they met not one, but TWO kids that live across the street, unrelated to each other, that BOTH go to Carthay and that they played in the front yard and the back yard, until they were called home for dinner. She was so excited about this new discovery that she had a hard time calming down to go to sleep that night. In fact, the excitement continues. The boy is in her grade but in the other 3rd grade class across the hall and they have been saying “hi” to each other at school, while the little girl is in 2nd grade and has started coming over in the morning to walk with us to school, or catch a ride if we are running late. Now almost daily, both kids from across the street find their way to our yard. Luckily, the kids that live downstairs from us seem open to the new visitors as well and our backyard has become a playground filled with laughing shouting kids, purposefully ignoring any adults making any demands on them about homework or dinner preparations.
The beautiful weather and the extra company makes it hard to convince our kids to come in the house. They do their homework on the steps, they ride around on scooters and bikes and shoot baskets, beg for ice cream from the passing ice cream truck and extend the day as long as they can. An aunt of the 3rd grade boy comes over to fetch him for dinner and we introduce ourselves. We recognize each other from when I distributed neighborhood association fliers around the block last year and end up having a pleasant conversation. I explain to her that our girls are so excited to find out that her nephew has moved in across the street as they are not used to having school friends live so close by. ”It’s like the old times”, the aunt says, “when all the kids in the neighborhood go to school together.”
“It sure is,” I reply, and I know what my happy moment of the day will be.
Busy at work last Monday, my cell phone was on vibrate and a call was coming in and I didn’t recognize the number. When I finally had a chance to listen to the message, I was stunned. “Hi, this is so & so, from Community Magnet, we would like to offer a 4th grade spot to your daughter for the 2013-2014 school year. This is your first notice, you will get 2 more and if we don’t hear back from you by Wednesday, we will consider that a rejection and REMEMBER, if you do not accept this spot, you will LOSE ALL OF YOUR ACCUMULATED MAGNET POINTS!!!” She didn’t say it shouting, as the all-caps would imply, but she said it in such a chipper pleasant way that the content of what she she was saying, about losing all of our accumulated points, contrasted with the perkiness and came off sounding sarcastic and taunting. I assume the speaker did not intend to tease or taunt, but only was enjoying her job, thinking she was spreading good cheer with such good news- your child won the lottery and finally gets to come to our wonderful, very coveted school for 4th and 5th grade! But all I could think of was, there is no way our kid is going to agree to leave her school and there is no way this works with our life. Not only because of how dedicated I am to sending our kids to our local school, but our daughter is clearly enthusiastic herself about her school and has continued to grow into a very confident, thriving third grader. So, I already knew the answer before I discussed it with my husband and child, but it didn’t stop the frustration and angst bubbling up inside of me. We had won the magnet lottery and lost the magnet war of the crazy absurd LAUSD magnet point game, just as I had dreaded and discussed in a previous post.
The decision to turn down the spot and lose the accumulated magnet points didn’t phase my husband very much, while I, on the other hand, wanted to drag out the decision making process a little longer. I wanted to stew in the confusion. I really didn’t want to send her to this school, no matter how wonderful it was, so perhaps it came down to that I just didn’t want to let go of those dang magnet points!!! I wanted to store them up, hoard them really, to try to get her into LACES, the highly regarded middle school and high school right here in our neighborhood. If we sent her to Community Magnet, we just might get in – although several friends have attempted, while their child was graduating from Community, and they still didn’t get in – that’s how competitive it is to snag a spot there. As they assured me, if the only reason to change schools now was to attempt getting into the middle school of our choice, it probably wasn’t worth it, because it was still going to be a long shot.
So, I thought I would run it by my child to get her input. Maybe she was secretly bored at school, all of a sudden felt she had outgrown it, or wanted to try something new and explore her adventurist spirit that I know she has in her somewhere, and might really be ready for a change. She was curious when I told her that I had something important to talk to her about. “You got into another school for 4th grade,” I finally told her. “I did? You mean I am not going to Carthay next year?” Some parents would have said, “That’s right! You are going to a new school that you are going to LOVE,” and not asked for any input from their child, because as parents, we should know what our child needs, right? In fact, I am pretty sure she would do fine at that school if we sent her, even if in 4th grade. Being so social, she would have made new friends quickly and enjoyed all of the extra extracurriculars that that uber bunch of parents help pay for, that I read about on greatschools.org and the school’s website. She might have been more academically challenged by being surrounded by so many kids that ace the standardized tests and enjoyed teachers who are fortunate to have classrooms full of kids like that.
But, rewind, we didn’t tell her that she had to go – we asked her what she thought about the idea. Would she want to go see the school? She was curious to see it, but really only if we were going to make her go. Otherwise, she didn’t think it was necessary. I told her that there might be more music, more art, more challenging academics, more everything, really, and she didn’t seem that impressed. So, I told her I wanted to hear why she wanted to stay at her school. She wrote me this list:
Reasons to Stay at Carthay
- Carthay has a garden
- My friends go to Carthay.
- My sister goes to Carthay.
- My dad is a PTA board member.
- I know all of the teachers and I like the staff.
- I live close to Carthay
- I helped design the new play structure. *
- I am in the student Council.
- I like the after school progam and the STAR director.
- I know at least one kid from each grade.
- I feel comfortable at this school.
- I am challenged enough.
(* really I think she just helped pick the colors, but clearly she feels she was part of the process)
I read the list over a couple of times and sighed a big sigh of relief. The next morning, I replied to the follow up email, our second notice/warning from that enthusiastic magnet coordinator, and graciously declined their kind offer. Poof went our magnet points into the thin air. Instead of feeling the pain of the loss of all those valuable points, I felt light and free. I knew we had made the right decision. And I am sure we made some other family further down on the list very, very happy.
This past Friday morning as part of our school’s kindergarten tour, Susan, our school’s fabulous parent spokesperson/P.R. representative, walked to the podium and spoke so lovingly, as always, about her experience at our school, but for the first time I have seen, she did so without getting obviously choked-up. Next, our resource coordinator, Aniko, presented a slide-show about our school’s extra-curricular and academic support programs. It was fun to see my kids and all the kids I knew up on the screen enjoying their school day. Fortunately, I arrived early enough before the program started, that I had the opportunity to schmooze with some interested parents, over coffee and pastries (is it true that we are the only school that serves refreshments at their tour?).
What a treat to meet these eager parents and some of their kids that came with them. Some of the parents/families I met live just beyond the Carthay Center Elementary school boundaries and are looking to permit in, while others I met lived across the street or a couple of blocks away. Still another couple said they work at nearby hospitals which would make it convenient for drop-off and pick-up. One mother admitted that she had gone to Carthay as a child and had recently moved back into the area. I even got to meet one of my blog readers from the neighborhood. (Nice to meet you!!)
Our school has a lot to brag about, but I also was honest with parents when they asked – is there anything that could be improved? Sure, we could have a little more money and a few more involved parents. We may never be the kind of school that has high-end gala events with silent auctions, but parents and teachers are already striving to make this a better school and in the age of budget cuts more involvement and more money could certainly help us reach our goals.
I tried to see the school afresh through their eyes this morning and to me, it looked great: Susan and Aniko’s enthusiasm, the auditorium that has such classic character, the garden with its new pergola and lusciously filled garden boxes, a couple of happy free-range chickens, and the cheerful kindergarten playground, filled with happy free-range kindergarteners (maybe the chickens are more free-range than the kinder-kids, but both groups are obviously happy!). In the back upper-grade playground workers were busy ripping out the old play structures, evidence that the plan to renovate our outdoor space is actually starting and will be a reality, not just a dream.
I walked through several classrooms with the tour including my younger daughter’s former kindergarten classroom, where she started out at the beginning of the year. My daughter was moved up to first grade in December after a couple of months of transition approved by our principal and facilitated collaboratively by her kindergarten teacher and her now first grade teacher. It was the the right decision for our child and the transition was done so well, that I was the only one who was emotionally effected by the move (my baby is growing up so fast!). My friends with kids at other more well-funded schools were surprised how easy the school made it for us to address our child’s educational needs. “You would have to fight for that at our school,” said one. I also know of a second grader who was moved up a grade this year and a second grader who was moved back to first. In addition, the school has pull-out groups for advanced reading and for reading assistance and an after-school homework club (but, we could always use more parents or neighbors to help with this!). To me, this reflects on the attentiveness of our school’s administration, the flexibility of our teachers, and the community feel of the school. Hopefully this also means that the teachers and administrators are not letting kids slide by or slip through the cracks at our school. Besides it being a safe fun place to go to school everyday, it seems to me that the kids’ academic needs are being met.
Our school feels like a family – a little intimate community, where everyone knows your name (“Like Cheers, without the booze” Susan called it last week at the tour). No, we don’t have an orchestra or a yoga space in a fancy gym, but we do have a place where kids can come and feel at home. It is good to always be striving for more, raising more money, opening up opportunities for our children, and gaining more respect and support from the surrounding community, but it is also good to stop and appreciate what we already have. And we have so much.
So, dear neighborhood parents, stop your stressing about where your child is going to go to kindergarten! It causes wrinkles and grey hair and surely doesn’t help your kids, who would totally do great at our school. The extra money you save on gas driving your kid can either go into your pocket or be donated to the PTA, which we could use towards our programs. More importantly, the extra time you save on driving your kid across town or struggling to get them up early enough to catch the bus, could be used for you to slow down and breath or help out in the classroom or in the garden. You and your growing kids could sleep in an extra half hour or more and who wouldn’t love that? You know I sure do!
It has been a while since I have written. I know some of my followers don’t live locally, but there might be some folks out there in the neighborhood, who will read this and who are still stressing out about where to send their kids to kindergarten next year. Don’t overlook the gem in your backyard. You can’t really judge a school until you come visit and see for yourself.
So, I am cutting and pasting the notice for our upcoming tours – one of which is TOMORROW! Please spread the word!
KINDER TOURS 2013
Would you like to join us on a Carthay Center Elementary School Tour?
Please try to find a time/date that works for you. These are the ONLY tour dates of 2013!
Thursday, March 14 @ 8:45 am
Friday, April 5 @ 8:45 am
These are the only Tour opportunities at Carthay Center School. If you are unable to make one of the dates listed above, there will be no other chances for a School Tour. We hope you can join us!
Carthay Center Elementary School has classes for children in grades Kinder – 6th, and also has a free Pre-K program for 4 year olds.
For prospective Carthay families:
RSVPs are required. You must RSVP if you want to be notified of any changes in time and date (although we do not expect to make changes, if there is an urgent reason to do so, we will make necessary changes and notify all those who RSVP’d).
Please RSVP as soon as possible to SUSAN NICKERSON via email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will meet our wonderful Principal, Ms. Calhoun, and tour the school campus (garden, Kindergarten playground, computer lab, library, etc) and briefly visit at least one Kindergarten classroom and another grade level classroom to observe while class is in session.
Allow approximately 90-120 minutes for the tour.
Did you know that Carthay Center’s API score is 816?
What Are a Few of Our Favorite Things at Carthay Center Elementary School?
- Garden Science Program: project based learning in our award winning Garden of Possibilities
- Salad Bar – healthy dining with fresh greens
- PE Program: parent-funded with PE coaches
- CDI Dance: A wonderful dance program & year-end performance at the Ebell Theater
- Young StoryTellers: Professional TV & feature film writers guide our students through the screenplay process, culminating in The Big Show with celebrity actors!
- Field Trip destinations within walking distance (LACMA, Page Museum & Tarpits, Peterson Museum, Zimmer Museum, etc.)
- A beautiful campus – Historic architecture and a huge open playground
- Chickens in the Garden of Possibilities Chicken Coop
- Recycling/compostng “Sustainable Schools” pilot program
- Amazing & energetic Principal, Ms. Calhoun
- Creative & Committed Teachers
- Dedicated Staff
As I drove into work yesterday morning, I caught a piece from one of my favorite local public radio correspondents, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, talking about how NYC Mayor Bloomberg just donated a big chunk of money (Yes – ONE million BUCKS) to Coalition for School Reform, a committee to re-elect members of the LAUSD school board favored by our mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. I haven’t spent enough time exploring who is even running for the school board, although I do know some of the names, and promise I will start doing my research now.
It just struck me as ironic that just the night before my husband, who is the treasurer of our PTA, was revealing to me that we are behind in fund-raising this year. Our recent walk-a-thon didn’t bring in as much money as last year and our realtor sponsors either haven’t sold a lot of homes in the area lately, or they just aren’t giving us the donations they used to. We don’t demand huge annual gifts from our families and the majority of them just don’t have it. Those that do, give, but it isn’t enough to close the gap. Among other things, our PTA pays for our custodian, our PE coach, our Garden Science program, Writer’s Workshop, field trips, technology and the California Dance Institute (CDI) – an amazing non-profit accessible dance program that allows our 3rd-6th graders to participate in a 12-week dance workshop that gets kids moving and grooving to live music, no matter what the level of their dance ability. I love their mission statement – ”CDI’s mission is to motivate children to develop a personal standard of excellence by instilling confidence, discipline and focus through the rigor and joy of dance.”
All that confidence and joy was on display Wednesday when our school’s CDI program culminated with the kids performing three shows through out the day. I rushed out of work a few minutes early to make it to the evening show. Our cute little auditorium was filled to standing room-only with family and friends. The kids danced into the room by classrooms, with their distinct colored shirts. Even though it was their third such performance that day, you could feel the kids’ excitement and pride as each one ran across the front of the performance space, leaping and calling out their name, each one a star. I admit I get super-sentimental at these types of performances. I can barely watch a 4th of July parade without getting teary-eyed, even when I don’t know the kids from some high school marching by me. But yesterday I knew and at least recognized so many of the kids performing that my emotional engagement level was upped to a new level. I watched the teachers sitting in the audience with huge beaming smiles of pride on their faces alongside the parents and I got a bit choked up. It was obvious the time spent away from academics on this program was not wasted and that the precious funds that the PTA allocates to this program are not wasted. My third grader can’t wait to do the program again next year and I pray that we can keep it going for my 6-year-old to be able to take part when she is in 3rd grade. She already picked up many of the moves from watching her big sister practice at home and it would be a shame if she couldn’t have the experience as well.
CDI does have healthy list of big foundations subsidizing their non-profit organization, whom without, our school could never afford the share of the costs which we are responsible for, so I don’t want to bash all the altruistic millionaires out there that are funding the arts in public schools. But in a more ideal equitable world, we wouldn’t have to be begging them for more – it would just be a priority that all schools had decent arts programing.
I also know that money talks in politics, that the school board election is important, that there are some people who are are better suited than others to take our school district forward in the right directions. Conserve what is good, reform what is not. But geez, Mr. Bloomberg and all you big donors trying to influence our school board election, couldn’t you have given just a tiny-weeny bit of your millions of dollars directly to our school so these kids can keep on dancing? Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Two weeks ago, I left a Carthay PTA meeting early so I could run off to a different meeting about a new middle school/high school opening in our neighborhood on the campus of Fairfax High School, a high school that for decades had a predominantly middle class student body, many of them Jewish. My mother-in-law went there in the 50s, as did the rabbi who officiated our wedding and parents of many of my friends. It had been a “great school” back then, but, like many of the schools in our area, its classes are overcrowded because of a shortage of teachers and it struggles for resources and reputation. No-one in my circle of friends and aquaintances talks about Fairfax High School as a place where they hope their child can go for high school. We are still 2 1/2 years away from our older daughter going to middle school, but I wanted to hear what this meeting was all about, since our home middle school is way across town, due to the nearly-impossible-to get-into magnet school, “LACES,” having taken over our geographically-convenient middle school campus years ago.
Arriving about 20 minutes late, I entered a beautiful home, in the affluent Hancock Park neighborhood, with a large living room already packed with eager parents. Among them I saw a handful of familiar faces. Some I knew or recognized from the our kids’s preschool from years ago. Others were moms in the neighborhood — some current Carthay parents, some parents who tried Carthay briefly, and some who never gave it a try. There were men there too, but it was predominantly women and predominanty White women. Like everyone else, I was there to hear about “West Hollywood Academy for Global Sciences” (“WHAGS”)-a LAUSD Pilot School that was building momentum to get off the ground on the campus of Fairfax High School.
The main public face behind the project is Steve Barr, the former chairman of Green Dot Charter schools (which is known for taking over and re-organizing schools in lower-income neighborhoods) and now head of the new organization, Future Is Now. He was speaking when I walked in so I unfortunately arrived too late to hear his whole introduction, but I think I heard him say that he had tried unsuccessfully to take over some high schools in more middle-class neighborhoods, but since that didn’t work, he has re-thought his approach and now was going to partner with LAUSD. Apparently both Steve Barr and LAUSD were coming to a sort of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” kind of attitude. Because he has successfully spearheaded charter schools, he lends credibility to the project, but of course stirred up my defensive insticts as well. Writing this blog about our school and school issues has given me a chance to explore my conflicting feelings about charter schools and how they affect existing schools, and there I was, at a meeting being run by one of the national faces in charter school education. I shot a text to my husband about what a fun time I was having at the meeting.
The teachers involved in the project who got up and spoke were young, energetic, and obviously motivated. One currently teaches at Fairfax and one actually graduated from Fairfax himself. They spoke of a small-school concept that would be different than the typical Charter school take-over approach, in that it would be a school district-approved and -authorized school-within-a-school. They expressed that ideally the new school would partner with the larger school, while providing some alternative, innovative, teacher-driven, student-focused learning. They spoke of decentralizing the allocation of resources and attracting amazing teachers willing to sacrifice the promise of tenure, and instead willing to renew their contracts yearly, based on their success in the classroom.
I was excited to be in the room for this discussion, and excited when an African American woman, who I saw arrive even later than I did, stood up and announced that she was from Fairfax High School and could represent that the school DID NOT WANT this school on its campus and that the teachers and parents RESENTED the ‘secrecy’ and ‘sneaky way’ this project was trying to get in through the backdoor and take over. Audible tension began to percolate in the room. I felt like I was a journalist finally experiencing the clash of ideas over education first-hand and knew this evening was something I would have to write about here. The woman made good points about Fairfax having a diverse student body where everyone mixes together and instead of taking over, there should be a movement to support the programs that are already there; support the overworked, underpaid teachers who are there; reduce class size and provide more resource. One of the teachers, who knew the woman, tried to respond to her accusations that this meeting was part of a sinister plan to start a charter on Fairfax’s campus. Clearly the outspoken woman had missed the beginning of the presentation that explained how the school was not a charter school, and came into the meeting when they were explaining how WHAGS would kind of look and act like a charter school but would work within the school district. WHAGS would not target the kids already at Fairfax that like the school set up as it is now, but would appeal to families that are drawn to charters and alternative-school models. The tension finally dissipated when another parent gracefully expressed that the upset parent had a point – how does this school within the school not become an elitist bastion of upper-middleclass (white) students in a sea of “diversity” (color)? As the outspoken mom had said – Fairfax already has everything and everyone is all mixed up together getting along just fine. It was a question I wanted asked and answered as well. The answer was that the enrollment would be based on a first-come, first-served basis as long as the child lives within the existing high school boundaries. There would be no lottery nor a founding parent pathway to guarantee acceptance based on money, volunteer commitment, or parents’ careers – practices that have sparked controversy, allowed some popular charters to enroll a certain type of student body, and have subsequently been banned.
A lot of the presentation was interesting and exciting and used all the hot buzzwords in education that make hyper-engaged parents without a private school budget swoon with delight: small learning groups, interdisciplinary core curriculum with project-based learning, parent & community partnerships, advisory programs, social justice, environmental science themes, integrated technology, innovation, etc.
I patiently raised my hand until I was finally able to ask the big question I had. What if my kid goes to this pilot school but wants to compete on the high school swim team, march in the marching band, or try out for the musical. Will she be able to? The answer wasn’t entirely satisfactory: Since they are going to partner with the high school, that can happen, but the school day will be organized in a way that keeps the schools separate. The new school will start earlier and end later. They will change class periods at different times so that the two student bodies won’t mix in any halls. So how could my kids be in any of the main school’s programs if the class periods don’t line up? What if the partnership doesn’t work out and the main school doesn’t give such permission to the pilot school kids? I want my girls to have the experience of a real public high school with all the grime, grit & glory. I want them to learn to live in the real world and get a long with people that don’t look like them, don’t live in the same kind of houses they do, who don’t speak the same language at home and whose parent doesn’t obsess about their educational future as much as I do because they have other priorities. I want my children to continue to love learning, but I don’t want to coddle them. I want them to learn to make choices and be independent. Things should be good, but they shouldn’t be so easy that it is taken for granted. Of course, I have no idea what the student body will be like at this new school within a school. Maybe it will have just the perfect mix of motivated students with motivated parents from all over Fairfax High School’s large economically and culturally diverse geographic zone. A real L.A. educational utopia.
Before I left the meeting, while thanking one of our hosts, who had graciously opened her family’s home for this meeting, I spotted the outspoken Fairfax High mom chatting with a group of other parents across the room. They were all smiling. Maybe this pilot school model is the way to go to increase our community’s enthusiasm for our public schools without tearing down the walls. Reform instead of revolution.
I went home and “liked” WHAGS on Facebook so I can keep track of their progress. In a couple of more years, when we need to find our kids a middle school, we can see how it all played out.
During the last week of school before Winter break, way across the country, dozens of children were gunned down at their elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. A couple of days later my family and I flew off to sunny beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula for a family vacation, but we could not totally avoid the unfolding story, as every TV turned on in restaurants and bars in the bustling tourist town in which we were staying, were reporting on the gruesome events. Upon our return to California from Mexico the following week, the events in Newtown took a back stage as we experienced a death in our own family. We just came back to Los Angeles in time for our children to start the new semester this past Monday and at first it didn’t register in my mind why there was a police car parked in front of the school. I was pulled back into the new normal of fear when it was explained to me that the police officer stationed there was not on the look-out for parking violators, but was part of a new local safety campaign initiated in reaction to Newtown. Since I have a blog about school issues, I know I should probably write about this atmosphere, but dealing with the recent grief over the loss of our own loved-one, I seem to be at a loss for words today.
However, two of my close friends, who are excellent writers, have already beautifully written about their feelings that were provoked by the tragic events in December. I would like to share their stories. The first one is by Gabrielle Kaufman, which I include with her permission.
Broken Dreams of Safety
Today, January 7, 2013, I dropped my son off at school for his first day back to first grade after winter break. The Friday of his last day of school on December 14, 2012, was a day many of us remember with horror. 27 murdered. 20 first graders slain. While my child sang, “Mele Kelikimaka” at the holiday show at his school, some first graders from another school never came home. The day for them started out just as ours did, but ended in devastation.
Today, the principal tried to comfort us. “From now on the gates will be locked all day. Police will visit campus daily.” But, I look at his beautiful school, surrounded by exposed fences, and I am less than comforted. As I walk past the police officer, I feel no ease, but rather the sick realization that this is only a weak attempt to pacify our anxiety. I don’t blame the principal, the police officer, nor the LAUSD superintendent. No one can allay our fears today. Because what happened in Newtown was not supposed to happen. It was not the result of lax security. It was the stuff of our deepest nightmares.
During this winter break, my first grader turned 7. My heart ached for the mothers who would not be able to celebrate their child’s 7th birthday. Those mothers were robbed of 20 mischievous smiles, whiny frowns, snuggly mornings, and sugared up frenzies. The innocence of my son’s youth, as we celebrated one more year of his life, was more poignant this year, a bitter sweetness. I grasped to capture his essence, trying to make up for the loss of so many others.
Attempting to make sense of this tragedy is like believing that our children are safe because a police officer makes a symbolic visit and the school gates are locked all day. The reality is harsh and cold: we can love and protect our children only so much, and then they go out to the world. We want to believe that our world is full of wonder and beauty. But, excruciatingly we learn, it is also filled with horrors.
As I drive away from campus, my heart is suspended. I place my right palm on my cheek. My 7 year old kissed my hand this morning and asked me to hold his kiss all day. If only I could hold him and keep him truly safe.
The second piece is by friend and fellow blogger – Amy Levinson, whose own personal health issues were put into perspective by the events in Newton. Read “How One’s Life is Defined,” in her blog pairofgenes.com
I hope to resume my own writing soon. Thank you Gabrielle and Amy for finding the words.
May 2012 bring peace to all of you, your friends and families.