Archive for September 2007

Ode to the Oh So Clean Desk

September 18, 2007


I was moved to take a stab at poetry….heh

For many years my desk stood laden
With storybooks and papers
Glue sticks, puppets, tape and scissors
staplers and brads
notes to parents,
notes from parents
confiscated hot wheels
file folders, stray marbles
pencils, crayons and markers
too gluey projects
too painted paintings
(waiting there to dry)
bears, ‘babies’ and big bumble bees
blankies for safe keeping
stickers, stamps and stamp pads
balloons, strings and paper clips
A computer and a camera.

These were the things I needed
Had to have each day.
I always knew where everything was
Could find most anything there
A shuffle here
A shifting there
A treasure hunt galore!

Now my desk is different
There are no longer any drawers.
The need to hold those projects
those papers, knicks and knacks
No longer things to store
My desk….alas….a wonderment to behold
Each pencil, pen and marker
Standing stright in their own slot.
Paper? Heh. I think not.

So what do I do with this desk?
I keep it nice and neat
I set a good example
For the students that I meet.
And when I pine for that messy desk
The desk with things I need?
I rummage through the big clear box
That sits upon my closet.
The box that holds the paperclips
gluesticks, brads and files
hot wheels cars, stray marbles
stickers, stamps and stamp pads
balloons and strings and…….

Chinese Eyes

September 7, 2007


Middle school is a hard world. I sent you off filled with excitement and apprehensions about lockers and combinations and teachers and lunch times and homework. But not the bus. You could hardly wait to ride the bus. Today, just three days into the new school year, you got off that bus, marched to the car and promptly burst into tears. I had to get you inside fast because that big, yellow bus came barreling down that skinny side street right at us. I was brusque and you were crying. My heart was breaking. ‘Chinese eyes’, you said. Two boys. Teasing. Trying to make you mad. Well, it worked. You were mad….and then your feelings were hurt.

This is a tremendous credit to the teachers of your elementary school. You were one of maybe three Asians, in a kid population that was 700 strong. That population was mostly Caucasians with a sprinkling of Hispanics, Blacks and Biracials. Interestingly enough , there were also handful of Russian adoptees. You are very proud of your heritage as a rule….as mixed up as it is. Russian but Asian. And this is the very first time you have ever had to deal with the ‘Chinese eyes’ issue. No doubt your middle school will have the same sort of reaction to bullying, intolerance and acceptance. Give them a chance.

But what about those ‘Chinese eyes’ of yours?

Those eyes have seen the landscapes of a very beautiful Tuva, Russia from hugely tall windows of an orphanage. They have seen the bustling city of Moscow from a taxi cab and an airplane. They have surveyed the sidewalks and wonders from Walt Disney World to Chicago, Illinois. They have camped and tramped through Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Michigan. They have squeezed shut in salty ocean water and opened to bleary focus in chlorine pools. They have blinked away dust in a horse stable and stung with the sweat of soccer practice. They have struggled to make sense of letters and words and numbers and angles. They have danced with the excitement of performing in a school play. They have widened with the thrill of being with your cousins and your aunts and your uncles and Grandparents….that huge family circle that you call your own. They have read signs and maps as we traveled without Dad. They have seen ‘Hannah Montana’ way too many times in one sitting. They have rolled in embarassment when your Mom insists on a kiss or a hug in your estimation of a ‘public place’. We have laughed at those pictures where your eyes are shut in the residue of a huge smile. “Open your eyes, for crying out loud!” I have to say with a laugh as I try for a retake.

And do you know what I like best about those ‘Chinese eyes’ of yours?

Those eyes never ever fail to see anything but the best in other people. They never ever fail to see a challenge and to set sights on achieving it. They never ever fail to soften when you encounter a puppy….or a horse….or a turtle in the road…or a person in need of comfort or help. They never ever fail to sparkle with life and light when something funny crosses your path. They never, ever fail to thrill me when I look into your beautiful face and realize that you belong to me.

‘Chinese eyes’ are my very favorites…and don’t you ever forget that.
I love you, kiddo…and don’t you ever forget that either.