Monday, August 1, 2011

Hopeful Things

 Daylily 'Jambalaya' in a clump - very cheerful.

Sometimes a boost of hope comes at the most unexpected time, in a most unanticipated way.  This weekend, while helping to set up for our church's VBS program, I got talking with the other volunteers.  I knew that one of the ladies there works for our local BOCES program as an administrator of some sort.  (For those outside of New York state, that's Board of Cooperative Educational Services.  They do all sorts of things, from high school vocational ed programs and adult continuing ed opportunities, to ESL, and all sorts of special ed services, including self-contained 12:1:1 and 8:1:1 classrooms.)  Talking with the ladies as we assembled patio lanterns for decorations, I mentioned casually that I was hoping to start subbing this fall in our school district for special ed or middle/high school, and one of them asked if I'd applied at BOCES.  I said I hadn't yet, that I was still trying to figure out their website application process (which isn't very straightforward), but I planned to.  Carla spoke up and asked me if I'd like to interview there later this week, if she could work it out in her schedule.  (!!!!)  Of course, I said yes.  Turns out she's an administrator in the department that hires teachers, aides, and subs.  How's that for serendipity/blessing? 

 Daylily 'Totally Southern'

We had a long weekend, with my husband's sister and her family visiting.  We had a very good time going to the Great American Irish Festival in Herkimer, NY, on Saturday afternoon.  I wish we could have stayed longer - the music was fantastic, but we had to rush home by 5PM.  We grabbed a quick dinner, then we went back out to our church to help with the annual Family Fun Night.   My husband helped with a couple of the huge inflatable games, and I did face painting for two hours. (It's a big to-do in town.  Hundreds and hundreds of people attend each year for the fire department BBQ, a concert, street vendors, and the church's family activities.)  After the sun set, the town capped off the evening with their annual fireworks display, which is set off from the baseball field right next to our church.  (It was AMAZING, better than a lot of cities many times the size of little old Sherrill.)  It was a very fun, but very long and overstimulating day.  We were all in bed quite late, then up the next morning for church.  After church, we had a cookout with my husband's sister's family.  Soon after that, we had THE MELTDOWN.

It seems to be a natural law that after every exciting/busy day with our kids, there will be a day immediately afterward where one or both kids will totally melt down.  Right after lunch Sunday the inevitable happened, triggered by an argument over whose water gun was whose, and who had to share.  It was no fun, it involved a lot of yelling between our kids, and it culminated with a punch thrown (that didn't connect) and a self-defense kick administered where it would hurt the most (and it DID connect).  The end of the story:  two kids in time out for the afternoon.

So, what's hopeful about that, you ask?  Well, after both kids calmed down, Safety Guy asked if he could apologize to his sister.  HE INITIATED AND MADE A GENUINE APOLOGY.  With no poor grace or bad attitude or qualifications.  In spite of the aggravation beforehand, I was pleased to see him make that step on his own.  And Princess Yakyak accepted his apology without any 'tude, and apologized nicely in return.  In my book, that's a victory, a very big sign of hope indeed.

And a much smaller hopeful thing:  my watermelon plants are setting fruit!  Hooray!  And I got enough tomatoes from the garden to make salsa, using my homegrown jalapenos and garlic too.  Sweet.  Life's little things are sometimes the best.