About Me

Thanks for being here! I am a mom of three (two girls, 15 and 13, and one boy, 9) and a teacher of many (thousands during my more than 17 years teaching high school English and Spanish in Philadelphia). Forever a student, I love learning - whether through talking to others, reading, watching movies and documentaries, or traveling. I also love running (slowly), hiking, and practicing yoga!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Gabriel in the Cubby (The Gift of Laughter)

"Why was there a Gabriel in my cubby?"
This morning I woke up earlier than usual to attend a before school meeting. I had to drop off my 5-year-old Joseph first, and of course he was not at all interested in getting out of bed, putting on his shoes, or buckling his seat belt, so we were running a bit late (as usual). I was focused on everything but the present when laughter brought me back. I am so grateful when that happens.

Here's the story: Once at school (about ten minutes later than I wanted), Joseph was cold so did not want to take off his coat. He also did not want to walk across the hall to the other room, where his teacher was. Trying to hide my stress (because we all know that makes children more stressed, and therefore more difficult) I offered quite cheerfully (I thought) to get him a sweater from his cubby, and that reminded him of something. "Mom!" he exclaimed. "Why was there a Gabriel in my cubby yesterday?"

I looked at him with confusion. "What? What do you mean, a Gabriel?"

He scrunched up his face. "Um, no, not a person, you know ... a .... a ... what do you call that thing you wear on your boobies?" (Yes, I know, we are supposed to only use the correct terms for body parts with children, but I guess in my house we don't ... )

"Joseph, do you mean a bra?"

His face lit up. "Yes! A bra! Why was there a bra in my cubby yesterday?"

"There was a bra in your cubby yesterday?" I had a sinking feeling. I knew exactly why there was a bra, along with his blanket and sheet, in his cubby. I went over  and pulled out the bin, and then the sweet blanket with his name and birthday on it, and the sheet with the sailboats. There, folded within, was the bra that had been washed with them over the weekend. Ah, indeed. A Gabriel in the cubby.

I discreetly folded the bra and put it in my coat to carry back to the car. Joseph and I giggled. And there it was -- the crack of laughter in my life that I needed to return to myself. Joseph walked across the hall with me, coat still on, and I gave him a kiss goodbye. "Love you, Bud, see you this afternoon."

"Love you mom," he answered, and then ran off to play with his friends.

I carried that laughter with me all day.