Down: Woke up late, got dressed in the space of twelve minutes (and look pretty damned cute, if I may say it), had a real hard time convincing Rosie to remain running after I got her started. I admit I get a little impatient and rev her engine somethin' fierce on these cold mornings...I'll bet the neighbors really love it.
Up: As I was stacking a particularly unwieldy pile of gigantic paintings the third graders did yesterday, trying to will my eyes open and shake myself awake, I heard a knock on the classroom door, looked up and there stood my cuter-than-cute mama, sporting her sparkly mittens and black pea coat with the ivory buttons. Gah, she's adorable. She had a bag from Starbucks. She's a little Christmas elf. Inside was this cup.
Inside, it reads: One day a squirrel went out looking for acorns and found a friend. I defy you to find a more endearing or instantly cheering cup for your coffee.
Down: Ham and cheese croissant day at the lunch room hot bar. But....they're not actually hot. To make matters worse, in the lunch line were these things they call "chicken fries." I am leery and steer-cleary of these long, limp, breaded, wormy shapes that they claim contain actual chicken. Hrm...Sweet potato for me! (Not the worst thing that could ever happen to a person, I know.)
Up: 'Tis the season for gnomes!! This time of year finds me ankle deep (they are only 15 centimeters in height, after all) in red-capped, white-bearded, squatty, hilarious figures made of porcelain clay and glazed all bright and shiny.
Hard to frown when you've got gnomes staring you down. Quizzical, jolly, sneaky.
Down: A certain colleague sent an email that made me cry. I won't go into who or why, but it caught me off guard, I felt scolded, and kind of lost it. And you know when you start crying after you haven't in a long time and you think to yourself, "Well, I'm already crying....may as well make the most of it and drum up all the other things I have to cry about and get it over with." We'll call it....efficient emotion. So I sat at my desk and let the tears flow (directly into a Kleenex I held right below my eyes -- kids are intuitive and I had another class to teach), but without getting all snotty and swollen. (I've been told by one of my best friends that I'm a really pretty crier, so I had a reputation to uphold.) Then sweet Rose asked if she could beat them up for me. I said no thanks but it sure did make me laugh and feel lots better.
Up: My last class of the day decided not to show up. This is a BIG, like major, Up. I spent this marvelous found time having a truly healing Diet Coke and glazing gneglected gnomes in a quiet, sun-filled classroom, a very Zen sort of exercise. While I glazed one little girl's gnome, I thought about the reason she's been gone here and there lately. Her mom has an aggressive form of breast cancer and had her removal surgery this afternoon....right as I was glazing, in fact. I whispered prayers for miracles, and sent thoughts of inexplicable calm and peace in dear Margaret's general direction, across the chilly grass courtyard, where a really scared, wide-blue-eyed fifth grader is trying to just get through the day. There is much cause for gratitude in my life. I remember often.
Well, I like ending on an upswing, so I'll stop there. Here's to the Ups in life. May there be so very many more of them than Downs.