They Stay Inside My Head

I've been that concerned grown-up before, that champion, for lots of children, as a Center Director, as a tutor, as an aunt, as a friend. You never forget them.

This morning was the poetry recital day for Poppy's first grade class. Since I work from home, and my son if off at college, I rarely leave the house in the morning anymore, other than for a walk to take the mail or to get eggs from my neighbor. It was a gorgeous, perfect morning: bright gray cumulus clouds that will rain later today, the sunlight bouncing off the mountains, still green from the 5th wettest monsoon in recorded history.

I feel a little guilty sometimes loving the western rains as much as I do, especially when climate choas-fueled hurricanes are ravaging the U.S. and floods are devastating communities around the world. You know, the same thing can look very different under different circumstances.

My GPS dropped me off at the school at 8:10, just in time to sign in for the 8:15 recital. I was grateful for a parking spot near the front door and for a big sign outside that said "OFFICE." One of the more frustrating experiences I've had multiple times over nearly three decades of visiting schools is walking all around the building with no clearly marked entry, often carrying an armful of books or materials.

When I signed in at 8:12, I noticed that two lines above my name was Millie's Vietnamese name. I asked the office staff where Mrs. Russo's classroom was, and they kindly drew my attention to the gaggle of parents behind me in the office, waiting to be called to the first grade classroom. I turned around and saw Millie sitting on the bench, looking at her phone.

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