it's just past one year since the youngest child went to england for a holiday and some time off.
she's got a flat, got a job, got a boyfriend and a pretty good social life.
next week she'll be off to glastonbury for her second visit to that muddy and mad music festival.
i'm just waiting till she gets it all out of her system and is ready to come home again.
i'm off to england in another few weeks so i'll get to visit her and snoop firsthand.
you know, meet the boyfriend, check out the flat and the roommate etc.
i've really missed out on the investigative side of being a mother this last year!
it's only a week until 'schoolz out for summa' as alice used to sing!
i still feel the excitement as much as i did when i was a kid eagerly looking forward to six weeks of summer holiday.
now i get 10!
and they just fly by.
yesterday we said goodbye to our students until september.
some of them i will miss, to an extent.
i wonder how they will fare until we meet again?
there are some pretty complicated life stories in the group that we have.
each one is its own soap opera.
one student i won't miss too much.
definitely! i've had to constantly remind him about his personal hygiene and appearance.
something which was hard for me to do; at first.
he takes it all very well. without batting an eyelid.
listens attentively as he sticks a finger in his nose, ear or mouth, up to the second knuckle and inspects the 'outcome' very carefully as you talk.
i find it hard not to shudder visibly.
he has tried my patience greatly this week.
the odour from him was awful.
and what gets me is he's so capable.
he could easily hold down a job and contribute to society if he put his mind to it. but he's just not interested.
his hygiene and appearance mean nothing to him whatsoever.
on wednesday i asked him to "STOP!" (picking his nose and sucking his fingers) as he sat doing his work.
he looked up at me with a benign expression and said, "huh? okay!"
as if, "well if it means that much to you!" i was so flustered.
and then as i walked away i accidentally farted.
it just slipped out.
and i know he heard it.
but he didn't say a word.
i could almost feel him thinking, "how rude!"
one woman i will definitely be glad to see again in september.
i will call her 'betty'. she's a tonic.
bossy, loud, large, and in your face.
but a heart of gold.
she keeps the rest of the students on track with their daily tasks and makes sure that those that need, have.
"pencil? there you go."
"paper? here you are."
"book? i got it."
"seat? sit here by me honey."
her learning difficulties mean that she mispronounces a lot of words. e.g., 'province' is 'provenance'.... not sure why. wayne gretzky, who we 'did' in our biography class, is 'wayne mcgretzky' and by her expression i can tell she is sure i'm the one who is mispronouncing it.
we do an opening activity first thing to get the brain going.
i call it "journal".
(i know, very original)
i usually suggest a simple topic and see what they come up with.
for some students it's very difficult to put out a sentence, or even two.
the writing process is so foreign to some.
never had to write anything for such a long time; since high school anyway.
when you can't read you don't write.
'betty' calls her journal her 'journey'.
but who am i to correct her?
this week i've been walking sideways like a crab.
it's not easy.
i have a bad shoulder or arm. not sure which it is really.
i think i pulled a muscle a while back when i found those stretchy green bands in the basement and reminisced about my days of exercising.
(that'll teach me!)
so i've had limited range of movement in that arm for a while.
and because of that when i was moving furniture the other day with m.o.h., the drill sergeant,
("shaking it up here boss")
i may have been compensating for that arm and used the opposite side of my body to lift.
which meant i pulled a muscle in my bum.
i know what you're thinking.
"you? muscle? in your bum?
i don't think so."
but believe me, there's still one there. i know. 'cos i found it the other day.
so i couldn't bend down, walk straight or stand up from a sitting position.
lying down was hard and forget about rolling over in bed.
i have a new found respect for those who face those challenges daily.
so i was going to work the other morning and walking across the parking lot.
i was carrying two bags; one on each shoulder and a handbag, clutched against my chest.
in order to balance said items and walk upright i realized that i had affected this crab like gait.
i wish i could have seen myself.
cos i just know i looked weird.
thank goodness when i woke up this morning i was more or less back to normal.
i.e. NOT walking like a crab.
then there's my niece. Sara.
the original party girl.
i've never seen a photo of this girl where she's looking less than gorgeous,
or not looking like she's the original life and soul.
drink in hand,
smile on face,
striking a pose,
dressed to the nines,
or lying on a sun kissed beach in an exotic location,
partying like it's 1999. like she's doing her bit for youth everywhere.
and then, somehow, in the midst of it all, she managed to write a thesis and graduate from university with a great degree in english and philosophy.... double major.
that's the way to do it.
living la vida loca for sure.
happy birthday sara.
i feel old!