Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two Stories from Preschool

Little Red Wagon circulates a red Asiany-looking silk handbag around to the children in Manny's class. It is the sharing bag or a really cute purse for a night out on the town. Manny gets the opportunity to share pretty frequently as there are now only 5 kids in his class and there are two of these sassy little accessories. This morning, I asked Manny a number of times what he wanted to put in the sharing bag. He never acknowledged my question with a response, only grunts and syllables that didn't make any sense.

Finally, it was time to go. I asked Manny one last time if there was anything he would like to put in his sharing bag. He said, "socks." Sometimes it seems like he picks the most obvious thing. Like, last time he shared his lion and tiger magnets because that was the exact thing he was looking at when I asked. I peered down at his new striped socks and said, "those?" "No," he said. "Those." I looked over to where he was pointing and there was his pair of dirty red socks from yesterday. "These?" I asked. "Uh-huh," he replied happily. The selection was made. Dirty socks for the beautiful sharing bag. I smelled them. They were pretty stinky and I tried to roll them in a ball, all tucked into themselves. I guess that's what I get for not taking the dirty laundry upstairs.

When I picked Manny up, I asked Miss Eve how the sharing of the dirty socks went. She said, "Well! Manny shared that these are his red socks and that he likes them. Then he put one on his hand and pulled it up around his wrist. I asked him if he does sock puppets and he said no." I love preschool.

Today, it was our turn to bring home the class book they made entitled, "We Are Thankful." I wish I could display the artwork from each child, but here is the text.

Cover page.

Page 1- I am thankful for the picture I'm drawing- Jordan

Page 2- I am thankful for "Super Why," for drawing, and for the whole circle- Mira

Page 3- I'm thankful for circles and Mom and Dad- Manny (when Sam read this aloud to Manny at bedtime, he choked up.)

Page 4- I am thankful for "Super Why" and my Mom and Dad. I'm thankful for circles and school and coloring and crayons- Brevon

Page 5- I am just thankful for green- Drew (True to his sentiment, Drew used only the green crayon for his picture.)

While Glory and Elena were finishing their lunch before we rushed off to get Manny in the pouring rain, they both said "Manny" the clearest I have ever heard it. Actually, prior to that moment, I was never aware that they even tried to say his name. And then I must have said, "my Manny" because Elena kept repeating it over and over. "My Manny. My Manny. My Manny." Incidentally, when Elena says "Manny" it sounds exactly the same as when Lyella Borwick used to say it when she was tiny.

Tonight while I was making dinner, Manny actually shared some toys with the girls at my feet for about ten minutes. It was extraordinary! Maybe it was all the wrestling we had just done and the good pee he had on the now extinct cardboard box that has been Manny's third place for months, but he was in a rockin' good mood and it was beautiful to see him adopting a nurturing big brother attitude. For a few minutes anyway....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Street Bean

Sam teaching Manny how to wrestle. When Manny pins Sam, he shouts, "1, 2, WINNER!"
Elena (L) and Glory (R) all dressed up in skirts my mom made.
The barrette lasted long enough for this photo.

It's been a long time since I posted anything. I'm kind of at a loss lately. But the children aren't! Glory and Elena are talking a lot. They are willing to try anything these days. Whether it's food or words, they are soaking it all up. It is really exciting to see and hard to believe that they are just four months away from how old Manny was when they were born.
Today, Sam and I took the kids down to the grand opening of Street Bean Espresso, a new, gorgeous coffee shop that is employing 5 clients from New Horizons for the next two years, creating a job history that will help them transition from street life into the greater marketplace. The coffee is fantastic, the space is inspired and the heart is solid. I was so moved to be there and thankful that I am connected to people who paint bold strokes on behalf of others that enable all of us to expand our vision for what love and faith can accomplish in the world.
You can find out more at or if you live in Seattle, it's worth a visit. Free wi-fi too. 2702 Third Ave in Belltown.