Writing to be present

This morning in the school office, as I was shuffling my plans from teaching reading intervention to being a sub in 5th grade , one of my students, N. came in the door.

“Hi, N…” I said pointedly, working to get eye contact as she seemed in a fog.  She said something to acknowledge she heard and went into the cafeteria for breakfast.

Before the ELD rotation a sub showed up so I went back to being LLI teacher. After the ELD rotation, N. was the first to arrive for reading group, wearing that same distracted, odd face.  Kind of mask-like.  So I asked her what was up.

She said that she’d had words with her mother before she left for school. I was surprised at her direct honesty so I replied in kind. “Ah, I sometimes have words with my mom and then I don’t feel good about it.”

I asked her if she’d like to write the words she wished she had said and offered to get a blank card for her.  Her eyebrows went up just a tad, but she nodded yes.

The other two students came in and started their read aloud while N. bent over the card, writing in tiny letters.  I prompted at one point she might draw a picture with her words.

Later, I saw her tuck the card into the envelope and then pick up her book and begin reading.  She was back.

And so, I’ve been a bit wound up this evening, having taken my mom — who turns 88 tomorrow — to her primary care doctor this afternoon where we were advised to call her cardiologist.  Pulse too high.  Needs to get the meds balanced.

Waiting until tomorrow.  I’ll be at work.  My old iPhone doesn’t ring.  The new one will arrive tomorrow evening by UPS.  Somewhere in teaching and staff meeting I’ll get word what to do from cardiologist — likely his assistant and I’ll go wait at the Walgreen’s counter for the corrected medication.  Waiting.  Not good at it.

Writing is more calming.  It doesn’t feel like such a big deal, now that I’ve written it down.  Maybe I can now join my snoring cat and get rested up for the full day ahead.

5 thoughts on “Writing to be present”

  1. I just commented on another post about the power of writing to help us unravel our thinking. Your post points out yet another power of writing–the power to defuse our emotions and help us gain some perspective. I hope all goes well with your mother.

  2. The power in writing (of writing) is that it allows us to process the confusion of the world. It may not be bring answers, but it does give us a place to think out loud, in silence.

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