Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Baby Brother

Letting go of someone you love is an impossible task.

This summer began with the unexpected loss of my little brother. He was 36 years old. I don't yet have words to describe or process this.

Ssgt. Rex Nathaniel Watt
Baby Brother
Retired Marine
Gov't Contractor

He has - had - many names. To me, he will always be baby-brother and Nater-Bug. He leaves behind an emptiness that can never be filled. One day, I will be able to write about him. To write about the torrents of memories and emotions now flooding through me in waves. For now, he rests.

his resting place

Georgia Sky -
the sky mourned. where he lived. where my father and I went.

a singular moment in Georgia
my brother and his son

my father. And my brother's son.
-take good care of each other-

SEMPER FI, my little brother. Big sister loves you. 

a childhood birthday party - my brother, sister, myself on the right

This song. I couldn't get it out of my head - for weeks - after the news. He did have a thing for Metallica, amongst a wide-range love of music in general. This song, then, is for him:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Almost Summer DAYBOOK

This - my classroom. As I type, this room is sitting empty and covered in half-finished packing boxes, tape and bubble wrap strewn on the floor. Tomorrow I go finish the epic task of moving a classroom, inventory, and signing out for the year. Tonight - I pause to reflect on this brink of summer.

Outside My Window
It's HOT - and humid.
A TYPHOON and 'red rain' to close out the school year... landslides blocking one of the two roads out of our school, keeping children in classrooms on the last day of school well past dismissal until the roads were declared safe for buses.

BEFORE the storm -- just look at it! Stunning day in Hong Kong. That's on my morning walk to school.

I'm Thinking About
and traveling solo with my 2 girls - 20 hours to DC, bring it on!

I Don't Want To Forget 
The image of my girls sprawling, limb across limb, in my bed on Tuesday morning.
The way friends make me feel whole. And good. And a better me.

hip hop teacher dance crew
I'm Learning
to breathe and remain calm despite not being able to control and organize everything the way my imagination envisions it. And learning to cherish and value the downtime.

I'm Hearing
the hum of the dehumidifier. nothing else.

I'm Reading
The Price of Privilege - by Madeline Levine, PhD
This book. These ideas. This world! These kids. I raise them. And I teach them. And there are certainly specific challenges (and costs) to our rising affluent culture. Any mother or teacher might want to grab this book.

Around The House
So - you know we're moving, right? Yeah... movers come in 3 more sleeps. I'm SO not ready! But again - learning to let go of that a bit to keep eyes on the important things like friends, goodbyes, taking care of myself, and loving on my kids. So - pretty much I'll let the movers do most of the work. And I'll be unpacking some disorganized junk. But it's our junk. And that's ok. That's why I write this instead of packing my suitcase (or maybe I'm just an excellent procrastinator). 

Upper Primary - last day of third grade

traditional POOL JUMP straight from the bus, fully clothed - let summer begin STRAIGHT AWAY!

At Work
Packing boxes. Saying farewells. Always someone moving away, someone moving in. Always changes. International school life - makes 'change' the new normal. 

teachers touring our new campus - still under construction!

Eating Out (confession - I'm never in the kitchen anymore)
tomorrow - a new restaurant with my girlfriends (important things, remember?) ;)

So Very Hong Kong
Finding no crosswalks to get to the other side of the street in downtown.
HK is fabulously equipped with amazing 'lifted sidewalks' all across the city. Many of them run building to building. You could travel miles (I think) without ever actually crossing a street on the ground. But I'll tell you - it's not instinctual when you are from America!

These next photos do not show this.
Rather - an afternoon trip to Sham Shui Po - a market area where we went in search of trinkets, motors, wires, LED bulbs, and other treasures for our 9-year-old-inventor... a dream shopping trip for her!

no, not a junkyard - this is a market stall of wares!

subway home - still crowded...
 Also very Hong Kong - Tai Chi in Stanley on weekend mornings. :)

One Of My Favorite Things
lazy pool days

A Less-Than Favorite Thing
peanuts on airplanes.
I have learned (from embarrassing past experiences) that since I have a peanut allergy, I have to call the airline directly to inform them prior to my flight. It's stressing me out that I haven't done this yet - I SWEAR it's on the high-priority list for tomorrow!! (Along with 264 other important things.)

I'm Thankful
for Nimfa. Our helper. Our nanny. Our all-around go-to gal. She cooks, cleans, watches the kids, reminds me of appointments, manages the kids' library days and show-and-tell days, facilitates playdates, runs errands, grocery shops, translates, and hums and sings and keeps our house feeling calm and happy. She's a wonder. And I've been leaning on her a lot lately. And I am SO GRATEFUL.

I'm Planning
seriously? why are you reminding me of what I'm supposed to be planning?

don't even talk to me - I see our future in this photo - on so many levels!!!!

Picture Thoughts :

SHEK O CLIMB - Ainsley:
get it, girl!