Well, it's Monday.
Specifically, it is the Monday AFTER March "Break".
Who on earth decided that a week off of school constituted a "break", anyway?! This person was obviously not a parent.
This morning, I dutifully dragged my (exhausted, whiny) progeny off to their respective schools, returned home to the Steaming Heap...
And flipped on the computer.
Yes, I hear you. This SHOULD have been the day upon which I was filled with sudden bursts of joyous energy, and began my spring cleaning (it being the second day of spring, and all).
Or, better yet: I should have been rendered so elated by the departure of all the dear ones from my immediate vicinity, that I skipped off to spend the day at the nearest, cheapest manicure-and-pedicure joint.
Instead, today, I accomplished what I have long thought would be impossible: I completed and submitted the final, mammoth assignment that will (hopefully!) qualify me to teach secondary school.
Yes, that means TEENAGERS. You know, those strange, lanky creatures that one sees "hanging out" around shopping malls (strangely, during school-hours), squealing excitedly in unison into cellular telephones, and who are capable of rendering their parents apoplectic with the flick of a wrist and the exclamation, "What-EVERRRRRR..."
I (hope to) specialize in Shakespeare.
(oh my god... what have I done....)
We shall now proceed on a completely different tack, while I attempt to regain my sanity:
During much of the March "Break", my children and I were glued to the television set, watching events unfold in Japan. Several years ago, Child Number Two's grade two class undertook an extensive study of this incredible country, its culture and history. I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer in the classroom, and we all had the most wonderful time: we visited an open house at the Japanese Cultural Centre in Toronto, we learned the art of origami, and developed a love of cooking traditional cuisine (who would have thought that little people would eagerly snorfle down RAW SUSHI??! Not me, that's for sure).
We have all taken the earthquake and tsunami disaster victims into our hearts, and struggled for several days to determine how we could possibly reach out to them. With the help of Facebook, we contacted our friends, neighbours and relatives, who contributed anything they could, in the form of small change. People emptied their pockets, small bowls, junk drawers, piggy banks and tupperware containers for us... And for a solid weekend, my sister and I and the four littlest cousins sat around the kitchen table counting and counting... rolling and rolling coins (mostly PENNIES), until we had piled up nearly $150.
The four children, who ranged from ages 5 to 10, were quite a sight, struggling through the doorway of the nearest TD-Canada Trust bank, dragging cloth bags FULL of rolled coins behind them. The tellers were endlessly patient, and quite delighted to help us make the donation to the Red Cross Japanese Relief Fund.
How about it, dear readers?? This was one of the simplest and most informal fundraisers that I've ever organized. Why not set out a big coffee can in the middle of your office or school hallway? Just have everyone drop in the coins that would otherwise have been left jangling in their pockets after lunch... Or, better yet, search around your house for lost treasure! Dive under those couch cushions, double check the junk drawer, and mooch through old purses and pockets.
Facebook works, too! Put an "all-call" out on your profile, and tell everyone YOU'LL do the work!! If you roll them, THEY WILL COME. Little tin cans will mysteriously appear on your doorstep, zip-loc bags will materialize in your mailbox, and heck-- people will toss pennies at you AS YOU WALK BY.
It's the only experience I've ever had, where I've had money thrown at me.
But... it's the GIVING BACK that's the best part.
(You can trust me on that one, too.)