The start of the work week is always hectic. But you already know that. Today was the usual Monday morning blur of packing lunches, waking kids and trying to get out the door on time.

At school, morning assembly happened and it wasn't until I heard the girls singing the National Anthem that I realized I was still at my desk reading exam papers instead of in the patio. The bell rang. Classes began. Classes ended. Free period filled with grading. Lunch time meeting with exuberant ninth graders excited to take art in tenth grade and "start their careers". Ten minutes into the first session after lunch and I'm still shooing exuberant ninth graders out the door and to class. Back in the staff room, Head of Department tells me about an evaluation meeting with the Principal and Vice Principals at 1pm. Heart jumps into throat and stays there for the next 50 minutes while I continue to grade. Meeting happens. I'm congratulated on a job well done. Students enjoy my enthusiasm and teaching style. I float into my last class of the day where there is really loud singing as the students iron off the wax from their batik fabrics and tear paper for their collage frames. There is an explosion of construction paper, cardboard and wax bits all over the studio. Bell rings and the girls leave trailing bits of wild color behind them. Back in the staff room, I put on my flip flops and start the trek home. Looks like rain.

As I cross campus, I am greeted with big smiles and loud shouts of "Hi Ms. B!" from all directions. I phone home to say the surprise evaluation went well. Realize we did not go to the market on Saturday and have one turnip in the house representing vegetables.

At home the kiddos come running at me looking for hugs but mostly for treats that might be hidden in my bag. Song takes my bag and dumps its contents onto the couch exclaiming, "Wow! Money!" as all the grocery receipts from the past who-knows-how-long cascade down the pillows. Shine shoves a new Lego creation in my face and begins detailing the gimmicks, number of pieces and very long series title the figure is supposed to belong to. I pour a glass of water and try to take it all in.

Call my sister to find out how her day went. My kids argue over what cartoon to watch on youtube and complain they are hungry. I feed them granola bars. Song insists on two which I find half chewed in random places around the apartment. Still haven't figured out what to make for dinner given the one turnip situation. Mo calls to say he will be late. Calls back a few minutes later to say he'll be even later. Decide on omelettes, toast and fruit salad for dinner. Begin to make dinner. Phone rings. Gallery calling to tell me I sold a painting. Yeah! Chop up the mango on the up beat. Phone rings again. Wrong number but poor woman spoke broken English and was calling from New York and didn't quite understand that it was a wrong number. I lost track of Song. Finished conversation with wrong number. Found Song in the bathroom painting a post-it with Desitin. She smiles broadly and announces "Painting". I notice she is also covered in black ball point pen. Apparently a self drawn tattoo of "You (me), Daddy, Shine and Me (her)" playing football on both of her legs. Suddenly she has the urge to pee in the potty. Hooray! As potty training has been bumpy at best. Takes off diaper. Wiggles and squirms on the toilet seat and unrolls the toilet paper as if it were an Independence Day streamer. I remember there is an omelette on the stove.

Song emerges from the bathroom sans pants to have a pretend conversation on my real cell phone. I finish dinner, set the table and finally convince Song to put on pants. Both kids eat two bites and then complain about how full they are from all the granola bars. Of course. Song wiggles down from the table to play with blocks. Shine starts his homework. I forget that I didn't put a diaper back on Song. She pees on the floor then proceeds to dance in the puddle. Shine runs through the puddle on his way to get a pencil. Song tears off her wet pants and insists on taking a bath. I clean up puddle and find her already in the bathtub, shirt still on. (Luckily she hasn't figured out the faucets yet.) Shine yells from the balcony EACH and EVERY spelling word as he adds a suffix to the root word making it -ing and -ed. Then reminds me after EACH and EVERY spelling word that he wants to take a bath with Song so don't take her out of the tub yet. Meanwhile she is a prune and the water is arctic. He finally finishes and barrels into the bathroom, splashing into the tub where a water battle of epic proportions ensues. I retrieve the mop for the second time. Wrestle Song out of the water and into her pajamas then begin to pick up the toys.

From the computer room, I hear Shine say to Song, "Want to hear a story?". She nods yes. He tells her to come sit next to him on his chair and scoots over to make room. He then proceeds to read her a story called, "The Miser's Gold". He pauses periodically to explain the various characters and the plot. The greedy old man. The mean robber. The nice fairy. I settle into a chair on the balcony. There is an amazing sunset before me. I hear their little voices. I see the beautiful sky. I remember all the good that happened today.

I am grateful.

Peace and Wellness,