I walked to the Rio Grande

past a Middle School in the center of Albuquerque, NM.  There were balloons and flowers adorning a walkway/fence close to the entrance of the school. It reminded me of the “roadside memorials” when people have a car crash or bike crash.

I didn’t think on it further.

Then I ran into a letter on Patch.com – it was from the Superintendent of Schools and the Principal

With great sadness, I must inform you of a shooting that occurred on the Washington Middle School campus today that resulted in the death of one of our students and the arrest of another. This was an isolated incident that occurred outside the school building during lunch. No other students or staff were physically harmed, but many of us are hurting.

My heart hurt.  

15 days before in NYC:

A 14-year-old jumped to his death Thursday afternoon, July 29, from the Vessel in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. The teenage boy became the fourth to die by suicide at Thomas Heatherwick’s 150-foot spiral staircase since it opened in March of 2019.

My heart hurt.

Middle School Feet

Middle School ages are tough for Parents to deal with – their adorable child, biddable child is turning sullen, dealing with fluctuating hormones, social awareness/awkwardness, anxiety, and confusion.

  • Approaching puberty: Big changes are going to start or have already begun to happen to a tween’s body.
  • Exposure to dangerous behaviors: Tweens face new pressures from peers including drugs, sex, alcohol, and more. Kids are curious and peer pressure is strong among tweens. At this age, tweens start learning about the dangers of the world. Many myths circulate in middle school hallways.
  • Increasing amounts of homework: The homework load alone can be a big change for tweens and parents should be ready to help if needed. Good study habits now can last a lifetime.
  • Increasing responsibilities: Tweens are often more involved in extra-curricular activities and can take on more chores and responsibilities at home.

This happens to be one of my favorite ages to be around.  Their views on the World and Life are insightful, honest and entertaining.  Please, be patient and kind to any Middle School age kid who crosses your Life.  Just listen, guide, give them attention and time – even if they are behaving ugly and being annoying. Remember, someone put up with you at that age.

Maybe then my heart won’t hurt in the future.


jordgubbar

The best fruit is the fruit you grow and collect yourself. Not a lot of opportunities to grow fruit in NYC, but the local elementary school where dievca goes to vote must have classes in gardening for the kids. There are strawberries coming into season, raspberry bushes and blueberries, too! A section for tomatoes and peppers – then what looks to be a butterfly garden. All wrapping the school in a verdant hug.

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Photo: dievca, School Garden strawberries NYC 06/2021

The best part is dievca can imagine those greedy little fingers reaching for a berry
and the joy of the attached tastebuds being hit with a burst of flavor when eaten.


Song of the Summer 2018…a smile offered from a Kid.

dievca doesn’t have any, but kids love dievca and she makes sure to listen to them because they keep her young. It’s the “Last Day of Summer” and she asked some kids, what was a “HOT” song from the Summer. They stayed away from “Havana” (Camilla Cabello) and offered the #1 song in the UK, Ireland and Scotland:

Good news! dievca will be driving a car, again, in the Midwest and can roll the windows down to sing!

That brought her to this song:

Considering the temperature in NYC is sitting at 94 F (34.4 C) with 63% humidity at 8:30 pm, it’s going to be Summer through the end of September.

Do you remember the 1970’s original?

dievca was pretty young when this came out, but it is still great. Think of her cruising down LSD with the windows down, hair blowing and a lot of off-key singing. XO

PS. Yes, she passed this on to Master – gotta keep him young, too!


Crying into my excellent wine~

I’m a softy.  As a former Athlete, (yeah, yeah, yeah – elite athlete….What is that? Someone who represented their country in the top-tier.) ~Whatever.  My body doesn’t work as elegantly, now.

Anywhoo…
as dievca has a glass of Master’s wine in her hand…umm, a little tipsy.

As a former Athlete, I appreciate and treasure the life’s lessons and experiences which athletics can give a child, young adult, and adult.  These lessons are beyond the athletic skills, they are social awareness lessons, reality lessons, health lessons and love lessons. And those lessons or gifts may come from the most unexpected places.

I remember learning, at 7 years old, that you don’t know who is sitting around you, so if you don’t have anything nice to say about another athlete – don’t say anything at all.

Then being offered a piece of the new-fangled Bubblicious bubble gum.

The advice stuck. So did the bubblegum.

The reason I was crying was this E:60 story.  I love Men, I love teenagers – all their angst, I love boys, I love children — anything that makes a child’s Life better is gold. Add something athletic? Golden.

(note this a long clip, 24 min – sorry.)

It reminds me to tell the kids I run into that I love them.  Have you told the kids in your Life that you love them? Do it. And those teenagers? They are still kids, they need you. Be there.

PS. For those USA Sports Nuts — my team got dropped in the Sweet 16, but my second choice has made it through to the final four. March Madness is always a bit of fun.

Damn. This wine is going down way too easily. Whew!