29

I found myself in a weak moment today.

I was interrupted from my morning lesson planning

by a knock on my classroom door.

A former student and her two younger siblings.

“Mrs. D,” she said.  “I brought you this note I wrote you.

I didn’t know yesterday was your birthday.”

She handed me a folded sheet of binder paper,

decorated with purple hearts, my favorite color.

I’ve received notes from students before, but none like this one.

I’d like to consider myself a tough teacher.

I hold in my laughter and sense of humor often.

I try to be strict.

My parents would tell you I’m the teacher who never smiles.

But as I stood and read this note,

the tears welled up and there was no stopping them.

I hugged her and thanked her,

and almost accidentally shooed her away and closed the door.

I wasn’t ready to let a student see me cry.

29 was a good birthday, but not the best.

After that note though, it was better than good.

Thanks to students like Alexa, a little extra sunshine brightened up this birthday.

I hope I never forget this day.

alexa

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Just for Mom

Today was one of those school days I look forward to.

My mom’s birthday is Sunday

and every year I have my class surprise her

by calling her to sing a rendition of “Happy Birthday,”

cha-cha-cha’s and all.

And I love it because every year, without a doubt,

she is just as surprised as the first year of this tradition.

I think one of my favorite parts is

watching the kids sit squirmy and giddy,

smiling ear to ear as they wait silently for me to give them the cue.

Just another way I bring the “Joy Factor” into my classroom

and a way to tell my mom I love her.

Happy birthday, Mom!

28

Birthdays make me feel free.

They’re a fresh start.

Whenever my birthday comes along,

I always get excited to start anew and make big things happen.

My motivation may not last all year long,

but it’s a great feeling.

I hope I never feel “too old” to celebrate my birthday.

I love spending time with my favorite people,

doing my favorite things, and feeling optimistic about the newest year to come.

Cookies and birthday hats covered our teacher’s lounge table courtesy of my parents. Pretty sweet in my book! (No pun intended!)

28 greeted me with surprises,

including my parents coming to my classroom unannounced

and decorating the teachers lounge too.

Later, my coworkers brought me coffee and a Fleet Feet gift card,

which means I get to treat myself to some new running stuff!

And then my sweet, sweet Abuela cooked my favorite Cuban dish

as I celebrated my birthday with my family that night.

A pretty good day!

And to top it all off, last night I celebrated my birthday with my friends.

They joined me for some Ah-mazing italian food

at one of my favorite midtown establishments.

(Mmmmmm. I’m pretty much still dreaming about the pasta I got.)

Then we headed over to a nearby club to watch Tainted Love,

an 80’s cover band who is pretty darn awesome!

There’s nothing I love more, than singing at the top of my lungs

and dancing my heart out

to Journey, Blondie, Madonna, and more!

Pretty much, the night was a blast.

Like I said, I just like to spend my birthday doing my favorite things

with my favorite people.

And according to all the fun I’ve had in the past week,

this birthday goes in the books as awesome.

My favorite place to eat in Midtown Sacramento!

Tainted Love – Amazing!

Enjoying the show!