+ I’ve been subbing like crazy this school year.

Generally, I cap my subbing at 2nd grade, but the 3rd and 4th grade teacher caught me in a moment of weakness and I couldn’t say no. My “moment of weakness” on this particular day was we were meeting for the first time. I wanted to make a good impression and stay on her good side for the year, so I said yes then regretted it for the next three weeks. I like the little kids who ask questions like ”Do elephants eat bugs?” and read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I don’t like to dabble in the bigger kid world where I never know what kind of questions I’ll be asked. As I suspected, I should have asked what I’d be teaching before agreeing. When she texted me the information, she casually slipped in that I’d be teaching about the Trinity. There are entire church conferences and debates among great religious leaders about the workings of the Trinity and I, OF ALL PEOPLE, get tasked with teaching it. I suspect Karen purposely made her appointment three hours away on Trinity teaching day to avoid teaching it herself. I showed Christopher the chart I needed to fill out with the kids and said, “I have literally never seen this diagram before in my entire life.” He pulled up his sleeve and said, “I have a tattoo of it.” He does indeed and it’s in Latin to boot. I asked that he sub for the sub at Bible time but he didn’t take me up on it.

I’ve also subbed for 2nd and 1st grades several times. Three years ago when I subbed for the first time I brought a list of jokes to lighten the mood. There hasn’t been a time I’ve subbed since when I haven’t brought jokes. I’m on my third year teaching some of the kids and they’ll tell the new children what to expect when Miss Sarah with her pencil earrings comes rolling in. My reputation precedes me. One mom stopped me in the hallway and said, “Sadie was so excited you were teaching because she loves to come home with jokes to tell all week long.” I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud of my legacy. Honestly, it’s almost gotten out of hand. They want to hear jokes all day and not do any of the work. Yesterday the teacher had joke time in the schedule. I might include this picture in my Christmas card.


+ Annabelle and Christopher went to a church retreat for 3rd-6th graders last month. I was not included as she wasn’t interested in both her parents attending as chaperones. Rude. I buy all her meals, take her to every single event and what do I get? Told that she doesn’t want me to snuggle on the bunk with her in front of her church friends. It was the first time in almost 10 years that I’d been home alone for the weekend. I seesawed between certainty that the bus would have a firey crash or she’d drown in the ocean, and wishing they’d be gone longer so I could get more done. I finished painting the living room without having to worry about anyone stepping in my paint bucket. I ordered Chinese food and watched Virgin River without Christopher’s commentary. The living room was a truly peaceful oasis to relax in with my dumplings after a long day of hard work.
The guard cats kept a close eye on the place at night. No shenanigans were going down on their watch. They were ready to take names and kick butts all weekend.

+ I helped with a medieval feast in Annabelle’s class last week. Gus’ mom said all the food she was bringing would be themed and I knew had to keep up with her. I had never met her, but I had to keep up with her! I almost bought tiny castle-shaped bundt pans and made 16 castle cakes surrounded by a chocolate mousse moat. I wasn’t signed up for a cheese dish, but I was going to use my crown cookie cutter to make cheese crowns. I was spiraling fast and needed to reel it in. I settled for the chocolate mousse and no castle cakes. Our feast book said lords and ladies ate pudding. They may not have eaten pudding made with Hershey’s cocoa and half and half, but I was in the general vicinity of authenticity. I did bring gold champagne flutes that really added to the ambiance. Gus’ mom made a fire-breathing dragon out of vegetables and beef jerky, as well as a medieval boat from a loaf of bread and thin pretzel sticks for oars. That’s the kind of party dedication I admire.