Day 4 Grateful for Seeing Wrinkles
Yesterday I talked a little bit about seeing, about how we sometimes don’t see what’s in front of us. Today I want to share a story about seeing that happened yesterday evening.
This is spirit week at school (yea jeans) and I’ve decided to wear some of my favorite t-shirts. I had pulled Thursday’s out and was hunting for a layer to wear under it. When my husband walked into the room, I said, “Hey, how does this look?” His answer, “Like it’s a garage rag,” had me puzzled. I looked down at it. Nope, no stains like I often leave on my shirts. No rips, no pinholes. Then it hit me. It looked like I had balled it up and given it to the cats to bat around. He then asked, “Are you wearing that tomorrow?” When I said yes, he plucked it out of my hands, walked to the laundry room and ironed it. Personally, I’m allergic to the iron, so I rarely use it. I might throw something in the dryer with a damp towel, pull it out & just wear it as is. So, I didn’t even see the wrinkles, but he did. I saw the colors, and was hoping they went okay. (They did.)
This is not the first time we have “seen” things differently. I am a pile-er. Mail pile, school pile(s), book pile, papers-I-need-to-do-something-with piles. He is more of a “throw it away if it sits too long” kind of person. He does not throw out my piles, just scoots them around to make room. And that’s okay. This difference is teaching me to see my piles from his point of view, and to work to have less of them. And that’s okay with me, too, especially because when there are fewer piles, there is room for surfaces to be cleaned (which is something he likes to do). So it’s a win-win. I am making less piles and he is cleaning. (No, I’m not allergic to cleaning…..but that doesn’t mean I like doing it.)
I am reminded of the way this last year has taught me to see differently in my classroom, too. Are those happy eyes? Sad eyes? Frustrated eyes? Learning to see expressions through a mask has been tricky. I’ve always paid attention to the body language of my students, partially because I myself am a fidgeter. (I often use my jewelry as a fidget because I always have something on. I loved the day we got new teacher chairs – mine swivels!) Body language can tell me a good bit about what a kid’s mood is and let me know how they are doing.
But I realized I also relied on facial expressions along with body language to help me see which kids need help, which are engaged, and which may be about to lose their sh**. I’ve worked harder this year to interpret what I see, and sometimes I get it wrong. One of my reluctant writers’s eyes looked worried this week, so I asked him if he knew what he wanted to write. He looked surprised (I think) and said yes – and then wrote, which was unusual for him.
As this year continues, I hope I get better as seeing, both in my personal life and in the classroom. And here is a picture of my ironed shirt, in case you wanted to see it.