Thursday, July 19, 2007


You know, I'm a firm believer in divine intervention. For the most part, we try to stay away from controversial topics on the playground, religion, politics... But sometimes things happen.

A few days ago, I was driving home from a day where nothing seemed to go right. I'd fought with the girls all day and seemed to do nothing but punish, discipline and fuss. My work wasn't going well so I was frustrated with everything and everyone. I was extremely happy the day was finally ending.

These kind of days don't happen often, and when they do I understand. I know it can't be a ball of fun for the girls to spend the entire day at the office with me. They can't scream, yell, run, play loudly, bicker.... The list of can'ts is much longer than the list of cans. But they don't have to deal with it very often so when they do we all just do whatever it takes to get through (and I bribe with ice cream and trips to the park).

Frustrated and in a foul mood, I did not hold out great hopes for the night ahead. But a sign I saw on the way home changed everything. It put a smile on my face and reminded me that sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut (which is definitely what I needed to do because by that point I was on the verge of saying things I would have regretted the moment they left my mouth). So I want to share the prayer I saw on a church billboard:

Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulders
And your hand over my mouth.

I think this is my new mantra. What's yours?


P.S. Sue A, you're the winner of a copy of RAINTREE: SANCTUARY! Email Playground Monitor with your name and mailing address to claim your prize.


Nini said...

Wow! I made it before i went to bed and tomorrow i can sleep in late! No class.

We all have those days and i'm a definite believer in divine intervention....

I work with at risk children. My 6-8 graders have been physically, mentally, verbally abused, drug abused, homeless, in jail, on suicide watches, etc. I have those types of days with them alot. As i mentioned earlier, i went to a board of education class yesterday and today on choosing responsible behavior. What i thought was, helping the student make the right choice, was actually me making the right choices for the student. I had to re-wrap my brain around that fact today.

The new 'mantra' i learned and i will put it up on my bulletin board at school, though my kids will not understand what it means is:

Rigid flexibility in all that you do.

It hit home today, that my choices i made last year, may not have been the best for the students, though at the time i made them, i thought it was. Now, i can see that if i had done one or two things different, there might have been less stress for everyone...

That and being able to say NO without clarification, because i am the teacher.

Off to bed...

Nini :)

Playground Monitor said...

After all the positive response we had in Dallas, I'm beginning to think our mantra is "If you build it they will come."

And then there's also "Ask. The worst they can say is no."

Sue A. said...

Currently my mantra is **You can't win, if you don't enter.**

Thanks for proving the above true! You gals rock!

Playground Monitor I sent you an e-mail.

Jen said...

Mine "Take a deep breath, this too shall pass."

Rhonda said...

Instigator, I *like* that new mantra. There have certainly been times I've needed somebody's hand over my mouth. :-)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...


I've moved my laptop to a warmer place in my house where I can see the wild cherry trees outdoor and watch the birds perch and preen themselves. It's better for my muse. All the books I've read on writing say to write in a boring spot in your house so you're not distracted. That wilted me like a prune.

Now if I can write fuller scenes I'm all set. :D

Happy writing and reading!!!

Hugs, JJ

MaryKate said...

I love the musical Les Miserables. My favorite piece of music in it is the song, "On My Own." In it, there's a line that says, "Rain will make the flowers grow." I have it posted in my office and it's what I try to always remind myself of when I'm having a bad day.

Some days it's hard to remember.

Instigator said...

I love Les Mis, MaryKate. On My Own is such a wonderful song, so full of emotion. I actually haven't seen the play in several years - I think DH and I were still dating the last time. I really need to see it again.


Kathy said...

Excellent mantram. I should have used that 'hand over mouth' often when I was younger. As you age, you learn.

Like Jenn, I use "This too shall pass." or "Walk a mile in someone else's shoes."

These have been ideas that have stayed with me throughout the years. When things are getting to you, you're entirely too frustrated and you think you can't take anymore, take a deep breath and know 'this too shall pass'. Feelings and situations always will and they always do.

Hey playfriends- You built it and they're coming!


Kathy said...

What the heck? Mantram? Pardon my typo.


Angel said...

My fave at the moment is one I posted a while back: "There is no easy path to any place worth going."

I definitely need to put my hand over my mouth more often with my children! With a 3 year old who is going through Terrible Three Syndrome and a 7 year old going on 20, keeping the aggravation unvoiced seems like an unachievable goal.


Lis said...

That's a good one. :o) I'll have to remember it

Playground Monitor said...

Right now my mantra might be "I hate Blogger and Microsoft."

I wrangled with Blogger this morning because the sidebar had slipped to the bottom. This afternoon I've been trying to get my new Vista-equipped laptop to let me delete a file. Why in the devil do I have to have permission to delete files off my own computer?????

I've accomplished zip today. Absolutely zip. Well, I did write down a "what if" idea for a new story.


Problem Child said...

I'm just now getting home--believe it or not. What a day!

I'm a fan of "What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."