Dear Mosquito

Dear Mosquito,

Please pick on someone your own size or better yet no one at all. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you don’t know what happens when you bite someone, so I’ll tell you.

The place where you bite gets inflamed and itchy. Very itchy. Sometimes it itches for minutes. Other times on and off for days. And a few times it never itches. There is no rhyme or reason for this. Some people claim they don’t get bit often but I’m not one of those lucky ones. You always seem to come for me. ALWAYS!

It becomes really frustrating especially when you get woken up at 3am (like I am right now) itching. You try the Benadryl ointment and the bug bite sucker thing. You try making an X with your figure nail on the inflammation. And you try not to itch and cause it to bleed. Ignoring it is also an option but nearly impossible. So frustrating and unnecessary.

So now that you know the consequences, will you stay away?! PLEASE!

Thanks!

Sincerely,

Elena

Wedding Speech

For those of you that don’t know me I’m Tori’s sister, Elena.  For those of you that do, you probably know how hard it is for me to make decisions.  Tori and Jake know this first hand and deal with it a lot.  Therefore, writing this speech proved to be quite the challenge for me.  

Should I write about having to grow up fast when Tori was born as the oldest of 4 but now how she’s keeping me young and how much I value that?   Should I write about disliking Jake when I first met him when Tori and Jake were in high school… when he’d use every ounce of firewood in the first 10 minutes of a fire pit night or scare my parents silly using the jetski?  Should I write about a specific time I spent with both of them, like running through the airport almost missing the plane because of traffic and golf clubs?  I could even elicit help from all the Trumbull High, Stonehill or Penn State friends and cousins they have.  Flashmob anyone? 

Decisions!  Decisions!  Decisions!  

When thinking about this decision though, what I kept going back to was how much they complement each other.  Jake sees a problem and tackles it immediately. Tori may notice something and put it on Jake’s to do list.  Jake is an avid golfer.  Tori will happily play 9 holes but goes along for the 18 when no one else will.  Jake likes to play games at the beach.  Tori likes to sit on the beach and relax. Tori has spent two years working out at her gym F45, Jake got jealous and decided to join. Both are competitive, helpful, and family oriented people.  They keep each other engaged in their lives as individuals and as a couple, and express their love for each other on a daily basis…even when bickering.  

As much as you both balance one another out, you do more than that- you balance our families out. Jake, as a now-official Wetmore, kind of, you make all of us better. We are a better, stronger, funnier and tidier family with you in it.

So, here is some advice for the bride and groom. Separately, you are two kind, amazing people, but you’re even better together.  As you sit side by side through this roller coaster of life, remember to scream from the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loops, and enjoy every twist and turn. 

Enough with the sentimental stuff, to close I want to slightly edit a quote from the bride herself, from her first-ever outgoing voicemail message:

T to the ori

Wet to the mori

Her favorite guy is… Jake

WWWWwetmore out De Luca in!

I wish you both a lifetime of happiness. Let’s raise our glasses and toast the wonderful couple! 🙂

First of the Season

The day finally arrived. It was a HOT, sunny day. It was time for the first swim lessons of the season. I had 4 swimmers… 3 of which were newbies.

Lesson 1 (a newbie): Carter came down the hill smiling but as soon as the gate was open and he saw me the tears came. His dad jumped in the water with me to help but all we heard was “No Papai! No!”

Lesson 2 (the age 5 “veteran”): Audrey came sprinting down the hill with her sister eager to jump right in. She listened and tried her best the whole time, barely needing a break. She could not wait for the end of the lesson… the time she got to “CANNON BALL!!!”

Lesson 3 (another newbie/lesson 2’s sister): Unlike her sister, Millie was less eager. In fact she had proclaimed in the car ride to the lesson “I’m not talking to her (meaning me)!” And true to her word she only mouthed words for at least the first 10 minutes of lesson.

Lesson 4 (the last newbie): Thomas came quietly down the hill trying to figure out if he was going to like this experience or not. His mom was ready to come in with him but surprising everyone he came right in with me. He was timid to start and didn’t like water in his face. But we practiced “blowing out birthday candles” high out of the water. Then lower and lower at various points throughout the lesson. Until he proclaimed “I did it, Mom! I blew bubbles!”

What a perfect first day! It’s going to be a great summer of swimming!

Hair

“Ms. W! Ms. W! Ms. W! Ms. W! Ned put tape all in Jim’s hair,” I hear Alec screaming from behind me on the 2nd to last day of school.

I turn to see my class coming in the classroom from art. And sure enough, Jim walks in with a wad of painters tape the size of a fist in his hair. “I don’t know why Ned would do this! What am I going to do? It hurts to pull on.”

I bring both boys into the hallway to try to not make a scene. “Ned, are you the one that put tape in Jim’s hair?”

“Yes!,” says Ned. Before I can ask another question he is off saying “He ALWAYS touches my hair. And I hate it. My hair takes hours to get done. No one should touch my hair.”

Without prompting Jim responds “I don’t remember touching your hair. I don’t! I promise I won’t ever!”

The boys get out all their emotions with very little intervening from me. Eventually they seem to apologize to each other so I begin to very, very slowly peel the painters tape out of the hair… piece by piece, “ouch” by “ouch!”

Thank You Second Grade Class of 2021

We ended the school year last year behind screens, my fingers crossed there were no technological glitches as I tried to share my classic end of the year video via Zoom. This year we end behind masks, my fingers still crossed there will be no technological glitches sharing a video.

But this time it’s different. This year I get to see your reactions in person. I get to hear you call out each other’s names as pictures flash across the screen. I get to bop along to the music and smile along with all of you and maybe shed a few tears.

Last year I also ended with a poem saying goodbye. So keeping with tradition I’ll try to do the same…

Goodbye to the learners who always persevered.

Goodbye to the Hamilton aficionados.

Goodbye to the boys who could not stop talking football stats ALL fall long.

Goodbye to the dancers and gymnasts.

Goodbye to students who joined our team midyear to make our class feel whole.

Goodbye to the kids with their noses ALWAYS in a book.

Goodbye to the fast runners and cartwheelers of the group!

Goodbye to teachers of new words like 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida).

Goodbye to my first-ever looping class. The class I got to teach and grow with TWICE! You will never be forgotten!  

The Sunroof

I’m sitting around the table, eyes half open, drinking my first cup of tea, chatting with a few girls at my sister’s bachlorette party. “Um Elena,” I hear from behind me. “We have a problem. A small problem but a problem. The sunroof was open over night and it rained. Amanda (my SIL) might need some help or some calming down.”

I glance over at my sister and smile. I say calming, “it’s just water in our dad’s car that we borrowed to get up here. It’s nothing he hasn’t done before. A mistake” I continue walking to the linen closet where I grab a bunch of beach towels before heading outside to see the “damage.”

As I approach the car I hear Amanda already. “Your dad is going to be mad at us. How could we be so stupid as to not close the sunroof after taking your sister’s pictures!? Ugh!”

As Amanda and dry the car with the beach towels I try my best to calm her down. I tell her she wasn’t involved in the photo shoot so Tori and I would be the ones to get in trouble (which I still thinking is highly unlikely). I tell her it’s happened before. I tell her it’s actually not that bad because of the small sunroof and leather seats. It could be much worse.

“I think we did the best we can do for now. When we get back to CT we already have to get a car wash of the outside anyways. We’ll just do the inside too! Don’t stress!”

Amanda smiles back slightly. “If you say so. But I’m still scared of what Mr. W will say!”

Finally

March 14, 2020- 9:30am… “We’ll stay open as long as the state says we can. But please make sure to wipe down your equipment. Instead of high-fives give a foot or elbow bump.”

March 16, 2020- 2:00pm… “All gyms in this state must close indefinitely starting at midnight tonight.”

March 18, 2020… “We’ll do Zoom workouts while the gym is closed. We need to stay safe.”

And this was my reality until today.

June 7, 2021- 6:10am… I FINALLY reentered the gym. I FINALLY got to do movements above my head (basement ceilings are not super conducive to all movements). I FINALLY got to workout with the “team.” FINALLY!

Easy to Handle

It was late in the school day on Thursday. I was enjoying some quiet while my students were at PE when I heard a knock at my door. I turn and see the first grade teacher from across the hall standing there. “Do you have a minute? Can I introduce you to some of my students?”

I make my way to the doorway to be greeted (and bombarded) by many 1st graders. “You’re a second grade teacher?” “Why are there no students in your room?” “Do you have books like we do in first grade?” “What about math?” “And field day?”

I try my best to answer questions as the first graders begin to wander around my classroom. Watching them I feel a tap on my hip… “Ms. Wetmore… I’m Ginny. I hope I have you next year. I’m easy to handle so won’t be a bother.” Shocked I try to think of something to say back. Lucky for me she joins her peers wandering before I have to. I laugh to myself and go back to answering questions. I guess she really is easy to handle. No answer needed.

Smiles are Priceless

The email came on Friday afternoon. Beginning Monday, May 24th, students would not have to wear a mask while outside at recess or PE. But masks still must be warn AT ALL TIMES in the building.

Then more emails arrived… “Anyone have any ideas of how kids can keep their mask clean while traveling back and forth from recess?” “My own kids school gives each kid a clothespin and they pin it to a tree nearby.” “We can make it a project and make lanyards.” “Fanny packs are coming back in style.” The whole school email went on but even more texts among grade level teams continued long into the weekend.

By Monday morning not much had been resolved. Which idea was best? Each teacher picked a strategy that would work for them (at least for a Monday), crossed their fingers and gave it a try.

And it was worth it. Seeing the kids smiles (some toothless) as they ran down the hill to start recess with their friends… PRICELESS.