pee chee

2

“Alright class, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and for our project this afternoon we are going to be making Valentine’s Day cards.”

A loud cheer erupted from all the thirty-two kindergarteners in Sam’s class. Susie, a bright and cheery girl with bouncy curls shot her hand up.

“Who are we making them for Mrs. Johnson?” She asked.

“Whoever you would like! You can make a card for one of your friends, your mom, dad, brother, sister - it doesn’t matter.”

From the back of the classroom, Sam’s face broke into a grin. He knew exactly who he was making his card for.

He raised his hand and waited patiently for his teacher to call on him.

“Can we start right now?” Sam asked excitedly, once he was called on.

Mrs. Johnson chuckled. “As soon as I get the crayons and paper out, yes.”

Sam sat back in his chair mentally thinking of what colors to use for the card. Dean’s favorite colors were blue, green, red and sometimes he liked orange. Sam would use all of them. Dean was going to love the card, especially if Sam found a way to use all of his favorite colors.

Mrs. Johnson went around the classroom passing out a few sheets of white card stock paper to every kid and a box of twelve crayons for them to color with. Once Sam received his, he ripped open the crayons and pulled out the four colors he needed, setting them alongside the sheets of paper. He stared at the sheet of paper for a few moments, planning out how he wanted the card to look. With a determined smile, he picked up the red crayon and started drawing.

His teacher came by a few minutes later, leaning over his shoulder to look at his card.

“Who is this for, Sam?” She asked.

“My brother Dean!” Sam replied, turning to look at her with a goofy, big smile.

“Is he your older brother?”

“Yeah! He’s four years older than me, he just turned ten last month and he’s awesome!”

“That’s wonderful! I’m sure he’ll love your card,” Mrs. Johnson replied with a smile.

“I know he will! I’m using all of his favorite colors,” Sam stated grinning up at Mrs. Johnson.

“Good. Keep working, alright?”

Sam nodded, picking up the blue crayon. He’d finished the outside of the card, all he had to do now was write the message on the inside. With careful steady fingers he started writing. He read over the message a few times to make sure it sounded right. Sam signed his name at the bottom and smiled; Dean would like this, he was sure of it.

By the time Sam was finished with his creation, there were only five minutes left of class and all the other students were beginning to pack up their backpacks. Sam carefully placed Dean’s card inside one of his pee-chee folders, and placing the folder into his backpack with the utmost care. If Dean’s card was ruined, he would be heartbroken.

Dean picked him up at the back entrance of the elementary school, backpack slung over his shoulders, a gigantic smile on his face.

“Hey Sammy, how was your day?”

Sam grinned up at his brother, excitement thrumming in his veins. “Great! I have a surprise for you!”

“Really? What is it?” Dean asked.

“Something. You’ll find out tomorrow,” Sam replied sheepishly.

“Awww Sammy, am I your Valentine?” Dean teased, bumping into Sam’s shoulder.

Sam blushed. “No!”

“It’s okay if I am. It’s cute,” Dean said, laughing. 

“Shut up, Dean!” Sam said, scowling at Dean.

Dean kept laughing, but when he noticed Sam’s frown, he threw his arm around Sam’s shoulder, laughter gone and said, “Come on Sam, let’s go home.”

                                                        ~~~

The next morning when Sam woke up, Dean was already awake and making something for breakfast if the sounds of banging pots were any indication. Sam slid out of bed and walked over to where he left his backpack by the door. He could give Dean his card now. Wiping his eyes sleepily, he dug through his bag until he found his pee-chee and pulled out Dean’s card, still in pristine condition. Sam padded over Dean at the stove and tapped him on the shoulder. Dean set down the spatula he had in his hands and turned towards Sam.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Dean,” Sam said, handing Dean the card with a big grin. 

Dean took the card from him, a gentle smile sliding onto his face. He read the cover and then opens the flap. His smile turned into a full-toothed grin that shone brighter than the sun.

“Thanks Sammy, I love it.”

“I knew you would,” Sam said. He took a few steps forward and flung his arms around Dean’s waist, hugging him tightly.

Dean ruffled Sam’s shaggy hair with his hand. “Let’s have breakfast okay? Then we can watch a movie or something and eat a ton of candy, how does that sound?”

Sam stared up at him, eyes shining with happiness. “Perfect.”

Big Mistake

Do you remember Pee Chee folders? Pee Chee folders remind me of my first big mistake. Fourth grade was a grueling test of my sanity and moral code of ethics.  Long division was my nemesis. I just did not understand divide the four, carry the three, now you have a remainder nonsense.  My war with long division was probably due to the fact that I struggled with times tables the previous year.  

I had a big long division test coming up and the vice principal was my teacher.  I panicked about not passing my test, UNTIL I realized the inside of my Pee Chee folder had a times table chart inside.  My first big mistake: thinking I could somehow pull off cheating in Mrs. Lewis’ class. My second mistake: not shutting my bedroom door and my brother finding out I planned on cheating.  Trust me when I say if you are planning to do something wrong SOMEONE is always watching.

The day of my test I sat in class nervously glancing around randomly perspiring.  I gingerly reached for my Pee Chee folder from inside of my backpack, which I had stashed under my desk in a sophisticated 4th grade CSI kind of way. The plan was to place the Pee Chee under my desk revealing the times table chart. However, when I reached in my backback I found that my brother had switched my Pee Chee folder with one of his Trapperkeeper folders! There was a note inside that said “you’ll thank me later”. RATS!!!! I kicked my desk. Mrs. Lewis asked if there was a problem.  I said “no”, bowed my head and began that remainder four carry the three craziness.

I was one of the last kids to finish my test, but I received a grade of C.  I have never been so proud of a C before.  I still have not thanked my brother.

I thought I learned my lesson. I did not. I was suspended in 5th grade for writing the “B” word in someone’s year book.  I attended Catholic School and Father O'Reilly saw me in the confessional a lot that year.

“Forgive me father for I have sinned, it’s been an hour since my last confession and these are my sins…….”

I spent a lot of time in that confessional and I was not even Catholic!  I was a resourceful kid. I realized if I had a long list of sins I would have to spend a ton of time saying prayers at the altar, which would cause me to miss math class (5th grade was fractions..yikes). The rectifying of my soul came before math.  My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Buck, caught on to my ways pretty quickly. Big Mistake: I spent time after school washing desks.

Most of my elementary school misgivings I learned from quickly.  I mostly look back on those days laughing at the mistakes I made and how I learned to overcome them.

High school was a blur.  I am sure I would have made mistakes if I actually enjoyed high school, but I just wanted to do well and get out of there.  In my mind, I belonged in college where the ‘real’ thinkers were living.  After graduation I applied for schools with early start programs that were across the country.  As I left for school my parents thought I was too young to go away so far. My parents felt that I should have attended a community college first and then went a way to school.  I thought my parent’s brains had been abducted by aliens…what were they thinking?  I remember my mom warning me about alcohol just before I stepped on the plane with my dad and sister who would accompany me to school.  I think the first opportunity I had to try Tequila, I did. Big MISTAKE: My roommate found me sleeping in her closet hugging her shoes.  I also had a slice of half eaten pizza from a Chinese food restaurant…(that too was a mistake I would pay for). Do not worry….my college roomie and I are still friends. (I’m her kids godmom…we got over it.  

Sometimes I look back at the past and have a fantastic time laughing at all of my past mistakes.  I could do an entire stand up routine about all of the wrongs.  However, there are so many mistakes that for so long made me cringe, or held me back from moving forward.  Broken relationships, unfinished tasks, bad financial decisions….memories that for a long time kept me in a box.  Mistakes unforgiven can develop fear.  I developed a mentality of playing it safe.  Somehow I developed the notion, that learning from my mistakes meant not trying again. 

One of my favorite quotes is a Japanese proverb that says

“Fall down seven times get up eight.”

Here is the cure for mistakes…mistakes are in the past. Every day is a new opportunity to begin from scratch.  I began to learn that I was the only person focusing on my mistakes….the rest of the world had long since moved on.  

Now I strive to be fearless. Do not get me wrong. I still cringe at BIG MISTAKES: like the time I wrote my first college crush a two page letter professing my undying love. However, mistakes are just experiences that our minds like to dress with fear.  

The most amazing thing about life is that it goes on.  The most amazing thing we can do for ourselves is to forgive.  Laugh at your past, embrace what you have learned, let go of BIG MISTAKES or BAD DECISIONS, LEARN TO DREAM AGAIN. Every day is a new day for opportunity and to begin from scratch.  

I promise….it all comes together in the end.

Thanks brother for taking my Pee Chee.

Have Courage (dream), Fear Not (don’t let the past walk into your future), Be Inspired (our potential is limitless).

A study in fangirlism

Fangirlism is a disease that we get because of a person we love.
It begins with a normal love and ends with tears.

Causes of the disease:
- Cate Blanchett and the other celebrities on earth

Rules:
- NEVER SAY A BAD THING ABOUT CATE BLANCHETT (or about any other celebrity) OR YOU WILL GET A CHEESE ON YOUR FACE