The Circus: Day One

It was supposed to start at 6am, but my body thought 5am would be better.  I was lying in bed, praying to go back to sleep but eventually I gave up.  I knew it was 6am when Elam came BOUNDING into the room just as he does every morning.

I gave him the obligatory 6 minute snuggles and then got ready for my 16 mile run.  It was a long run today getting ready for Grandma’s Marathon in just 8 weeks (eek).  Brian helped me by coaching and jogging alongside of me for the last 6.7 miles.  It was sunny, calm for the first time in weeks on a Friday (yay!) and birds sang the whole time.  I saw my first sandpiper, scared up a deer (ok she scared me too) and ate my banana in some stranger’s driveway.

Running w B

This afternoon my two close girlfriends and I created a genuine, 3-ring circus.  Sally was off to a neighbor’s house where an elementary girl with very long hair had head lice.  She combed it through and gave the girl a haircut. That’s love people.

I took off for Homecroft Elementary where 75 2nd graders were eagerly waiting to watch a sheep’s eye get dissected.  I read through the notes, watched slides on line and got very ill as I considered my options for cancelling on this volunteer opportunity.

lines like this got me:

“If some of the vitreous humor begins to come out of the eyeball… let it come out slowly.” (might it erupt if I’m not careful?)

“you may need to tease the material loose from the inside of the eye” (is this a joke? … see what I did there?  and there?)

Instead I showed up and was the one without a partner (moment of sadness please) and realized there weren’t enough tools, scissors and scalpels for us all to cut into these balls of fatty … eyeballs.

But wow, what 90 minutes we had with those kids.  One girl told me she threw up outside during the dissection.  My friend Amy had looks of disgust on her face as she cut through the eyeball. One table of kids went from gasps of shock to audible grimaces.

Calista was delighted I was there and we actually learned a lot about the eye ball and found the insides of the eyes had a shimmery, iridescent green/blue “tapetum.”  It was fascinating thinking about how God created all of that.

Calista eyeball

There were things said I have never heard in a schoolroom. “Logan, give someone else a chance to stick their finger in the eye.”  “Anyone else need an eyeball? There are two bags full over here.”

You too could order from Nebraska Scientific eyeballs, intestines and all sorts of yummy things to dissect.  And they ship with UPS.

Meanwhile Calista, Elam and I went to pick up kid #3 and found the final ring of the circus.  Rebekah (due in 5 weeks) perhaps had the hardest job, taking care of her own 2 kids, plus 3 extra.  She was rounding them ALL up to walk to the bus to pick up her #3.  2 kids in a single baby jogger and the bus stop having uphills both ways.  We all walked to the bus stop together, ran into Sally and walked our brood home.

We debated the choices we all made that day: head lice, sheep eyeball dissection and babysitting each other’s kids.  What a way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon!

paper plate

Don’t eat off this plate.


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