My sister, Alena was a child who has always loved hair styling, and I have often wondered why she didn’t become a cosmetologist, but she didn’t. She still cuts our mom’s hair and that of some of the rest of the family, but that is not where her true calling lies.  She was pretty funny as a child however, because her main practice head of hair was her own. If Alena was in the area…hide the scissors. I will never forget some of the comical hair styles she sported from time to time. Nor will I forget our mom’s difficult attempts at repairing the damage Alena had done. I remember the little pixie cut that came from a time when she cut one chunk very close to her head. And then there was the bangs that she suddenly had..and that were usually very short. The rest of us girls had long hair, but Alena’s hair depended on the cut of the day, and if Mom could keep the scissors out of her hands, which was next to impossible…because she would search them out.

When Alena wasn’t practicing her hair styling techniques, she was contemplating becoming a scientist…or more specifically, a chemist. Alena liked improving on the cleaning formulas we had in the house. I don’t really think that she ever perfected her own brand of cleaning formula by mixing Comet and shampoo, but our toilet, which was usually her mixing bowl, always seemed to be pretty clean. Of course, Mom could have wrung her neck a few times, and I have wondered how she mixed all that stuff, and never came up with a combination that would blow up the toilet. So much for really being a chemist, I guess. No, this wasn’t to be Alena’s true calling either.

While Alena never mentioned that school was anything that she particularly liked, it would be in a school setting that she would find her true calling. Alena began working in the school system when her children were still in school, and I’m sure that the hours were a factor in her decision, since she would have the same time off as her kids. She began working as a playground teacher, and was very well liked by all, including the children that she sometimes had to convince that they would be better off to control their behavior. It’s funny that often it is the strictest person in a child’s life that is the most respected. When her superiors saw how good she was at making kids behave…without killing any…they promoted her to positions like the “in school suspension” monitor, and eventually the classes for the children who were either troubled, or struggling. Of course, she had to take the necessary training for these positions, but in the end, she would find that she was well suited for this type of work, and believe it or not, these troubled children didn’t look at her as a warden, but as a friend, who understood them and wanted to help. Not a bad true calling, if you ask me.

Today is Alena’s birthday, and since she doesn’t have to work in the summer, I’m quite sure that she would be sleeping in, even if it weren’t a Saturday. And can you blame really her? Happy birthday Alena!! I hope you have a great day and a lovely summer!! We love you!!

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