“Why meatballs?” my son is asking over my shoulder, breathing Dorito breath into my hair. “You rarely even eat them.”
Why not meatballs? My grandmother used to say meatballs were perfect little nuggets of beauty (she pronounced it bee-u-tee), and if you put them between two slices of crusty Italian bread with fresh mozzarella… angels sing operettas in your ears. This is where she’d kiss the tips of her fingers and splay her fingers out to the heavens like only little old Italian ladies can do.
This is not a foodie blog. It is about a different kind of meatball. The little nuggets of teachable moments that happen every day in my middle school English classroom. Bee-u-tee-ful .
“But meatballs can seem kind of silly and goofy too,” said Dorito-breath.
True. Sometimes meatballs are perfect, and sometimes they roll across the table and plop on the floor with a splat. Just like the meatballs in that song I used to sing when I was a kid. “On top of spaghetti…all covered with cheese...there stood my poor meatball…till somebody sneezed…”
“So when you talk about the silly kind of meatball, are you really referring to yourself? You're the meatball?”
Well... yes. Yes indeed. Despite my best efforts, sometimes I am a meatball. The kind that rolls and splats. And other times I have a classroom full of meatballs, and we all just have to take a moment to laugh at ourselves before we move on and try to get those angels singing once again.
So here’s to all kinds of meatballs and making the angels sing! Bee-u-tee-ful.