Friday, October 2, 2009

The new kids in the class

This new school year has been hard. As teachers, the work is never done. There is always planning and paperwork and tweaking lessons and grading and parent meetings. Then there is the extra that the county and administration demand, and this year it is overwhelming. If I was a beginning teacher, I don't think I would be able to handle it. I would have decided this teaching idea was a bad one and gone off to find a job with more pay and less work. However, after much pushing and pulling and even some bribing, and crying tears of frustration, this class is finally pulling together as a team, and as third graders in their own way. It is simply wonderful. These new kids in my room, don't feel like the new kids anymore, they feel like my kids and I am in heaven. I wasn't sure it was going to happen this year. I was wondering if this teaching gig was over for me. I have promised myself that when I am no longer having fun, I will quit teaching and find another job. I thought it might be time. However, I called upon my ever-faithful God for a new attitude, I found some time and ways to connect with these little people, and alas, again, I am in love. These sweet, funny, smart, quirky children have stolen my heart. And, because it took a little longer than usual, I think the love may be a little stronger. Could it be I'm loving this job more? With all the demands and craziness and never-ending time crunch, I'm loving it more? I am a gluton for punishment. And loving every minute.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My daughter is so amazingly beautiful - it makes my heart freeze. Not only is she beautiful, she is truly a wonderful person! Sometimes, I get scared when I think of all the ways I want to protect her, and all the ways I can't. Can I please, please, stop time?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The crazy house

I have been attempting to remodel the main bathroom in my house. I call it the kids bathroom. I have made many changes to this house and I still forget how messy construction can be! Never does it just affect the room in which you are working. The entire house takes on the "under construction" quality. It even moves into the car. Then, my attitude morphs into one that needs some tweaking.
After the major part of the change is over, I work like a madwoman to get things back in order so my attitude can re-adjust. Things around here are looking much better.
Just in time for school to begin.

Does the construction, physical or otherwise, ever truly end? Maybe, we should pray it doesn't ever end. I would rather be changing, adjusting, cooperating, than stagnating. Things that become stagnate tend to smell eventually.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shells on the Beach

Shells are like people. I came up with that as I was strolling the beach this week. I took the kids to a great place, Forest Dunes in Myrtle Beach, and it was really rejuvinating and full of fun. Sissy was even willing to let me walk on the beach by myself while she stayed in the room with a sleeping little man. There weren't tons of people around, just a few joggers and some strollers like me.
I love to look for treasures on the beach. The illusive sand doller, unbroken shells, colorful sea glass, a prized shark tooth. I usually end up with shells in my bucket and little else. It's the hunt, honestly, that keeps my attention.
As I walked, I could see shells scattered everywhere on the beach. Some were on top of the sand, others were buried slightly. I surveyed my walking area and I realized there were many, many more broken, chipped, and crushed shells than there were perfect ones. Some had been stepped on, some had been worn down by the ocean, others simply mere fragments of what they once were. I found this interesting. I started picking up the partial shells and examining them closely. The colors in many of them were brilliant. The shapes were quite unusual and beautiful. Some were very think and heavy. Some had fossils of small creatures on them. I became much more interested in the pieces rather then the wholes.
It was then God spoke in my head.
Think of my people. There are so many more crushed and worn down people than there are "perfect" ones. And the "perfect" ones tend to be less interesting, maybe even dull. The ocean and sand together, has worn character into the shells. Aren't they lovely?

And lovely they are. We tend to like whole things. I do. I prefer an un-opened can of soda. I like a yard full of grass and no weeds. I like all the cabinet doors in my kitchen to be closed and the drawers shut. But life is not neat. Life is messy, harsh, wearing, and it likes to break us. This is the society we live in. As broken and worn down as we may be, we are still important. We are still brilliant, and beautiful, and lovely. Do you love the people around you any less after they have been in a crisis? Sometimes it can make you appreciate what is there.
I will always treasure my time on the beach. I will continue to hunt for the prizes and I still like to find the whole shells. But I don't dismiss the broken fragments anymore. I never will again.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

To the beach? To the beach!

The last time we went to the beach, my daughter was on her boogie board until she could no longer stand, and my son wanted nothing to do with the water or sand, preferring instead to chase the seagulls. This left me in the in-between position of trying to keep an eye on my daughter in the potentially lethal ocean and watching my son run after birds who would leap into the air and seemingly disappear. That was two years ago. I'm interested to see how it will be different this time. They are both two years older and my daughter may be more worried about her hair getting wet (almost 12) while my son may find the water irresistable (3). I honestly don't care who wants to do what. We will be spending time on the beach. We will be together. We will be making memories. Whatever we do, it will be the only summer of 2009 so we'll make the best of it. I'll tell ya how it turns out, later.