Words are wimps
I'm supposed to turn in the words for my son's annual ad today. I've been writing at 5 am. It is just one page. One page to summarize how I feel and what I want him to carry with him.
But one page can't capture it. It won't. It can't. I have to pick the words that will inspire him and hope that 18 years has been enough time to tell him how much I love him and all the things that he needs to know to make it in this world.
So, how can I leave a tiny piece of me on this page, so that when I'm gone, he can look at it and say ... "yeah, that's my Mom... that is what she would say to me if she were here right now." How can capture a bit of immortality -- or at least a fleeting bit, as long as he's alive, because in the end, he's the only one who will really read or care what I said.
Tidal Waves of Change
I was completely clueless about what this means and still am. It is kind of like playing in the surf at the beach, I think I'm ok until the next big wave comes and smacks me in the face, stinging my eyes and causing my nose to run. I get to do this two years in a row - two tsunamis back to back, my daughter graduates next year.
So much of who I am is wrapped up in my desire to love my children with abandon and to make them independent people who don't need me anymore. In this case, success means change. Success means letting go. My youngest will be starting middle school next year... I'm more thankful for him than ever because I've still got a lot of being a Mom left in these bones.
Being a Mom has been the greatest joy of my life as a close second to being a wife of a great man. I had no idea how much I'd love these three little squirming, wet creatures who came into my life.
Tough Times Give you the Chance to Treasure
Sunday we were laughing about all of the times we had been in or to the hospital with our three. LAUGHING. We laughed about how my youngest inhaled a sunflower seed and had to be at Eggleston and how I held him all night as he screamed because he couldn't eat. We laughed about how my oldest woke up from wisdom tooth surgery with a violent temper and my daughter came out of having her tonsils removed sobbing. We laughed about those things that almost sent me over the edge and we told jokes and we remembered those times with fondness. Why? Because it is our story together.
Families make memories together. Sometimes the tough times are an opportunity to show just how much you love someone. Without those times, they might be oblivious as to what they mean to us...let me demonstrate.
The Family Heirlooms
Yesterday I heard this story that fits from Dr. Charles Lowery who told a story about a little girl who was told not to do gymastics in the den because the family heirlooms were on the shelves and tables. The rug was thick, so one day when Mom was in the back of the house, she couldn't resist and started doing her back handsprings. She was fine for a while but started really getting into it and kicked a vase off the shelf. When she did, it cracked into shards and she fell on top of the vase, cracking it further but gashing her leg open.
Her Mom heard the noise and came running. The little girl was so afraid because she knew she had broken a precious family keepsake. But when her Mom came in and saw the blood, she didn't even see or say anything about the vase. All she could do was look at the little girls leg to see if she was ok. And then the little girl realized something that changed her life. She was the family treasure.
See the treasure in your students
As you teach these precious children, remember that everyone one of them is the family treasure. And if they are not..make them yours. Every child deserves to be loved. These children in your classroom are your heirlooms. They are treasures. They are gifts.
As we struggle through life, teaching, and everything else, let's keep clearly in focus who the treasures in our lives are.
Notice, I didn't say what our treasures are... I said WHO.