Almost There……

imagesCA174ACFIt has been a long semester.  Between working 40 hours student teaching, I’ve been trying to fit working in anytime I can, so I’ve been doing about 60-70 hours and working 7 days a week is getting a little old.  I just have to remind myself, I’m almost there.

Graduation is May 4th.  I’ve been accepted by Clemson University in their Graduate program with a scholarship and assistantship.  Yes, I’m jazzed, just to pooped to jump up and down.  I have to say that my respect for teachers has risen.  I’ve been teaching, preparing lesson plans, dealing with classroom management, speaking to parents in parent/teacher conferences and so forth.  It. Wears. You. Out.  Plus there are children who just are difficult to help.  They are their own worst enemy and it takes a lot of energy not to give up on them.  I’ve found that some students don’t like my teaching style because I’m not entertaining.  (Sorry, I want you to learn not be entertained in school.)  But it makes it worth while when there are the few who say “thank you” for teaching me something, because I know I’m my own worst enemy and its my fault that my grades aren’t up to parr.

I’m almost there.  I say this because going into student teaching I had a much different idea about what I should be doing with teaching.  It’s been reversed.  I can’t give you all the reasons, except to say that it’s not what I expected and I found that my level of care for their education has grown.  I’ve seen a lot of things that I never thought I would have to deal with.  Young people whose own parents give up on them, others who don’t have parents who care and live with someone else and those who just don’t have anyone at all; these are the ones who slip through the school system, without really having someone look them in the face and ask questions about who they are, what they want, what their plans are….there is so much more to being a teacher than people realize.

I’m almost there.  I think this experience is preparing me for something great, I just don’t know what it is yet.   I have found my true calling and it is – Teacher.

A Letter to My Children

My dearest children:

This letter is to all of you, whether I birthed you or not.  It is a letter of love and of gratitude for being so special that you’ve come into my life to make me a better person.  While there may have been times you thought I was a villain, it was only because I loved you enough to let you know I thought maybe, just maybe, you weren’t making a wise decision.  But even when those decisions have been unwise, I’ve had your back, always and forever.

Maybe there were times I was preachy, and you didn’t appreciate it.  I understand.  I’ve been there before, when I was your age, and I thought I understood how the world worked.  As I grew up, I found out the hard way that I really didn’t know much of anything.  I only wanted to save you from tears, heart breaks, hurtful relationships, unkind people, con artists and jerks.  Yet, I know now that the circle of life includes these types of hard experiences. They are there, to prepare you, for the time when you look at your own children and want to save them too.

I’ve been there for you.  I hope that my example of hard work, diligence and responsibility didn’t go unnoticed, because I’ve always tried, to the best of my ability, to make sure you’ve had what you needed.  My love is unfathomable and will ever be so, for a mother’s love never dies or goes away.  Having you to care for, has been the greatest joy that I could ever imagine.

My only advice to you as you mature is simple: Remain true to yourself and never forget, when you shake someone’s hand, look them in the eye.  Everyone needs to feel like they matter.

Love, Mom.

A Journey with Life’s Pen.

We all start out in the world, naked.  A clean slate in which life dabs a pen and begins to write.  It’s a unique experience being a part of life’s story.  We all are in one big book that keeps going on and on.  It doesn’t stop when I die, it gets carried on in a sequel with my children and their children, and the generations who come down the road.  What makes our journey interesting is how we develop our character in the story.  Are we the villain or the hero? Or do we just stand at the sideline and watch the story proceed without really making any worthwhile contribution?  Should I re-read my story written by life, I hope I see some great chapters, some that make you cry and some that make you laugh.   And some most special ones that just can’t be repeated in anybody else story.

Giving our Children Their Wings

Calle, Carleigh, Kyler, Kelsey and Me at the Ranch

Calle, Carleigh, Kyler, Kelsey and Me at the Ranch.

This week has been a little emotional for us as one of our children was in a serious car accident.  She is fine, thank goodness, and the only loss was Kermit, her little green car.  (My boyfriend’s daughter Carleigh).  It could have been worse, and I don’t even want to think about that part.

I sigh with a heavy heart, because this is not the first time we’ve been touched with car accidents.  My son, Chase, who is in the Army, rolled his dodge about three years ago, going about 70 mph.  Luckily, the only loss we received then was the car, and he managed to walk away with scraps and bruises.  As Carleigh told me today “Car is replaceable, I’m not.”  This is so true.

As mothers and fathers, it is so difficult to give our children their wings, especially when we know there is so much out there that can go wrong.  I am stressing right now because my middle child, Calle is going to Ft. Bragg to pick up her brother in a couple of days, and then they both are traveling to Houston to be with their father and sister for Christmas.  I am afraid of giving them their wings, because it is the first time they will be traveling such a great distance by themselves.  But, I know there comes a time when this mother hen must let go, and it seems that time is now.

So this Christmas, my biggest gift to my children is going to be their wings.  I will have to just sit back, watch and hope that they fly straight, and miss all the obstacles that could hurt them.

Can I go back to God and change it?

It’s very weird how small memories come to me about my children, because they come at the strangest times.  This one came today when I was taking a French-speaking exam.  I was thinking, “Oh man, am I going to be able to remember all the pronunciation of these words, and am I going to remember the script?”  And almost like a flash of light, I could see in my mind’s eye, my youngest child Kelsey, (who will be 18-years-old this Halloween) when she was about four.

It was a bright summer day in Texas, and hot.  I made the kids go outside for awhile, because they were watching too much TV.  Chase, (my son who is 23 and in the army now) was playing with his buddies.  I think it was cowboys and indians, or something like that, and Kelsey, who was his shadow since she could walk, followed the troupe out the door.  Not but ten minutes later, she came in, crying with the biggest crocodile tears she could muster.

“I a big boy mommy, right?”  she asked me to confirm through the heebie geebies, and sniffles.

I looked at her for a moment before I called Chase in.  “Chase, what did you say to your sister?”

Chase lowered his eyes, “Mom, she’s not a boy like us! She can’t come and play guns and stuff.”

Now her statement made sense.  My heart ache for her as I watched the big tears fall down her cheeks.  She loved her brother so much, that she wanted to go everywhere with him.  Yet, he was getting to the moment in his young life that he wanted to hang out with his own friends without little baby sister in tow.

Cuddling my littlest up in my arms, we sat down in front of Nick, Jr. and Spongebob as I waited for her to be okay.  I dried her face and kissed her, and told her I loved her.  She was still for a moment, before she patted my arm and said, “Momma why did God make me girl?”

The question said in so much innocence caused me to pause.  How was I to answer this?  Taking a deep breath, I replied, “Well God has a special plan for you, but as a girl.  There are probably things you are supposed to do, that if you were a boy, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish them.”

She is a bright one, and I could see her mind wheeling.  She was digesting that tidbit, soaking it in.  Another couple of minutes passed, and then she patted my arm again.  “Momma, can I go back to God and change it?” she asked with so much determination.

I quietly laughed to myself.  “No baby, God’s mind is kinda made up at this point.”

Well I know you are asking how this story and my French exam could have anything in common.  That’s what I asked myself too.  It wasn’t until this afternoon, that the answer came.  My life has been difficult, and when I found myself in trouble, I would stand there with God and demanded that it be changed.  He would wipe my tears and said, “No, my mind is kinda made up at this point!”  So when I was complaining quietly about the French exam, it was his friendly reminder that I was on the right path, and I just need to buck up and study a little harder.  French History is where I’m supposed to be, and there is no going back to God and changing it.

Chainbooks.com – Writer’s Wanted!

I’ve met this wonderful guy who has come up with a unique writing experience for everybody.  Chainbooks.com is a company which will soon be up and running on the web.  I really am impressed with Matt Evon and Chainbooks because as a future teacher, his goal is to make Chainbooks something that schools would eventually utilize in helping children experience writing chapter books, and at the same time teaching them to process and develop storylines, characters and enhance their writing ability.  It’s got great dynamics!!!

Matt still needs help with acquiring “Starter Chapters” though.  These “Starter Chapters” need to be about 2500 – 3000 words long.  As a “Starter Chapter” author, you receive a payment for the “Starter Chapter” plus you will receive royalty payments once the book is completed and copies sold (payment is based on how many are sold).  You can get more information at http://www.chainbooks.com/.