What I am grateful for…
Thank you. Two simple words that can carry so much weight and yet when they are missing, they can leave such a hole. I saw both sides this weekend.
My husband and I spent an evening and morning hosting a relative and babysitting her daughter. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with this little one and love that we are asked to step in from time to time to help out. We made grilled cheese together, with a 4 year old, played with the puppy, and read bedtime stories while mom got a free night out with friends. We made breakfast for all the next morning and shared great conversation over The New York Times and even had time for some babydoll play and walk with the dogs around the block. After they left, I asked my husband if any Thank Yous were doled out. Not to him, and not to me. It left us both feeling a little empty and slightly more hesitant to step up next time.
And then late Sunday evening, a parent of a former student emailed my teacher partner and me. Their child had just been recognized on the honor roll in middle school. He struggled in 5th grade while needing extra support but made up his mind early that year that he didn’t want the support. He worked so hard all year, especially with his organization and independence in homework. The email thanked us, and all the teachers who worked with their child, for working with their son to give him the confidence to believe in his abilities. It left both of us feeling full and anxious to get back to school to do what we enjoy.
Two little words.
I choose to spend each day with a group of young people in an effort to promote tolerance, compromise, a work ethic based on personal growth, and a climate of acceptance. I do this because I think I might be able to make a difference somehow. I do this because I believe that giving some smiles, laughs, side hugs and pats on the back will somehow seep in to lives of some young people. I am not out for personal gain, for personal profit, and certainly not for financial security – no one in education is. I try to believe that people when people are good and kind to one another that it benefits everyone. I try to believe that even though we have differences, when we take care with each other, respect each other, and are generally kind to each other that the world can become a better place. But tonight, I am feeling defeated. How long can a human swim upstream before giving in to the downward flow?
Lost to October
Weeks gone missing.
Pushed away by the struggle to love and accept
Missing in the daily doubts and defeats
Neglected for the fury of masqueraded cries for help
Adrift in a shorter tipping point of patience
Squandered in piles of data
Surrounded yet satisfied by hours of warm exchanges with parents
Caught in the strong winds of a day of service and songs yelled in unison
Squeezed between heart wrenching returns and memories of letting go
Embraced by family celebrating a life called back
Found again in sweet refrain from kittens, ghouls, and blueberry pies shared with neighbors and friends.