Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The little pangs in life

The end of the school year is upon us....and I can feel it in the air. The children are so anxious (and so are the teachers of course). As I was cleaning my classroom today I came across student work that I wanted to make sure to send home. So many parents keep a portfolio for their child. They dream of sharing it with their children's children. They would laugh with little Johnny about the way that he made his J backwards in kindergarten, or how he drew his Dad with just a head and arms and legs coming out of it (otherwise known as spider people). Yes, my student's parents needed this student work to add to that portfolio.

Then it hit me. The pain that occassionally creeps up on me. Will I ever experience that? It's a double edged sword. A part of me is petrified that Emma will not be alive for me to share her portfolio with her when she is grown. Then, there is the part of me that is petrified that she will not be able to produce work like that on her own. I know that it's a crazy thought. Deep down I do know that. Emma is Emma....she will do it in her own time....but she will do it.

I just wish that I could shut off certain parts of my brain. I just want to live in the now and appreciate today. Today is the day that I put a pair of size 3T pants on my little peanut....and THEY FIT...length and all!!! Today is the day that Emma went to pre-school and got in trouble for taking her pants off (I'm just excited that she CAN take her own pants off). Today is also the day that Emma said clear as a bell, "Horse...cold"....while pointing out the window at the horse.

I truly wish that my mind could always focus on the positive. I wish that I still had the gift of bein a naive parent who thought my child would grow up and could possible become the president of the United States (OK....I never would wish that on anyone). I wish that my mind would never have to grieve the unknown.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all! A time to reflect on the job of being a mother. When I ask my 5 year old student's what a mother does I often get the response, "Make dinner" or "clean the house" or "Get me ready for school". The one that got me the other day was, "My Mommy loves me no matter what". There you have it. A Mother's job is to love their child no matter what.

I have to say that on this Mother's Day eve I am pretty darn proud of the Mother that I have become. I can do all of the above. I can make dinner (order in Pizza counts, right?). I can clean the house, and I can get Emma ready for school. Above all else I love my child with a fierce protectiveness no matter what. She is everything that I have dreamed of in a daughter. She is funny, beautiful, and she loves everyone she meets.....especially her mommy. I am so proud of her and who she has become. I love to share new adventures with her, and teach her about the world. I love to see the wonder on her face at the fresh fallen snow.

Emma and me

Looking back to my "pre-Emma" days I always knew that a wanted to be a Mom. However, I never really gave a second thought to what that job would be like. My Mother was a stay -at-home mom. I figured that my job as a mom would be similar....except I would also have a job outside of the home. All of the women that I have known to fill the role as mom have done a good job. I had excellent role models to follow. When my child was born it was difficult to see where my path was meant to travel. It was obvious that many parts of my new role would be different. My child was yellow, she required 7 surgeries in the first 7 months of life (including a life saving liver transplant), she has required and will continue to require speech/occupational/physical therapies 4 times per week. My child has difficulties that make her life more challenging.

However, I realize now that the fact is A Mother's job is to love her child no matter what. I will continue to do that, and today I am proud of myself because I think that I have done a pretty good job so far in this new role in my life.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Child's Perspective

While Emma's Daddy was out of town this weekend, we had our babysitter's little girl over to stay the night. She is 7, and I have had her as a student for 2 years. She is an amazing little girl with exceptional manners....and she LOVES Emma!! It was so sweet to watch the 2 of them playing together. Then, Joncey asked me, "When I am 12 and Emma's all grown up...". I said, "Whoa, wait a second, when you are 12 years old how old will Emma be?". She paused to think about this and said, "8". I said, "So, will she be all grown up if she is only 8?". (Thinking....am I missing something?) Joncey said, "Well, I mean when she is 8 she will have "real words" right? So, then she will be all grown up". WOW! I guess that is the ticket. Once they get "real words" they are considered a grown up. Watch out, soon the 3 year olds in our society will be wanting to vote....and join the military.

However, I did like the optimistic point of view. Em's doing OK....as long as she has "real words" by the time she is 8. I think I need to adopt this philosophy myself. Maybe my mind would be less filled with worry if I could just learn some things from this amazing 7 year old.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Not Just Another Dandelion

It was a beautiful day today. Emma and I worked in the yard. We planted some bumpy, ugly bulbs that the box assured me will bloom into beautiful fragrant flowers. I look forward to seeing them. Then, I began to dig up the damn dandelions. The dandelions that are taking over my yard. They are EVERYWHERE!!! It's amazing how they just pop up...almost as you are watching them.

While cussing at the dandelions an analogy came into my head. It's a bit scary to catch a glimpse into my head....but, here we go. Hold on!

Dandelions are so much like children. You see.... a dandelion will grow regardless of conditions. It needs sunlight, water, and soil.....the basics....but beyond that not a lot is required to ensure that a dandelion will grow.

You ask how dandelions remind me of children. Well, children are similar to dandelions. They pop up all over the place. Many times they are not planned....they just happen. And guess what....typically they grow. Sure, they need food, water, shelter....but, similar to the dandelion....regardless of conditions children will continue to grow. Yes, for a child to become an adult who can cope with society they need love, a good home, etc. But, even without those things, a child will grow. A child will typically learn how to sit up, roll over, crawl, walk, eat, talk.....amazingly all on their own (with a little guidance).

Every so often a special seed is planted among the dandelions. This seed is placed in a very special place. It is given love and extra attention from the early stages. Finally the day comes when the tiny little plant pops out of the Earth. From the beginning it is apparent that this seed is special...it will require extra love, patience, and work for it to become a flower. The gardeners scratch their heads. After all, they only know what to do with the dandelion....which typically grows on its own. This plant that the gardeners have been given will wither if circumstances are not precise. The gardeners watch the plant with utter scrutiny....wanting to give it the best conditions. They learn that the plant that they have been given is called an orchid, and it is the most fragile of all the plants. They read that even after all of the care they give their orchid, all of the love and proper handling, their orchid will never be like the other dandelions. They watch, they wait, and they wonder. Will all of the dandelion parents laugh when their flower finally blooms.

The day comes! The vibrant color emerges to the awe struck onlookers. The flower that everyone believed would never make it blossoms into a beautiful image unlike any other. The gardeners realize that the tender orchid will always require special care, but it has a beauty unlike any of the dandelions. It is looked upon as a true miracle.....a miracle loved by all.