That Scary Moment

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That Scary Moment

Parenting is an abundance of moments that take your breath away. Cry. Scream. Jump for joy. But some moments just slam your chest so hard, you gasp for a breath. Struggle and gasp again.

Monday was my moment to feel my heart sputter and ache that it still brings tears to my eyes.

Our 8 year old was at a program sponsored by a neighborhood school. When the program ended, he waited. And waited. Not knowing if I was coming, being the last one, and to see if someone was waiting outside, he left the safety of the school. Once outside, he was locked out. No one answered his knocks. His next decision, against his normal worry mindset, led him to walk home. With darkness settling in, 18 degree air, and without the experience of ever taking this 1 mile trek, he set off.

Driving to the school to pick him up and still 1/2 way to go, my headlights found a terrified, cold, familiar face walking in the road. With the sidewalks still not cleared, he ventured to road. What I cannot erase from my retinas, his frightened, tear stained face. He didn’t know what happened to us. Were we coming? Did we forget him? Once inside the warmth and safely in the van, he shut down and just wanted to go home to the security of his bed.

After many hugs, reassurance, and heart to hearts, his face and body relaxed, a bit. How did this happen?? It turns out we were given the incorrect end time, instead given the previous years time. With no one around, unable to return into the building, he searched deep and found his brave, big boy pants. And walked.

My anxiety is the what if…. He passed a poorly lit parking lot, across from a large equally dark cemetery, dressed in dark colored clothing, and in the road. This mommy mind filled with the unmentionables. The headlines. But none of them happened. I know someone was watching over him. Someone calmed his fears and led him towards home. I am thankful.

After a family meeting about safety, emergencies, and lots of cuddles, I swept him in my arms and said, “you are so brave”. Inside I said, thank you.

My M is stronger than I.

3 years and still so much to say

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Received a text that today is small town jules’ 3 year anniversary! (insert silly string and party streamers here)

Wow.  Three years, 168 posts, 18,122 views, views from over 20 different countries…and still so much to say.

Slacker is a good place to start.  Prior to this school year. Monday was blogging night.  Kids all snug as bugs, hubby away for guy time, a cup of tea and words would flow.  Mondays are now filled with trying to bolster up support for a local twitter chat I created.  The fast flying half hour often leaves cramped hands and a dull brain.

So with my educational PLN knocking at the 8:30 door, I’ll sign off with a thank you for the support and a plea to not give up on small town jules.

Words haven’t left me.  And I hope you won’t either.

Peace.

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Peace.

I found Peace tonight. It was there all along. I just needed to venture out to find it.

In sub zero temps as I took the pup out for duty #8 of the evening, Peace met me.

After a long day back, moderating a dismal attended twitter chat, abandoning my aids in an effort to comfort the Tinnitus, and putting aside parental responsibilities, Peace met me.

I entered the glittery, shivering yard and there it was. Calm. No sounds to disrupt the message. Not a distant siren, roaring engine, not even a loan woof in the night air. Ignoring the icy breeze, I gazed out, my eyes lingering on all surrounding me. Our path, built on love. And there was Peace.

I met Peace tonight and my heart is calm. Come back tomorrow.

Perhaps I should explore more often, leaving my hearing aids aside.

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The Lost Ones

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Local news, printed and gossiped, surrounds the lost ones. Souls lost to drugs, alcohol, forgotten love. Kids, adults looking to soothe the aches and hurt with substances.

Where were you? Where was I? What went wrong? Who is responsible?

Whether deceased, incarcerated, or trashed, these souls need us to not turn away, pretend not to notice, or leave them alone.

Do you know that your teenager is doing drugs? Harmless you may say, but what’s next? Do you know who she is with? Read the headlines, listen to the chatter. Is she next?

What will you do? Can we save the lost ones? Walking the hallways are souls wedged in the crack, soon to fall through. Can we close the gap before they stumble? That boy, in the headlines, reached the crack, looked around, and fell. No one, no net, no agency caught his stumbling ways. Now it’s too late.

The next lost soul, who will it be? What will you do? Can we reach the lost ones, extending a hand, offering an ear? Is innocence an excuse? Do you know?

Questions; my head is swimming, my heart aching.

Those Doggone Days

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Those Doggone Days

Revelation.  That’s what I’m calling it.  It did not come easy.  Probably years in the making, but this week, it hit me like a fly on poop on a smoldering summer day.

I am meant to be a dog.

Realization #1 – A dog’s uncanny ability to soak up the warmth of a single sunbeam and nap for hours.  Not a care in the world.  The way life should be.

#2 – When it comes to doing “duty”, a dog knows how to pick the perfect spot.  Circling around the yard for what seems like hours until he finds the spot.  Not there.  Or there.  Or even way over there by his lucky tree.  But this spot right here, it’s perfect.  How many times is the stall, our favorite deposit location, taken?  Or the conditions are not “right”?  I think Goldilocks had it right.  Maybe she was a dog in another life.  Can we afford the luxury of roaming around, “sniffing” out a perfect spot?

#3 – Having a master, owner, parent (whatever you want to call it) to prepare the food, lead on long leisurely walks, brush out snarls, give a relaxing belly rub, and play fetch with once in a while.  If only each day I could curl up in a snuggly ball and snooze away the work day awaiting the return of my food, entertainment, and belly rub source.

#4 – A dog’s perfect ability to see snow as a source of food and fun.  Rain puddles as personal splash pads.  And falling leaves as time for frolic and play.  Back to the simpler times.

#5 – When life gets tough, the noise level too loud, or things are not going right, find a quiet, hidden “cave” to stow away until life eases up.  Yes there are days where I just want to curl up under a table, hide my eyes with long silky ears, and just sleep away the hustle.

#6 – When all else fails and bored as heck, chase the tail around until instant collapse happens.  If I could see my backside and chase it, I am pretty sure I would fall over from hysterical laughter or the result of an injury.  Probably both.  But the idea is that it looks so entertaining!

Clearly a dog’s life is the life for me.  Until then if you see me circling around, I’m either looking for a ray of sunshine to park my butt, chasing my tail for lack of other entertainment, or prepping to find the perfect unload station.  Forewarned.

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Blogging Disease

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It has spread.  Middle E has caught it.  If she had her own computer, almost daily posts would fly off her hunt and peck keyboard.  She scrawls letters, notes, stories on any writable surface.  If she paid me, I could retire and just be her secretary.  Yes there is enough content to sustain at least a month’s work.

She is also using her new writing skills to teach me.  A note from last weekend, “Mom we dont want too cleen any more.  It is a boor.  We do no more. Love E”  Translation from 6-year-old language, “Mom we don’t want to clean anymore.  It is a bore.  We will do no more. Love E”  Ugh, my first grader is a rhyming genius.  I KNOW cleaning is boring.  That’s why you kids were supposed to do it!  Of course I didn’t say that.  Instead I agreed.  Popcorn and a movie are better. Much better.

Sometimes she types, sometimes her secretary does.  We always sit together to proof before we hit publish.  Sometimes she does not “catch” all the errors, but those wrong word choices are what make each piece special.  The young spirit has specific plans for pictures and let’s me know how the post should look.  From the published pieces, I see growth.  This weekend we talked about post ideas and topics.  Her eyes lit up, she giggled and disappeared for an hour.  Later her notebook appeared, a few additional pieces and another series of ideas.

In Kindergarten she earned the nickname Speedy Z.  I still do not have the full story on this, but whatever the story, the name fits.  She spent time pouring over the available backgrounds and fonts.  Upon making her final choice, it was title time.  Again she thought about it and did not appreciate any of my suggestions.  What’s wrong with Middle E?  Or A Kid with a Blog?  After a few minutes of doodling, she raced in and said “what about Speedy Z’s Blog?”  Nailed it!

She is a feisty little giggle monster who has a lot to say.  In writing and in life.  What is next?  No idea, I’m just on her bandwagon and cheering her along the way.

I hesitated sharing her blog for many reasons.  It came down to a little girl wondering why she did not have any comments or questioning why no one wrote her back.  She wants readers.  Will you follow?  http://speedyzblog.wordpress.com/

Can I keep up with her posts is my next worry.

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Ego Boosters

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Yesterday was a day for my history book. Not one. Or even two. But three shout outs from former students. All in different life phases, all reaching for different horizons, but found the time to connect.

One is starting a new life path and diving into entrepreneurship. I remember having deep conversations about life, college, and career paths. He may not be heading down the path originally planned for, but he did not give up. Now, he is opening his own t-shirt shop in town. I look forward to working with him on Peer to Peer shirts later this year.

Another struggled to graduate last Spring. For over a week, I monitored him while he completed laps for PE. He needed the class, along with another credit, to graduate. Each planning period, I revisited tally mark skills as he logged in over 20 miles! He stopped in to say he finished his last credit and received his diploma. I’m not shy, I cried as he gave me a bear hug.

The final ego booster arrived at 12:10 am. A lengthy email from a recent graduate. He is postponing college to follow his dreams and he’s having some successes. “Thank you so much Mrs.z For always having faith in me and always seeing what no one else could you have been my favorite teacher since i stepped in those Doors Freshman year. I will never forget you!!” I’m done, I cried. Again.

The hard days where I’m struggling to manage 18 hormonal teens, I’ll refer to this day. On the sad days when a student wants to drop out and walk away, I’ll tell the story of a student who fought through to the end. Or the days where I wonder when he/she will just “grow up” (mature) and see that there is a purpose, I will reach into my teacher bag and show a flyer from a student who is making it.

As I say as we reach that final senior day together…No matter the path, no matter the distance, I’m here for you.

I’m a proud mama bear.