Sunday, August 22, 2010

This is where I totally embarrass myself

What would life be without dumb moments like tripping and looking around to see who saw? I'm no stranger to clumsiness or brain flatulence.  This week has been a doozie, I do have to admit, but hey!  I blame it on the unavoidable and cyclical horror of Mad Cow Disease.
  • Yes, I did it again.  My secretary will not even blink when she hears this but, I still wonder how I manage to always lock my keys in my office, therefore locking myself out of my office all the time!  I hang my keys on my desk, where I've stuck a little thumb tack to the wall so that I will always see my keys before leaving work.  Well, last Friday I shut down my computer, grabbed my purse and walked out of my office leaving my dangling keys to scoff at my absentmindedness.  One text to the secretary, a search for keys to open one office led to a search in that office to find the extra keys to mine. least this time I didn't lock my entire family in the school administration building.  Yes, it has happened before.
  • Okay, so I told my contractor I loved him.  Yup, we both froze for about a second.  Before you begin to wonder, let me explain. We were talking business and saying our goodbyes, you know "okay thanks, okay that sounds great, ok bye" and he started out the door when I turned around and looked at my computer screen.  Right as he walked away waving and saying his last, "ok, bye", a message from my husband popped up on my gmail (I love you) and I said OUT LOUD while Mr. Contractor said goodbye, "I love you too!" He looked at me, I looked at him.  Luckily, we've known one another for years, I was even his daughter's 3rd grade teacher and I quickly showed him my chat box. "I don't love you, I love my husband, but I like you very much" We both laughed, but I'm sure he walked away just a little perplexed.
  • Don't lie.  I know you've all done this one.  Given your Smiles card to the gas attendant at Shell?  No? Okay (raising my hand), I did. How about introducing a member of the Board of Education by a wrong title at the monthly Principal's and Program Manager's meeting? Guilty again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

He will not depart from it

Let's talk about indicators.  The number one indicator of student academic success is teacher quality.  It isn't teacher credential, but how well a teacher can demonstrate that they genuinely care about individual student growth and how well they can deliver content so that it is comprehensible. 

The greatest factor in a child's overall success is not socio-economic status. It's not immigration status or ethnicity; it isn't even the level of a parent's education.  It's the degree of high expectation demonstrated by parents and the involvement, no engagement in that child's day to day life.  It's the old self fulfilling prophecy, and it's right on.
So what? Well, it's a big so what.  It's so big that I have to remind myself of it every time I start to feel like second guessing myself as a parent.  Now that my son is on life's training wheels, I can sit back (hindsight is 20/20 right?) and think about all the times I felt like my "I love you no matter what" talks were bouncing off the ceiling and getting absorbed into the atmosphere.  The surprising thing is, he'd heard every word I said and no matter what he did to refute it, my love sank in.  Thank God!  No really, thank God He taught us to Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).   It was my secret mantra through all the nights I prayed that I wouldn't get an emergency medical call or worry that Tony was going to get hurt emotionally, physically, whatever. They were only two and half years, but they were the scariest two and a half years of my life.  Wayne helped both Tony and I through it.  He saved us from one another more times than I care to admit.  And now, our son is on almost on his own.  Wow, and I have so many nights of thinking where I could have done better, but still.

You see, Tony's been my bud since he was born.  He was momma's boy, always at my side, always yanking on my shirt.  He was like that until he hit the great adolescent trauma stage, or as I like to think of it, the dain bramage years.  All my training as a teacher, counselor and everything I knew as a parent was suddenly questioned. That was the exact time that I needed to hold on to promises.  He will not depart from it...

 There's more to write, but my heart won't let me share it right now.  I will share this beautiful dialogue that happened on a sunny day in the water with Peyton a few months ago.

Peyton: Mommy, Tony's becoming much more responsible nowadays.
Me: He is!  And, he'll get even better you just wait and see.  You're going to love him even more.
Peyton: Yeah, he's really nice to us, and when he babysits us, he doesn't let us stay up past bedtime or anything.  He even plays with us.
Me: When he gets a little older he'll be ten times better, I promise. And, he'll be your big brother hero.
Peyton: He already is my hero.

I love you son.  When you were born it changed my entire life.  Your presence made me want to be a better person and gave me so much purpose.  I know you thanked me for being there for you, but I want to thank you for being here too.  Happy birthday, son.  Remember, no matter what you do or where you go, I'll always have your back.  ~mom