Even through the difficult days, I know that meeting students where they were at, caring for them as they were, encouraging them to be themselves, all of it mattered. It is the students I will miss the most.
Significant change, even good change, is hard. Sometimes it is enough to just get through it.
That even in the midst of endings there is still the hope and excitement that accompanies beginnings. At times the changes have felt a lot like leaving a portion of my heart, with the memories attached, to specific buildings, schools, jobs. But, isn’t that part of life? That we leave a little footprint behind on all of the places we go. And yet, there always seems to be enough left to begin again.
I decided to go way back for my final summer throwback piece, to December 2019. I almost laughed out loud as I reread my idealized vision for achieving complete balance, and then had to pause as I realized I still cling to the notion that at some point in my life I will achieve perfect …
So now I watch for them, my little unexpected moments of joy where my face hurts from so much smiling and the mess-free glitter flies around me. I no longer take them for granted. The ordinary moment that is filled with joyful power no longer gets left as ordinary, but I capture it in my mind for rainy day remembering.
Lately, I have found myself frequently getting bogged down in a frustrating pattern of struggling to tackle my overwhelmingly lengthy to-do list before succumbing to mindlessly scrolling perpetually negative news updates. The mundanity was causing me to feel despondent. I realized I needed to switch gears and instead refocus on the candid moments of inspiration that continue to happen all around me.
Three-year-olds get a bad rap sometimes. Granted, for good reason, they are often dramatic, defiant, loud, and unpredictable. However, as I reflected on some of the traits of my little girl, I started to flip my perspective and consider all the positive aspects of three. I thought of the times that I have watched her in awe and I began to wonder what my life would be like if I took on some of the positive characteristics of my three-year-old daughter.
Recently, my family navigated a bout of COVID infections which necessitated the cancellation of some highly anticipated plans. As I worked to overcome my disappointment, I was reminded of All That Still Is.
The black dot analogy connects to many of my life experiences. Specifically, the reality that parents and kids often remember experiences differently. It seems that moms are often harder on ourselves than our kids are on us. It makes me wonder, are kids somehow able to keep their focus on the whole page while parents struggle to see beyond the dot?
Parenting can be so brutal, like a child asserting their independence, harshly declaring “I don’t want to snuggle and read with you.” Or so beautiful, like a child expressing their appreciation through a simple “I love you.” It’s a bittersweet journey.