Showing posts from May, 2013

"It's Been A Great Year!"

At a time when I am keenly aware of the growth of my children, when I find myself unable to donate baby clothes because I don't want to face the reality that I'm probably not going to have another child, I also find myself looking back at a period of nine months, with its growth, labors, and fruits.   So, here I sit, at nearly midnight on my back porch, as I wait for an apple pie to cool, and I try to put down my thoughts about our first year of public school.

Nine months ago, I wrote of my feelings on the first day of school for my daughters.   After attempting to home school for several years, I had to admit defeat and send my children to school.   Even though I was optimistic, I still managed to feel a bit like a failure.   I was a pretty darn good teacher back in my classroom days and we had arranged our lives--even purchased our current home--around home schooling.   I missed them and looked forward to picking them up each afternoon.   I.   Me.   I've realized that mu…

Memorial Day/A Normal Day & Every Day

Today, my children are home from school, but my husband went off to work like any other normal day.   It is one of countless normal days made possible by those in uniform who had to do things which were anything but normal, in circumstances which had lost all resemblance to the ordinary.   Yesterday, I finished the second book of the Regeneration trilogy, The Eye in the Door, written by Pat Barker.   The books are British novels set during World War I and they focus on the lives of officers receiving care from Dr. Rivers, a respected psychologist.   He helps treat the officers and plays a large role in determining if they are fit to return to the Front or if their new post need be a desk or another hospital bed.   It was a fitting book to read this weekend.   Like any realistic World War I novels, they are described as being anti-war.   And like any good war novels, they do not wrap the story up in a neat little bow or worry about the comfort of the readers.   There is too much mud, t…

Summer: It's Not All About You

Amongst my major flaws is my resistance to popular things just because they are popular.   Any endorsement by a large majority is enough to turn me off anything.   New York Times Bestseller's List?  It's going to take some recommendations by people whose literary opinions I trust for me to read a book with that distinction.   Number one at the box office?   Again, it's going to take a trusted actor, director, screenwriter or reviews from trusted sources for me to approach the ticket window.  Everyone's doing it?   Then, I'm definitely NOT. The major drawback when we first toured our current home was that it has a floor plan which is very common in our town.   It was a stumbling block for me.  As an adult, I've learned to consider my strong opinions in light of this flaw.   So, for instance, a common floor plan is not a reason to ignore a home that offers everything we needed at a good price.

Over the past few weeks, my e-mail, facebook feed, and blog subscripti…

Mother's Day: Gratitude for the Less-Than-Perfect

This will be my ninth Mother's Day without Mama.   We didn't know at the time of my first Mother's Day that it was to be her last.   She and my dad came for a visit and took us all out to eat.   Mama held Emmeline as much as she could and over that pretty little bonnet-covered head we shared looks of understanding and a new camaraderie.   We were no longer just mother and daughter, but for a short time--nine months--our relationship had a new dimension as we were now both mothers.

Mama is memory for me now.   Memory of realities, blurred around the edges, softened with time, details fuzzy or sometimes sharp and focused.   I cry on Mother's Day, usually the night before, after everyone is asleep and I am alone in the quiet.   Just a good cry and then prayer.   Thank you, God, for the time I had with her.   Thank you for the mother you gave me.   Help me to be even half as good as that woman.   May my eyes not be puffy in the morning.   May the sadness fade in the face o…

Work: Foundation for Faith

When I was an Elementary Education major at university, I was asked to serve as a student representative on a committee of the College of Education.   The committee's purpose was to improve practical classroom experience for education majors and to strengthen our relationship with the cooperating classroom teachers who served as our mentors.   The best part of being on that committee was the time before the meetings when I had a chance to speak with two classroom teachers who were also on the committee.   One day, the topic of conversation turned to math instruction.   I was in college when the use of manipulatives was being integrated into instruction to replace rote instruction alone.   It was the first time in my life that math excited me and I wished I could have been taught in that manner.   Topics were introduced through concrete activities, with real-world connections and then paper-and-pencil practice would follow.   One of the teachers voiced her idea that she wondered ab…