Friday, January 30, 2009

tending my garden

whew! what a week. in the world of teaching, there aren't too many things crazier than parent/teacher conference week.

i've always liked conference week. it's a time to connect with the moms and dads, and talk about the wonder of their children. i tend to have parents who worry a little more than average about the progress of their kids. i teach the "special" ones...the ones for whom learning, development, or some other life function is delayed or maybe even broken. for some, the progress is quite won't even see it if you don't look REEEEAALLLY carefully. but i do...i look carefully. i find any seed of possibility and i tend staff and i encourage it along. and when it yields a bloom, no matter how small, we hold it up and marvel at its beauty. we display it for all to see. we celebrate it for what it is...a remarkable achievement. to some, our little flower won't look like anything special, but those of us with the trained eye and the open heart will know what it is.

some of these wonderful parents just want the blooming to come faster...for their precious flower to "catch up". some will...but lots won't. so my job is to collect as many of the beautiful buds and petals as i can, and present them lovingly. sometimes it takes a while to see, but every single bouquet our children produce is a wonder. and for some, it's nearly a miracle.

thanks, moms and dads, for trusting your little ones to those of us charged with their care and education. the gardens won't all look the same, but every single one is worth appreciating. in some cases, it takes a LOT of work to get there.

have a happy weekend. peace out...and in.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6 billion others

well, i wasn't going to post today, but i came across something i HAD to share. it's incredible. it would take quite a while to go through the whole site...i just watched the testimonials on love today. incredible. go there. watch something.

go now.
peace out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

civil rights

happy civil rights day everyone! how are you celebrating your civil rights today?

i guess i'll be celebrating mine by doing whatever i want to do. how great is that? however, we have some friends and neighbors in our country who don't get to do some of the things they'd like to do. one of those things is getting married. i am still one of those people who doesn't "get" why this is such an issue.
some would have us believe that same sex marriage is an affront to God. i'm not buying it. who made us all the way we are anyway? i don't think God is really keeping tabs on who's getting married and why. he's got bigger fish to fry. i'd say he's pretty cool about the whole thing as long as all of us married folk behave responsibly and don't hurt other people. seems fair.

some other people want me to believe that same sex marriage somehow affects the state of hetero marriage. i happen to be a married hetero, and i'm not quite clear on how that works. the only people who have influence over the success of my marriage are my squeeze and me. that's it. if the two lovely ladies around the corner want to get married too, i say hooray! more examples of successful, loving relationships are what this world needs.

soooo...a part of my civil rights celebration is sharing this link with you:

here, you can sign a petition saying that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. so there.

have a great day doing whatever it is YOU choose! peace out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

true friendship

may i just say, "go here". it's my new favorite thing. so lovely.

okay...i'm supposed to be putting away Christmas decorations, so that's it for now...

have a great week, friends. much love to all...

btw...that's our rosie and her cousin jenna on Christmas Eve. cute, right?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


hey there!

we're back at school here in the neighborhood. our winter weather has been nice and mild, and the kids are outside playing like there's no tomorrow. it does a heart good to see this...i just love the fresh, rosy look they have in their faces when they come in from play. here in phoenix it doesn't snow, and the coldest it tends to get is into the 40s in the morning. but the kids here don't know any other winter, and they've got their mittens and hats. so funny.

i grew up in a suburb of chicago. winter was fierce there. we often had temperatures below zero with windchill. the year we left (1979) we had the worst blizzards ever...people had to shovel their roofs to avoid them collapsing. we walked to school and played outside with only our eyes showing. we had recess as long as there wasn't an ice storm going on. here, we keep the kids inside when there's a heat advisory and parents line up in the street to pick their kids up if it's "cold". rain in the phoenix area equals a top news story. my squeeze, who grew up in nebraska, and i think all of this is hilarious. i guess that's what perspective will get ya!

so...back to school, and the kiddos are fired up. i've been a special education teacher for a hundred and fifty years (okay, 22 years) and i still get excited when we return to school from breaks. the kids always have so much to tell and share. it's great. this year is particularly great...nobody forgot everything we learned in the first five months of school, so i'm happy!

as i've mentioned, my rosie is in first grade at my school. she is a typically developing child and learner. my perspective is a little warped as i've worked with non-typical learners for soooo long...and the fact that she's reading, writing, and doing math so well just amazes me. to watch the process unfold and develop is so gratifying. and, of course, i thank God every day that she's happy, robust, and doesn't have to struggle with learning. i've watched the pain of my students and their parents for so long, and not having that for rosie is a gift.

i happen to adore my students. their special learning, behavioral, and emotional needs are challenging, but workable. i've comforted many a parent over the years by telling them that their child is perfect and beautiful just as they are. they are not defined by their "disabilities" (how i dislike that word)...their uniqueness is just a part of them like their hair color and height. i am humbled and honored to work with these children every day. they have learning disabilities, autism, mental retardation, physical challenges, language delays, sensory/motor needs, and emotional/behavioral disorders. they are alive, bright, healthy, and learning. they are making gains and growth all the time. they are here and will contribute to their communities and the world. some children won't get the chance to do that. perspective...perspective...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!'s the first day of 2009 already. the last year seemed to fly by, didn't it? i know there were many challenges in 2008, both globally and here at home, but all in all, if we woke up today on the right side of the dirt, it's all okay. here is what i'm grateful for today...

this is tim. he's a wonderful husband, partner, dad, friend, and person. i get to kiss him every day. lucky, right?!

then there's rosie (see last post). i get to be her mom, which is awesome. i learn from her every day.

zach is 15, a high school freshman, and my stepson. that should tell you a lot. he and i have a unique relationship, as anyone with experience in blended families knows. my tolerance, patience, and capacity to love have all been developed by having him in my life.

my family is incredible. i am grateful that my parents and sisters live nearby. i adore my beautiful nieces. i will post more about these people in the future.

i am fortunate enough to work in a career that i love. it comes with many challenges, but when i focus on the kids and that i'm there to serve them, it all works out. they are fantastic.

i have a wonderful circle of friends. many have been with me for a long time. i am blessed by their friendships.

i have some furry children (lucy, molly, and scout) who bring me joy. i'd have more if it wouldn't cover our entire home with fur.

i am healthy, living in a lovely home, and today i feel great. 2009 is off to a great start! for you all, i wish for peace, love, joy, and prosperity in the coming year.