Sunday, October 06, 2013

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Autumn

I don't care what anyone says, I'm not moving from this spot until I've completely finished writing this blog AND my other blog.  I'm not going to rush.  I'm not going to make it short.  I'm just going to write until I've written everything I have to say.

Because it's the first and last day this week that I have to make this time a priority.  Every other day this week has been filled to the brim with crazy, excitement, and plans meaning I haven't had one single day that I can just sit and write for as long as I want to.  

And it's not even like this day isn't filled to the brim.  Cleaning, grocery shopping, grading, lesson plans.. it's all got to be done, but I'm not going to stress about it.  I need some time to myself without having to worry about how much time it takes.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and stepped outside to drink my coffee only to be met with a blast of cold air.  And when I say cold, I mean you can see your breath when you breath cold.  A quick look at my thermometer told me that it was 48 degrees.  

LOVELY!  And there is no sarcasm intended with that.  I was really happy.  Remember, I LOVE cold weather.

Only problem was, I had made plans to go and watch my 4th grade boys play football.  And it was raining.  And cold.  

Not that being cold and rainy would stop me.  I put on some sweats, grabbed a sweater, and made plans to stop on my way to pick up some ponchos and an umbrella.  Butter decided he wanted to come with me, because he wanted to watch the younger kids play.  Peanut had planned on going, too, but with the weather situation she decided she'd much rather stay home in the warmth of her bed.

We took the drive, and on the way, I stopped to pick up two of the jr. high boys that had come to the homecoming game with me the night before.  They also wanted to watch the younger boys play football.  Both boys enjoy playing football, but didn't play this year for various personal reasons.  They enjoy the game, though, and it also gave them something to do.  Of course, they weren't expecting the rain and the cold.  Neither one of them were really dressed for sitting outside in that kind of weather, so it was a good thing I had a few blankets in my car for such occasions.  

As we walked up to the bleachers, I noticed a few weird glances from people I knew that were probably wondering what on earth I was doing with there with a couple of kids from school.  And yes, it probably did seem weird.  Why was a teacher who taught 4th grade driving around jr. high kids and taking them places on a Saturday afternoon?

The fact that those types of thoughts come in to my head makes me sad.  OK, kids don't usually "hang out" with their teachers.  But, in my mind, if I'm already going somewhere and I have a couple of students that want to tag along - just so they have something to do on a Saturday afternoon - then why wouldn't I take them with me?  The way I look at it, is that there are far worse activities that could be doing to keep themselves occupied.  I'd much rather my child hang out with a teacher on a Saturday afternoon than to be walking around town by themselves or doing who knows what on their own.  

These kids are friends with my oldest daughter, but I also learned a lot about them during summer school.  We built bonds.  They confide in me.  They come to me with concerns and worries.  Almost like a mom away from mom.  When I make the statement that I care for my students like I care for my own children, that's not just a surface statement.  I truly care for each and every one of them as I care for my own children.  And those feelings aren't just confined to my classroom.  And they don't just apply to the kids that come in and out of my classroom every day.  

Doing this type of stuff also helps me get to know some parents.  Last year, I made pretty good friends with a set of parents of a child in my class.  They had a son in my class, and a son in the jr. high that was very close friends with Peanut.  It became nothing for me to pick up their boys to go to games or school activities or for me to take them home after such events.  Both parents are hard working people, and it helped them out just a little to know that a responsible person was able to help out with some of the traveling that kids have to do in order to be involved with extra curricular activities.  

It's the same way this year.  I communicate with the parents, let them know that I'm willing to help out a little if they are OK with it.  The parents that I've spoken to the last couple of days have been appreciative, somewhat relieved that their kids are telling them the truth:  Yes, they really are going to a football game with a teacher.  

I remember being one of those parents, not so long ago, that wanted my children to be able to go out and do stuff on the weekend... but didn't have the means to take them.  I had to work, or didn't have reliable transportation, or had other kids to worry about, or the gas money to drive here there and everywhere.  I would have loved to have someone that would be willing to help me out so that my kids were still able to do some of the activities they wanted to do.  So, if I'm able to do something like that for others now - without them feeling weird about it - then, that's what I'm going to do.

I hadn't really planned on getting off on a tangent like this.  But, I guess it's on my mind.  

We may live in a society that can no longer trust all teachers or schools.  We (parents) may worry each and every day about whether our children are safe in school, or with the adults that are supposed to be caring for our kids rather than corrupting them.  And whose to blame them with constant reports of school shootings and teachers that have acted inappropriately with students.  Those reports make me sick to my stomach and worry as well.

But, I refuse to let those sick people tarnish the names of good teachers.  Those that really do care.  Those that want nothing more than to help kids stay on the straight and narrow, enjoy their childhood in a safe way, and provide some assistance to the parents that are trying their absolute best to do what they can for their kids.  Like me.  I am one of those people that will absolutely do what I can to help, care, and support ALL and ANY children that need it.  It's just who I am.  I've been there.  I've been a struggling parent, and one of the promises I made to myself is that when I finally got to the point where I could give back a little, I would do it.  No questions asked.  So, that's what I'm doing.

OK, rant over.

After the very wet and cold football game, I came home, ate dinner, and watched a movie with the family.  Some normalcy to a Saturday night.  It felt nice...and once that was over, I went to bed and got some much needed rest.

This morning, I woke up to another chilly morning.  I wished this chilly weather was going to be sticking around, but according to the weather reports we'll be back in to the 80s this week.  Blah!!

Today, I have a lot of stuff to get done.  But, it's also my baby sister's birthday.  I can't believe my baby sister is turning 18 years old today.  EIGHTEEN! An adult.  No longer my "kid" sister.  It really blows my mind.

She has turned in to such a beautiful young lady.  Full of spirit and get-go.  I remember not so many years ago that she was such a shy thing.  Never really spoke to anyone.  Would turn beet red at the mere suggestion of a boy's name.  What a different gal she is today.  An amazing basketball player, a social butterfly, and in her last year of high school.  

It just doesn't seem like 18 years have gone by since I was changing her diapers, feeding her, and carrying her around showing her off to my friends.  Now, she towers over me..being almost 6' tall.  It doesn't seem right that she was just five years old when I gave birth to my first child...and as Peanut started walking and talking, they would play dolls and tea parties together.  

Man, time sure does fly by.

OK, even though I said I wasn't going to do this... I really need to think about calling it quits if I plan on getting everything on my To Do list done today AND making it over to see my sister for her birthday.

Have an amazing Sunday!!


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