Thursday, July 27, 2017

"That" Mom also titled MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO TEACH

I have two amazing children.  One, a junior in high school, and the other a sophomore in college.  The older is the one I want to talk about.  My daughter is 19 years old and continuing her education at Oklahoma Christian University.  While in high school, she accomplished many things, most relating to academic excellence.  A few of those include class valedictorian, a 4.0 gpa, captain of her quiz bowl team, numerous scholastic competition awards, was selected to the OACA Academic All- State team, two academic state championships in English/Grammar, and a 32 composite score on her ACT.  In addition, she was a leader in her youth group, received the FFA State Farmer degree, and was president of her local FFA chapter.  Do you remember the phrase “My future’s so bright I have to wear shades”? That’s my girl.               

If you’ve stopped reading because I am clearly one of “those” obnoxious mothers, well you are correct, I am.  She worked her tail off to do well in all of her endeavors and the recognition she received, she earned.  Besides, that paragraph doesn’t come close to listing everything.  THAT would be obnoxious. 

However, my point here isn’t about her intelligence, at least not directly.  You see, my daughter has decided she wants to be a teacher. I want to share with you some of the reactions she and I have gotten when telling others that this academically accomplished young woman has decided to make education her career.  So here goes:

                WHY? You have such a future if you want it.

                WHY? I am going to make so much more money than you.

                Well, that’s sad.  Doesn’t she want more for herself?

                It’s not like you don’t have options, why teach?

Well I told my kid if she wanted to teach she was on her own.  No way am I helping her pay for     college.

That’s a waste. Can’t you talk her out of it?

I’ve seen my beautiful, amazing daughter almost cringe when someone asks what her major is and it’s not because she is ashamed, she is tired of the negative, judgmental comments.  I know because I am too.

Now don’t get me wrong, the state of education and the future for our teachers in Oklahoma is bleak.  I am aware of that.  We blame our law makers for cutting funding.  We blame our administrators for not being able to hire “quality” teachers. And we blame our teachers for the fact that we are becoming less educated and farther behind other countries.  I think it’s time we started taking some personal responsibility in the lack of respect for our educators.  When was the last time you faced a room full of children knowing you were accountable for helping build their futures, spending your own money, time, and work realizing your pay is 49th in the nation, benefits, like health insurance, are costing you more than other state employees because you teach, that you are going to be judged by how your classroom is decorated? Now imagine this and add in the face of a beautiful child that is wearing the same clothes for the fourth day in a row, the bruises, the foster child that is back in your classroom after yet another home placement.  Why on earth are our teachers not treated like solid gold? Do we not “get” that the future of our communities, state, country, are tied to the education of these kids?

Now, I’m going to be “that” mom again.  You WANT educators like my daughter at the head of our classrooms.  You want the overachievers and the ones who WANT to teach educating our future! Our future cardiologists, judges, law enforcement, etc. are sitting in classrooms NOW.

It’s time to stop blaming and start changing. I will start with me.  If you teach, I want to say thank you.  I’ve seen time and again a teacher take my children into their hearts and not only teach them math and science, but love them.  You have a special place in my heart.  If I ever treated you as though I did not respect the work you are doing, please accept my apology and hear me say I am working to help you change this perspective.  As for my gifted, amazing, beautiful daughter, she wants to be a teacher.  She is excited to continue her own education toward becoming a teacher dedicated to your kids and grandkids. She WANTS to do this and trust me, she WILL excel.  It’s just who she is. 

As the school year begins, please try and keep in mind the incredible responsibility placed on the shoulders of our educators.  Try and change someone’s view. Show the respect that is warranted.  And someday if your son or daughter is fortunate, they will sit in a classroom with my daughter as their teacher and knowing her, I promise you, she will be giving all her heart and using all of her gifts to help your child succeed. She is an achiever and I am proud to be “that” mom.

*If you find grammatical errors it is because she did not get to proof this before I published it.

* If you ask me about my daughter’s major and react negatively, do not be offended by the lecture you might receive.  You have been warned. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

In His Presence

Its Been Five Years
That was going to be the title of this post, a post that has been making laps in my head for quite awhile. But, then I saw something that changed my perspective. You see in the last five years I've met Linda McAfee and her family. I always knew who Danny was, he was in school with my sisters and his younger brother was my age, but I had never met Linda. Had it not been for the tragedy that affected her life five years ago, I might not know her now.  See while I was composing a post about how close I came to losing my daughter, Linda has been living with the death of her son. The 5th year anniversary of Ryan's death was just a week or two before the 5th anniversary of Masen's hospitalization. I remember hearing about the wreck that took Ryan, but I couldn't have predicted how much it would eventually impact my family. I'm happy to call Linda a friend now, and Lance, well, the english language doesn't have the right words to describe how we feel about Lance.

You see, seeing her post about Ryan's anniversary made me stop and take a new look at how I viewed what happened to Masen. I don't know why death took Ryan and only grasped at Masen. I don't know  why my beautiful girl is alive and living her life, giggling with her friends, enjoying and experiencing the joys and heartbreaks of high school, and able to hug me close while others can't. I don't know why I get to buy prom dresses and buy make up while Betsy has had to learn to become a medical professional to Audra. (Betsy, you amaze me and I pray for your family daily) What I DO know is that God knows why.  All I can do is pray for the clarity to understand my role in His plan for me.

Did you know strep can be dangerous? How many kids a year get strep throat? Its common. It goes around a few times a year and you go to the doctor, get an antibiotic, and get better in a week or so. (For the record, Masen took every last dose of her antibiotic. EVERY DOSE. Yes, I have lingering issues for the snide comments I heard about not finishing it) Now, the way I understood it, and if this is wrong someone can correct me, but there is a strain of  strep that convinces your body that your kidneys are part of the illness. So, while you take your antibiotic and defeat the actual strep, your body continues to fight your kidneys thinking they are part of the sickness.

I KNEW something was wrong. Mrs. Waldrop knew it too.  I took her to doctors from McAlester to Tulsa to OKC and was told she had an allergy. We went to a dance competition, taking the tissues out of her nose as she walked on stage because her nose bleeds wouldn't stop. Her blood pressure was so high one doctor called it a miracle that she didn't have a stroke. Her kidneys had stopped working to the point a nurse asked me if I had poured chocolate milk into her urine sample. At one point her blood pressure was so high and unstable that the paramedics who were to transport her from Tulsa to OKC refused to take her. It was too risky. A nurse convinced them it would be OK, saving us from the helicopter ride. It was horrible and I wasn't always nice to those around me. BUT and this is a big one, I got to bring my child home. If you meet her today you will see a beautiful, wonderfully goofy, smart and amazing young woman. You won't know she was ever that sick. Her kidneys are fine, there are no more dietary restrictions and the BP monitors have all been put away.

So why her? Why not her? I believe with every piece of my heart God's plans.  I know my God is in control. I know we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know God is alive and loves us. Linda, Ryan's death directly impacted my life in ways I've never shared with you, ways I didn't even realize until just recently. I pray for your peace and comfort. I'm thankful for Lance and the son you raised to love God.

This post doesn't really have a "point". It is what it is. Hug your kids, love with everything you have because our journey on this earth has an ending. Find a way to God and pray for faith.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Its OK

I don't blog anymore. Its sad because I started doing it as a way to record our life together for our kids. I love looking back and reading some of the things they did and said. I just haven't felt like doing it for quite awhile now. I wont lie, its been a rough couple of years for me.  Its been a time of brokenness and redemption, of being completely shattered and taken down to nothing, and of letting go and letting God put me back together in His way. 

I am 43 years old and in the last two years I've had two major revelations. 1. Its going to be ok. No, really, until about a year ago I never understood that. Now, I can say it and believe it. 2. Each day is a gift. I was driving down the road about 6 months ago and a song came on and it hit me, each day is a gift from God. A gift. See for as long as I can remember, most days were something to be endured, just gotten through, even a punishment. I'm not saying I don't still have work to do, I know I do, but thank God I'm not where I was. 

Who knows, maybe I will even start writing again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Its Been Awhile

I don't know why I haven't felt like writing. I don't do well with change and the last year has seen some major changes for me. New house, new schools, just being away from my familiar are all things that normally cause me to hide out for awhile. However, this amount of time is excessive for even me!

So lets play catch up.

Masen finished her freshman year of high school. She loved every minute of it, saying it was the best year EVER. LOL. She took drivers ed this summer and turned 15 yrs old. When did this happen? In her freshman year she excelled. I'd list her accomplishments but really, that would just be obnoxious. ;) So, I'll just slyly mention it and pretend that is not just as obnoxious!

Dillon is entering 7th grade. He played Jr. High baseball and declared his new school better than his old. He enters the world more slowly than his sister, who generally dives in head first and then thinks about how deep it might be. Dillon tests the waters and wades in, but he gets where he is going. He made new friends and still has his A's. As I type right now I am sitting inside the OU baseball stadium watching him at a camp. Ha. My OU loyalty is starting to pay off. LOL. I'm turning them, slowly but surely. He has decided that baseball is what he wants to focus on and has been working hard on his skills. However, todays schedule here at OU is 9 am to 8 pm in the Oklahoma heat.  He might just decide to take up thumb wrestling after this.

So as I sit here watching children sweat and flirt with heat stroke (kidding they take good care of them) it occurs to me I have quite a bit of time to kill, so beware. Maybe my hide and seek period is ending.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey, Camo Works!

One 11 year old boy.
One gilley suit.
Two horses, each with a rider.
Boy wearing gilley suit hides in bushes. As horses and riders approach, he stands scaring the living snot out of both horses, both riders, a few birds and one already anxiety-ridden dog.

Score one for the boy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh The Horror! Otherwise Titled MAKE IT STOP

First day of school 2012. I have a Freshman and a 6th grader. New school. New home. Have I ever mentioned I don't do well with change? No? Well...I DON'T.

New School. New Priorities.

Talking to Dillon about attending a new school this year:

Me: So Bubba, what do you like about your new school? (I was thinking, the kids, teachers, food, recess...)
Dillon: High school girls.

Uh oh!