Friday, August 26, 2011

Not Even a Week In

The first week of school isn't even over yet and I'm already struggling. Don't get me wrong, we were all ready to go back to school. My kids were ready, and anybody who knows me well knows that I was ready for them to go back to school. It was time to get back into a steady routine. I'm not saying the summer was bad. It was truly grand! But, freshly sparpened pencils, clean chalkboards and homework were knocking down the door.

I said to myself that this school year would be great! My oldest is in fifth grade and my youngest in first. Great attitude = great year. I was even excited the day we went to find out who my kid's would have as their teachers. We didn't play in any games or school politics. We didn't write any letters asking for a specific teacher. It just worked itself out. God worked it out. 

But I'm already on shaky ground.

My oldest had new teachers last year. Every one of them. They didn't have kids either*. I was scratching my head about some of the projects and their bad timing on more than one occasion. With my youngest we started out Kindergarten with one teacher and finished with another. The first one had family issues and felt it was better to stay at home. I don't begrudge her that. We were lucky to have had her the length of time we did. We had known her since my oldest had started school there. The second teacher was great.Then the last day of school came and we were given Kindergarten graduation certificates.** My daughter's name was spelled wrong. Ugh. Really?  After two attempts at getting one with her name spelled right over the summer, nothing. On the third day of school this year I was told that I would have to wait until the end of this year to get one with her name spelled right because supposedly they didn't have any more of the cardstock. I went to a big box office supply and got my own.

I was able to leave my cares behind after asking several teachers, including the gifted and talented teacher about a math tutor for my oldest. I asked over email and in person. They said they would get back to me. I was ready and willing to pay to keep my daughter on her toes with her math skills. We've tried the math tutoring places before, but it wasn't what I was looking for. I was looking for true one on one time.  I dreaded the thought of her getting behind. I heard back from none of them. Either way. I ended up finding an honors math student who's a junior in high school. Both of my daughters just adore her!

For this school year I was sort of resigned to the old saying, "If you can't beat 'em join 'em" when it comes to PTA. You know. That group that people pay to join and volunteer for stuff. You're on a committee, but you have no say really. It just comes from the top down and the top barks orders. I don't like barking.***

The first assignment was to provide lunch for the teachers the Friday before school started. Easy cheesy! Of course I signed up to bring dessert. A chocolate chip pound cake was in the works. It was so much in the works I made TWO. One to keep and one for the staff. Heaven! It was cooled off and delivered in time. Complete in one nice Rubbermaid carry all.

When I went to the school the next day to pick up my cake carrier it was right at the front desk where the Hospitality chair said it would be. With a broken locking mechanism. Ugh. Really? Do you think anybody even said "Thank You"? Not even accolades in the first school newsletter of the year.

No, I didn't do it for the thank-you's. I did it because I wanted to share in something I enjoy doing. I realize accidents happen. From spelling my kid's name wrong to breaking my cake carrier. But, come on.

I need Grace. Mercy. Compassion. Thankfulness. Kindness.  To get me through the rest of the school year. A couple of days ago I was saying, "No more" this soon into the school year. I want to have a change of heart, but at this rate it will be trampled all over by Thanksgiving.

God, please change my heart for the better.

*Future 4th grade teachers here's one idea: when you plan for the project of keeping up with the moon pattern, would you please plan it in the winter when we have short days? Not during the spring after the sun was out past 9? We solely relied on Hubby's iPhone app. Yep, they have an app for that.

**No. We don't have Kindergarten graduation ceremonies. That's just stupid and a waste of money.

***Barking orders and little girls yelling and screaming. Grates.On.My.Nerves.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Me Neither

Have you ever been around someone who never lets you get a word in edgewise? The conversation was dominated by one particular party. Imagine if there were more than one of those types at a get together! They have to be the life of the party or they're afraid they won't feel important. 

Have you ever met someone new and in talking with them you've gotten to know a whole lot about them, but they've learned nothing about you?

Have you gotten together with someone you haven't seen in years and when you leave, you remember why you haven't seen them in a long time? 

No? Me neither. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Perfect Ten

I first met her with ten fingers and ten toes. When I first saw her she had blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. She was and is a blessing to me. She is a lively and creative spirit. She has a tender side and she's very sensitive. She is smart and energetic. She is the apple of her daddy's eye. And mine as well.

My oldest is ten today. I'm a little freaked out. Time has flown and I don't know where it has gone. I want to grab on to some moments and just live them forever. I want to never forget. I want to never forget the time when she was a baby and I would move my hand in front of her mouth and she would make funny noises.

When she was a toddler we would ask her what Daddy says. Her response would be, "I love you". When we asked her what Mommy says, her response was, "Sh*t". Yep. That's when I knew she was watching me and I had change my ways.

Then came time for her to go to pre-school. No biggie. She was cooler than a cucumber and ready to make new friends. We had a few years of "Muffins with Mom" and "Donuts with Dad". There were Christmas programs where they actually sang Christmas Carols.

Sending her off to elementary was a breeze. There hasn't been a teacher she hasn't liked. There may have been one or two I haven't liked, but she knows none the wiser.

My heart leaped for joy when she was ready to be baptized. She had followed God's command and made a public profession of faith. A tender heart learning to live in God's love and light. I get none of that glory. I don't deserve it. God gets all of the glory!

Ten years have gone by. Ten years of growing in God's Word. Ten years of growing up girl.

Ten years have gone by.

Thank you, God for allowing me the privilege of being this young girl's mother. Thank you, God for blessing me with her smile, sense of humor, her silliness. It just doesn't get any better than this! I lift her up in prayer to grow more independent in her faith. I pray for her to have a strong mind and body. I pray that she hears and feels a strong sense of destiny and purpose. Whisper in her ear, God, what You would have her do. May she have a desire for integrity and strive for excellence. May she always glorify Your name in everything she does, Lord.

Ten years have gone by. It's unreal. Happy birthday to my ten year old daughter!