Excuse me?

Today I have pondered a lot. That's one thing about break that is good for me. It allows me extra time to sit back and reflect on things. My closest friends would tell you that my mind never stops pondering. And what I was pondering today was how others view me with the limp.

This sort of began a few weeks ago, but I hadn't thought much about it until recently. I was in charge of lunch room duty at school this Summer. This was a new thing for me, as I am used to being SUPPORT staff, not someone leading the pack, per se. So, it was on about day #2 of my new "job", and one of the other teachers walked up to me and asked me if I could stand the whole time due to my "disability". I wanted to say "Excuse me? I'm not disabled!" However, it wasn't going to do either of us any good for me to say it, so I kept my mouth shut. (Sidenote, this is why I love the show "House" because he just says what he thinks!) I simply replied, "yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking."

I'm used to my own little bubble where people know about the limp, they don't mind that I have a limp, and life goes on. Kids are especially cool about it. You explain it to them, they accept it, and life is good.

So then I'm at another function recently, and one of the ladies says, "So I hear you have Cerebral Palsy". I said, "Yep". Then she replied, "So how are you a teacher if you have CP?" I was floored. Literally. I sat there and thought, "What are you rambling about?" I looked at her. She then followed with, "I'm sorry, did I say something wrong?"

I looked at her, and it hit me. She had some really wrong perceptions of me as a person due to the label of CP. As it turned out, she had worked with kids that have CP, but none of them were high-functioning. I don't hold that against her. And, I do give her credit, she asked instead of simply going off of her wrong perceptions. By the way, in the end, I told her my life story and we were cool.

But it made me think.
Really think.
How often have I made the wrong conclusion about others without getting to know them? I mean, once people talk to me and spend time with me, they can clearly see that I'm not very different than they are, I just won't ever have the desire to run in a marathon!
So, maybe I need to watch how I view others too.
And in the meantime, I will continue to wave and smile at people when they stare at my limp.
And continue to show them, I'm different, but not "Disabled"...


Last Day of School!

So today was the last day of School for the Summer. Usually I dread today, as I typically wind up bored by about the third day of break. However, today felt different. Really different. I think I just need a break from the classroom. I will miss the kids incredibly, and will be ready August 15th when we start back up (yep, I looked it up tonight to count how many full weeks I get of vacation this Summer!) but I think getting caught up on sleep and relaxing a bit will be very very good for me. Ask me again in three days though, my opinion may change, we will see...

So, for the next week I get a real break. I have stuff to do everyday, but nothing big. I'm glad. That's my ideal, stuff to do, but not stuff that takes all day. I like that. The following week I've got a class that I've been looking forward to for about 3 years, so that will be cool. After that I'm hopefully taking a bit of a roadtrip, we'll see if that pans out. I hope so. I need some perspective on a few things, so getting away would be good. Then, I get to go be at camp for a week. I get to go volunteer at a camp about an hour from here, and honestly I'm pumped. I've never done anything like this before, so that will be a cool thing. Then, I'm back at work. I've got committee stuff right after that, so my Summer is over as of July 29th. That's fine. One month. Perfect. Not too long, not too short. hehehe I like it!
I watched the movie, "Shawshank Redemption" tonight. It's one of my favorites! In it, they talk about "get busy living, or get busy dying." Obviously, I want to get busy living! I feel as if I'm in a place right now where I need some change. I don't know what that looks like or means, but I feel a change coming. Typically I run the opposite direction from change, but this time I'm not. It excites me!

It seems weird to say my Summer is just beginning, but it is...

Awesome!

An eye-opening moment

I went today to get a signature on a form for one of my files. Apparently the auditor is coming tomorrow, so we all had to have our ducks in a row, so to speak. So last week I was notified I had paperwork still unfinished. I didn't know that, since noone had mentioned anything since school go out, so I thought I was okay. So, okay, I dig deep into my paperwork, and get everything turned in on Monday, only to have our secretary notify me and tell me I was missing on form on one file. I was somewhat frustrated, and annoyed, but figured that if I wanted to keep my job, I would get the form signed.
So, today I called the parent of the student and asked if I could come by and get a signature. She said yes, that she would be around all afternoon. I told her I would be right there. Then I turned to our secretary and said, "Okay, where is this house?" She directed me to the street, telling me it was a dirt road. I asked her what subdivision it was in, and she said she just knew it was a dirt road.
So, I head out. It's raining, but I head out. The form must be turned in today. So as I'm driving, I'm singing along in the car, happy as can be, and I turn onto this road. Now, I know that most of my students come from poverty. However, there's a real difference between hearing stories about it, and seeing it in real life. (If you're from poverty, this story may bore ya, but bear with me) I was from a family that was middle class, so we never went without or anything like that.
I go up this hill, and look around. It's a trailer park. I can deal with that, I've been in many over the years of my teaching career. However, this was different. The trailer house was run down, and I can't believe anyone is allowed to live in it. And the yard had trash and junk in it, and I don't know how you are supposed to make it to the front door, as it was sort of a maze to get to the house itself. I looked around, lost. There were about 5 different trailer homes on the street, and I had no idea which one was it. It's not like they have numbers on the houses. I pulled out my cell phone, and called the house. And, of course, I got a busy signal. I sat there and prayed. I had to have this form signed, and I had no idea which house to go to. And honestly, I was wishing I had invited someone to go with me.
Fortunately, the parent came out, and I looked at her. It was the house I thought it was. And then my heart sank. My students live in there. I can't even imagine. Now, sharing all this makes me feel like a snob. I never had that sort of life, so I can't understand it. But, actually, I walked away simply feeling blessed.
God gave me more than I ever could have asked for. I had the ideal home. I had all my needs met. I had a very nice home growing up, and have a decent house now. I have enough money to pay bills. I am blessed.
I tell ya what though, today gave me a deeper heart for my students.
And I thank God for the lesson....
All because I needed a signature.
Go figure...

Random Ramblings

I find it hard to believe that we're down to 4 days of Summer School. What is up with that? I mean, this Summer is flying by faster than I ever expected! Which is a good thing, but I was looking at the calendar today and I thought, "Wow, June's almost over." I guess time flies when you're having fun!



Today I played "Horse" with my kids before we did Four Square. The kids apparently wanted to branch out into a new game, and I started to shoot hoops with them. Austin turned to me and said, "Wow, you really know how to shoot!" I smiled. I didn't go on to tell him that my abilities don't go much further than a rousing game of "Horse". He doesn't need to be bothered with little details like that. :-) And while we didn't finish the game of "Horse" as we wound up doing 4 Square instead, I was winning the game at the time we quit. I plan on using that to pick on my students tomorrow. hehehe



Tonight I visited a place I used to call Home. It was....different but cool. I find it amazing how you live through different seasons of your life and certain people walk beside you during each season of your life. I sat there and pondered how special some of those people are to me. I don't see them anymore, but as I sat there, I remembered where I started before I wound up where I am today, and felt blessed. Each person can really impact our lives in a positive way if we let them.



And what was even more special was the fact that one of the people there is a new adopted Mom in my life. As I shared last night, God has really blessed me with some special families that are opening their hearts up to me and letting me in. Tonight Regina was there, and it really blessed me. I watched her and thought about how we all need someone to look up to and respect in a special way. Regina and Karen both have that place in my heart. Regina has blessed me numerous times and she just recently adopted me. She said to me very early on in our friendship, "I'm your Spiritual Mom" and I felt blessed from the moment she said that.



I walked through something a few years ago where I was looking up to some people who weren't what I thought they were, and so I have been very cautious in who I let intot hat spot again. And tonight I sat there and (once again) felt blessed that I have Regina and Karen in my life.



Who would've thought it? Two really cool days in a row. Go figure...



Life is good.

Adopted

Do you ever look at your life and think, "Thanks God for placing the people in my life that you have?" Tonight I find myself doing that. Due to the fact I am a single adult, I find myself adopted into many different families. I am blessed that the Lord has planted me in these families, as I could never have orchestrated it, He just sort of put me where He knew I needed to be. Go figure.

So, tonight I had a meeting for church, and one of my Spiritual Mother's was there, and I tell ya, it was a night that really blessed me. And I think it blessed me just because I didn't know that I needed anything, per se, I just know that God knew what I needed, if that makes sense. Karen is truly a woman of God and I think to myself all the time that I want to grow up and be like her. My world is better because Karen is in it.

Not a bad day in my book.

:-)

Three Pin!

Well, while I am wiped out tonight, it was a pretty cool day. On Fridays this Summer during Summer School, we play a game called "Three Pin". It's a slight variation of dodge ball. I don't know if they actually banned real dodge ball in our district or not, but one of my friends lets his kids play three pin as a reward for good behavior during the year. So, as it turns out, we play with two classes on Fridays right now, and I love it. Granted, it's not as fun as four square, but to me there's something magical about playing with kids. I love watching stuff through their eyes. It's a hoot.

Granted, I was "out" more than I was in the game, but it was fun. Not to mention a stress reliever. There's freedom in being allowed to hit kids with nerf footballs!

And I get paid to do this.

I tell ya, I have the best job on the planet!

:-)

Wildfire

I played hooky today. Well, sort of. I got a sub and went to an amusement park about 90 minutes from here, and had a BLAST! I was reminded today of a movie. Unfortunately I can't recall what movie it was off of, but in it a key character is discussing amusement partks and how some people settle and only ride the rides that are anchored to the ground but never really go anywhere. And, in the movie, he stated that the real people living life are those who get on roller coasters and are willing to face fear and the ups and downs and twists and turns and everything in between on the ride. Years ago that impacted me, and forced me to face my fear years ago of roller coasters. And today, I was reminded of how much fun life can be. I rode this one coaster, Wildfire, 5 times today, and four of those times were in the front car. Today this was an accomplishment for me as I only do the front car if I am completely secure in the ride. My cousin turned to me and said, "front car?" And I was like, yeah, life isn't meant to be lived completely safe, it's mean to be lived free of fear. And, wildfire has everything, loops, twists, turns, and I loved every second of it! We rode other rides of course, but the highlight was wildfire. It is my prayer that everyone, whether it be a roller coaster or something else, live as free as I felt today on that coaster.

Life is good. :-)

Four Square

So, I get up everyday and to go to my "job". I find myself thinking, "They really pay me to do this gig?" When in reality, I love what I do. And, during the Summer they actually pay me MORE to do less. Sounds backwards, but hey, they come up with my salary, so I don't complain!

So, today was much like any Summer School day. The kids were there, I was there, and it was full of teachery moments of which I could stay up for hours sharing each and every one. However, since I'm not up to staying up late, and you don't want every little detail of my day, I will share the highlight of my day.

At 2:30 each day I go out to recess with the kids. Now, I don't have duty mind you, I spend their recess, also known as my "break" time, with the kids. I know, I know, it's crazy, but I love it. And, every chance I get, I play four square with them. I never had four square as a game when I was kid, so this game has become my new little hobby. Granted, against adults I would get my butt kicked, but against fourth graders, I can hold my own, even with the limp! ha!

So, today, we're in the middle of playing, and it looks as if it could storm any minute, and my little Austin is about to serve, and we're all laughing and joking, and I'm ready to hit the ball, and then it happened. A full-scale downpour! I started laughing as we all ran clear to the other playground so we could get in the building! It was the funniest thing! Kids were running as if their lives depended on it, and my little Austin turned to me, grinned, and threw me the ball. I thought for a moment about playing in the rain anyway, but remembered the student's parents probably wouldn't appreciate that! So, we ran, and entered the building laughing! We then promptly went to my room where I beat a few kids at Chinese Checkers. Relax, the day was over and I wasn't taking away from instructional time!

Who would've thought, four square was the highlight of my day!
And you know what, I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow so we can play again....
I'm such a kid....
And I get paid for this!
I have the best job on the planet!
Take care of you!

What I needed......

So, today has been different than I expected when I woke up today. I guess everyday is like that, but today seemed and felt different. I woke up, and for the first day in about 2 years I thought, "I don't want to go to church today." This never happens. I laid there and thought about sleeping until 10am. But, I didn't. I got up and got ready and went to church.

I've felt blah-ish the past few weeks, and I'm so involved in my church at the moment I can't just sit and soak. Which is fine, I find that I do better when I'm busy with the kids or the adults or whatever may be going on. But today I was tired. I got done with the kids and went out to the "adult" church and got to hear the guest minister. It was okay, but honestly, I wasn't in it. I was doodling on my paper, wondering about this afternoon... None of this is typical of me. I'm usually hanging on every word being said, wanting something to be imparted. And then, it happened...

He had an altar call. This is somewhat unusual in my church, as we don't do these very much, but one gal in particular went up and I knew I was supposed to pray for her. However, I wasn't moving a muscle until the preacher released us to do so. Which, he did. I went up and just silently prayed behind her. I waited to hear from God...and He gave me 3 words to say to her, "You're not alone." At the moment I said it, she broke. I wound up holding her and praying for her as she cried. It was a moment. A moment to go down in the journal kind of moment. I held her. I stood there and held her up. Which is saying alot because I'm a short little gal who can get knocked over by the wind. I held someone up today. Wow. Kinda neat. It was, be far, the highlight of my day...
And just think, I didn't want to go to church today...
Go figure...

It's been a while....

So it's been over a year since I"ve posted, but I wanted to begin posting again. I don't know that anyone will read this, there's been nothing new for the past year, but it's summer again and I have the time to post, and well, I've missed this. So, here goes...we'll see where my ramblings land us today...

I have a friend, who has a wife that's sick. Really sick. And, up until I saw her a few weeks ago, I was good to go. I prayed for her all the time, but I didn't have a visual to go with her illness. So, when I saw her a few weeks ago, I was....well, taken aback, and it shook me. I don't like to see people I love sick. The thing is, she isn't sick like Chemo can help, she's sick as in she's dying and she's doing it to herself. And, the night I saw her, I felt death was inevitable and it scared the begeebers outta me. And there's nothing I can do.

I can pray. I pray all the time for her, but she's still dying. She's still self-destructing. And I'm not handling it well at all. And what I keep thinking is, "I don't want her to die."
For all I know, she wants to die. She sees the world as she chooses to see it, and maybe death is what she wants. I can't even imagine that logic. I can't imagine living life in such a way that alcohol, food, and your own thoughts destroy you.
I want to shake her. I want to tell her that life doesn't have to be like this. Life is good, if you choose to see the good in it. I know it takes more effort to see the good than the bad, but if you do it, life is enjoyable.
But I saw her face. She is in pain. Her face looks like my Grandmother's the day she died. She has aged years in the 6 months since I've seen her.
And noone is doing a thing.
I sent her a card.
I tried to talk to my friend about it, but it didn't do any good.
So I will pray...
And I will choose to see the good in life.
And will pray she will too...