Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This made my day!

I often wonder if we really impact the lives of the children we teach as much as they touch ours! Something happened today that made me realize that perhaps we do make that impact when we least expect it. One of my third graders has been troubling me for some time. We have been working so hard to help him because academically he is struggling so much & he has gotten himself into lots of trouble outside of our school. We have suspected for sometime that he is involved with a local gang. We have done lots of interventions with him trying to help him make choices that would help him get away from the gang. It was frustrating as it seemed that he was not responding to anything we were doing and he was not really hearing what we were saying or really attaching himself to anything. I was growing more & more concerned about him. Today I entered his classroom & his face just lit up like a Christmas Tree. This just shocked me! He came right up to me, "you're here Mrs P! I was worried!" I asked him why he was worried? He then responded, he was worried that I might not be coming anymore to his class. Wow, I had found something he was latching onto. This was huge! This was so exciting! This was a breakthrough..... He was responding, he was listening & he was taking it in, he was enjoying workshop. This was a big start. Was he still out on the streets? Most likely, but I have him. We have established the starting point. We can go anywhere from here! Thank you writing workshop!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I guess we each let go in our own way!

I have trouble letting go and yet it is Dad who can't drive in a car with our children when they are learning to drive. I guess each of us have issues with letting our children grow up. I am ok with allowing the kids to learn to drive with me in the car. Dad, not so much...when it was Kyle's turn to learn to drive, I did all the teaching. I woke up when it snowed to take him out and show him how to drive in the snow, in the rain, in the dark and on the highways. Now it is our baby girls turn. I thought for sure, she is "his" princess. I really thought he would have an easier time. Nope, not one single bit. He drove with her once and almost had a melt down. His exact words were, "I can't do this, this is your area hon, sorry, I am out!" So, it seems that my husband likes all the easy stuff, taking them to pre-school, putting them on the bus the first day of school. I, I get all the hard stuff, the birds and the bees, teaching them to drive, killing all creepy crawlies in the house and oh the hardest one, I got to take our dog to be put to sleep! Poor daddy, he really is much more of softie than he wants anyone to know. Don't worry honey, I won't tell anyone....just all the people that read my blog! he, he! LOVE YA!

Let's Go Jets!

Today is a day to celebrate for those of us who are Jets fans! My post is not about my boy or about work or about anything profound except about being a fan of the underdog and never losing that belief! I have been a fan of theirs since I was in HS! (many, many years ago) I have been a fan in the good times and the bad times. I have been fan as well as my sister, my brothers and brother-in-law for reasons of great loyalty to an organization that gave us more than it will ever know! SO yes, it feels good to celebrate their hard work and how it has paid off for them this year! As a HS student my Marching Band was fortunate enough to each year be invited to play for opening day of the JETS! It was always an amazing experience to stand on that field to look out at that sea of people, thousands of them as we came marching onto the field! It was an experience that has never, ever left me! Some of my best experiences and memories of HS are from Marching Band and playing for Opening day of the JETS and also the METS at Shea Stadium. It truly was an experience of a lifetime that you just never ever forget and while the players and coaches may have changed, my love for the game and the team has not! Watching that last minute kick go over the goal post was quite thrilling for me. My husband, myself, brother-in-law, sister and brother cheered quite loudly as that ball was declared to win the game for the JETS! We all began screaming and it brought back those memories of those long ago times when we were all in the band together, all members of the RP Golden Eagles. So thank you NY Jets not only for yesterday, but for all those years of precious memories that have lasted me a lifetime. I am not sure that your organization knew when they invited our band each and every year to play for you how much that invite meant to a young girl and her bandmates! But I can honestly tell you that all of us, some 30 years later still talk about it and how much those memories meant to us! So thank you from all of us Golden Eagles! Our hats are off to you for more than being just a football team that won a game yesterday!

I am learning to let go....I think!

Before you love,
Learn to run through the snow
Leaving no footprint.

~Turkish proverb

I found this quote on a crafting blog I read and it resonated with me, big time! It was if she knew the inner struggle I was having and spoke personally to me. She wrote about how she was learning to not step on someone's snow. She was questioning herself and asking, "DO I love enough to not step on their snow?" What a great anology and so appropriate right now as I am learning to let go. Letting go of my boy and allowing him to make decisions for himself and not interfere. THE HARDEST thing for me to do as a mom! SO much harder for me to do since his accident. I hate to admit it, but I can be overbearing and yes, admitedly, controlling if that is what you want to call it. Can I be the only overbearing, controlling mom out there? I think not! I truly don't mean to be. I truly want him to be independent, self-sufficient and confidient. I realize if I continue to question his decisions and step in to point out things, with the good intentions of being helpful, I am not showing him that I believe in his ability to make those decisions. I am ultimately stepping on his snow, not loving him enough and most importantly not giving him the space and time to make his own decisions. What I need to do is really be quiet, step back and let him lead me, after all, I believe in him, I truly do, the more I show him that I do, the more he will believe in his own ability to do things on his own! I need to run through the snow leaving no footprint and allow him to make his own way.......lead the way my boy, I am ready to learn!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

7 Months Ago Today

7 Months ago today was the worst day of my life! 7 months ago today my son was critically injured and we almost lost him. It was positively a parent's worst nightmare! I am not sure what was worse, being the one who was driving the car or being my poor husband who received that awful phone call, with my horrific screaming, " please come come help, help me, he is so hurt, I don't think he is breathing, he is so hurt!" My husband has managed the aftermath of the accident very well, I am in awe of him. I admire his strength, his courage and his ability to move forward. It is so very different for me, I am haunted every single day by the images of the accident, of my son laying on the side of the ride fighting for his life. Of the blood coming out of ears and my knowledge at the time of what that meant. I knew, in a mom's sense of knowing, my son can die, oh god please don't let him die, not here, not now. It is not supposed to go like this. This just can not be happening. I could feel it all slipping away from me. He was unconscious, I knew that and yet I kept begging for him to sit up and talk to me, I kept telling him that he was not allowed to do this to me. That he was my boy and that I needed him. I so vividly remember holding him and telling him how much I loved him and that he was NOT going to do this! That his father and I needed him, that he had big plans, big dreams and so many things left to do in life! I remember the policeman arriving and trying to get me away from him and taking one look at his injuries and saying to the other policeman, we need medivac asap! I knew, I knew in my heart what I had already known was true, that he was as bad as I suspected. It was then that the fireman began arriving. They were the fireman from his own fire department. They came to get me to leave him and then they recognized me and then as they put it together that who I was laying over and holding was their own, their "kyle", their 5a7 Kyle, well, that look will never leave me either. The look of heartache was just as real as mine. The chief was the one who was finally able to pull me away from my boy and take me to the police car. By that point my husband arrived, thank god! He was again, a pillar of strength, I was not. I immediately fell apart again. It would not be the first nor last time I leaned on my husband to pull me through this ordeal. They would not let my husband see my son, they needed to get him ready for transport to the medivac area. He was transported and well, the rest is shall I say as much of a nightmare as well. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and fractured his skull in three spots. It was touch and go for several hours where we did not know anything for at least 7hrs. He was listed in critical, and unstable for the first 24 hrs, then critical but stable after that. Although the first 4 days were a rollercoaster and he was not out of the woods till the 5th day. He was in a coma for 9 days, had surgery, was in the trauma center, icu for 3 weeks and then a rehab center and then outpatient rehab for months. But, he is alive and doing well, thriving, and making his way back to himself! Through it all I have had my amazing and courgeous husband. Who yes, did finally have moments of breaking down and losing it. We took turns of holding one another up! I thank god everday for my husband's strength and courage, I never would have been able to do this without him! 7 months ago today was the worst day of my life, but today, today is good, oh so very good. I am so very grateful for what it has taught me about strength, courage, friendship and love. We made it through this because we had amazing support and love from our friends and family. We made it through this because we never gave up believing even when the news was so grave. 7 months ago today and life is good and I need to remember this when the nightmares come, I will remind myself, he is alright and that life is good.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Brandy, NO BRANDY! NO! NO! NO!

Our puppy Brandy is over a year old. She is a very good girl. Or should I say, she was a very good girl. However, since our other dog passed away over a month ago, well, to say that Brandy has had an adjustment is an understatement. Today was no exception. Last week Brandy ate my pill bottle, in record speed! Today in a 45 minute time frame she ate my neighbors Christmas gift, a beautiful snowman, his eyes, carrot nose, and one leg. GULP....good-bye Mr. Snowman! She then moved on to a brand-new pair of jeans of my daughters. Again, a Christmas gift. Not sure what the appeal of the jeans were, but GULP...GULP...GULP...Honestly, as I surveyed the damage, she kept running back to my bedroom and hiding under the bed and then coming back out to look at me, with the cutest of puppy dog eyes, like, are you still mad? Have you forgiven me yet? Brandy, ummmm, not yet my sweet darling pup! Honestly, I really do not know what has gotten into her? Is she lonely? Is she sad? Is she just plain mad that her dear friend Bailey has left her? I do so wish we could talk Brandy and I? I do know that Bailey trained Brandy while they were together, their short year together. She did a great job. Brandy does not run away, she comes when called, she knows to go in only one spot in the yard. I know Bailey would not approve of this behavior, not one bit! Perhaps I will tell Brandy that next? My kids think I am nuts for talking to her, but frankly, what else do you do with a pup who was so, so good for a whole year and now has turned into canine crazy pup?

Goodbye Vacation....Hello Work....

I love my job but I also loved being on vacation. I loved being able to sleep late, do things at my leisure, read books, stay in my pj's and watch movies. Of course, the very best, being able to spend endless hours laying around with my kids, hubby and crazy pup too! The best part of this vacation was that it snowed. Not just snowed, but we had a crazy blizzard which just added to the magic of Christmas. It just made it that much easier to be lazy and stay in our pj's because you really could not go anywhere. The roads were a mess, stores did not open, and basically you had no choice but to hunker down, drink hot chocolate or tea and watch movies in your pj's! I loved, loved, this slow paced, do nothing vacation. We have not had one of those in such a long, long time. Our lives have been so hectic that I vow that from now on our lives from this point forward need to be less hectic and less frantic. Less chaos, more down time. Less is most certainly more! As for my vacation ending, well, I am sad, I really could use even more of this down time. I guess I am just craving more. Oh well, that shipped sailed. How many days till the next vacation?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Who do you admire?

The truth is I have someone I admire greatly. I have a dear friend. She is someone who looks at life with the glass half-full even when I know hers is half-empty...She has the uncanny ability to take life as it comes despite the many, many health obstacles that have been thrown at her. Is it because she has had these many health obstacles that she now has this beautiful outlook on life? Or has she always looked at life this way and she has handled these health issues beatifully because she has this outlook? I for one am not sure, what I am sure of, I always feel better when in her company! Life is positive, happy and wonderful! I for one, know that I am blessed because she is in my life! Blessed to live my life better from what I have learned from her, from each other. That we will not entertain the negativity that can at times surround us. I LOVE that she sees and views things the way I do! Whenever I feel the positive energy seeping out of me, I know where to go...a visit with her is what I need to recharge my positive energy buttons. It feels so good to know that I have such a blessing like her in my life! God bless you my friend and thank you for enriching my life so greatly each and everyday! Do you have someone who you admire, who has enriched your life? Tell them, write about it, share it with them!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and Units of Study

Well, it is that time...what time do you say? Time to turn over the new leaf, it is a new year, new units, new focus, a sort of rejuvention of sorts. Have you thought about what you will do to get yourself ready for this month's units in Reading/Writing? How will you get your student's excited for this months reading and writing? I think having a New Year's celebration with your students is a nice way to begin 2011 with your students. We always have new goals for ourselves, losing weight, exercising etc. How about having students revisit their reading and writing goals in workshop? Have them focus on what things they think they need to re-focus on or what they would like to really be better at? Do they need to read a variety of genres? Have they gotten bored in reading workshop? Do they need to spice up what they are reading? Are they not writing with stamina and rigor? How can they build up their stamina in writing workshop? How about doing some kind of slice of life challenge with them where they are writing these at home each night and sharing these stories at home each day for the month of January? A challenge in the month of January is a great way to gain re-focus and get back into the workshop after a week off of school that was focused on celebrating. Now let's take that excitement that was centered around the holiday celebrating and celebrate our workshops!
Let me know your know your thoughts....
Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions and then some!

Well it is here, the New Year, 2011....what will it bring?? For me, I only wish for peace, good health, and happiness for everyone! I really could not ask for more. I have not made all those goals I usually make for New Year's Resolutions. Lose weight, run more, eat less, yadda, yadda! After this past year in which we almost lost our son, I was sick and went from doctor to doctor, had heart issue after heart issue, 3 rides in the ambulance and was not able to drive a car for over 5 months, I think peace and health would be just enough! After all that we endured this past year you come to realize that some of the other things in life are just not important, that what you need in life is simple: you need your family who you love dearly. You need to surround yourself with people who are like minded who support and encourage you. I have that x 10! It is my wonderful friends and family that got me through this past year or more and it made me realize I have more than I need...all the rest is just icing on top of the cake. Losing weight, running more, eating the right foods comes when all the other things in life are put in perspective. So with that said, I am off to eat my lunch with my darling daughter and husband and relish in all the good fortune that lies ahead for us in this New Year! I wish you only the same! Happy New Year!

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