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Monday, June 16, 2014

Ten-Year Anniversary...

Last Thursday's 3rd grade class concluded my 10th year working as a substitute teacher. The official last day of school was Friday the following day.

As expected, there was not much in the way of actual instruction. All the textbooks had been returned to the library, all grades had been previously posted in the computer system and "Certificates of Achievement" were printed and signed by the principal ready for the commencement assembly scheduled for tomorrow morning.  

The only outburst of excitement came from a boy in the 3rd grade classroom next door: "YIPPEE! I don't have to go to 4th grade next year!"

Shall we hopefully assume he's skipping directly into 5thgrade...maybe?

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Father's Day Gift...

From my son, posted to my FB page

When I think about my kids...I realize that because they seem to be growing much faster than I expect, they also appear to be much older and more knowledgeable than they really are. Both my kids are great, loving little people, but they sometimes do foolish, hurtful, even dangerous things to each other and as I start to ask them a question like, "How could you think that was ok!?", I realize the answer to that question is...they're kids and they don't know any better! No one has taught them yet about what might happen after sitting backwards on top of the deck railing, no one has taught them what might happen if they wrestle at the top of the stair case. It seems so obvious to ME that those are bad ideas, but it's in those moments I realize that it isn't obvious to them and that someone needs to teach them. Then realize that I'm the one tasked with that job. Yikes, they're doomed!

It's those kind of experiences that often make me ponder all of my failings as a father, things I wished I handled differently, wondering if I'm even capable of being a good parent.

Thankfully those feelings dissipate when I see one of my kids do something kind, compassionate, or just plain silly trying to make me laugh with them. It's encouraging when they apologize to their sibling after accidentally poking them with a stick (without me asking!). It's then that I realize that someone must have taught them to behave like that cause it sure doesn't come naturally. Yay!!! When I further realize that I might have had a part in teaching them something good (Rhonda probably deserves more credit than me), it balances out the regrets around all the other things I wished I did better for them as a dad.

Then the final realization comes...I'm just as human as my kids and I'm just as naturally inclined to do foolish, hurtful, and dangerous things. I'd like to think I do fewer of those things as an adult, and I realize that it's probably because someone cared and loved me enough to teach me. Thanks Dad! Thanks Mom!

Happy Fathers Day.

 (Proud Dad tearing up now...)