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Gratitude and Grace

November 24, 2019

Call it cheesy, but I have been noticing things to be grateful for all over the place the past couple of weeks.

Which is good, because there was a decent stretch of time in October where I felt stuck, spinning our wheels, doing the same things with the same ineffective results and no time or energy to step back and reevaluate or plan anything else.

In no particular order:  recent moments of grace that inspire so much gratitude.

  • our kiddo who was in the principal’s office over and over again came home to a note from their teacher:  “Amazingly great week!”  We who have been cheering for this kid through their struggles collectively hoorayed.

  • a long-term sub in my office told me the reason for her vibrant rainbow leggings, rainbow combat boots, and rainbow-painted scalp:  she is subbing while undergoing chemo treatment for a recurrence of ovarian cancer.  As she gushed about how supportive and kind her students have been, we shared in the deep satisfaction and joy that teaching is “the best job ever.”
  • in this vein:  our kids have such wonderful teachers and therapists and supportive adults in their lives.
  • fabulous aunts (and uncles too) who knit for us, send us library sale books or brownies in the shape of pumpkins, who love and care for us with a depth and loyalty that humbles and strengthens me.

Aunt Mary sent us a treasure trove of books

  • I am listening to Fr. Greg Boyle read his testament of working with gang youth in L.A., Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. As he shares what unconditional love can do for the teens he works with, I am reminded of why I have let go of so many rules and judgments pertaining to my teaching.  I want to offer a safe space for kids to fail, to fall apart, to ask for what they need, as I was grateful to do earlier this week for several students going through their own difficult time.
  • for the laughter my kids elicit, such as the following:
    • Audrey, doing Mad Libs:  Jamie, I need a body part.  Jamie:  Kidneys.  Audrey:  Exclamation.  Jamie:  Oh my goddess!
    • Karen, examining Theresa’s finger knitting:  “How neat!”  Theresa:  “Correction: ‘How knit.'”
  • we discovered Pusheen the cat, who is really my soul twin.  We have the same birthday, the same favorite things (to include sleeping, food, family and friends, and blogging), and the same sense of humor.

  • today (a Saturday), Alan went to a race in Portland and the kids and I did not leave the house.  All day.  They never changed out of their pajamas.  #mamawin
  • sunsets and college architecture and libraries and fallen leaves and other spots of beauty.
  • so much gratitude for being on the receiving end of others’ grace.  I have messed up so many times these past few weeks:  Forgotten to cancel a babysitter’s job so she showed up when we didn’t need her.  Forgot to write things in my calendar and not shown up to my commitments.  Did not exercise the “think before you speak” axiom and had to ask forgiveness from a displeased colleague.  In these and so many other instances of my humanness (i.e. imperfection [to which my inner voice always adds, “dammit”]), people have been gracious and kind and (hopefully) not held grudges.  Thanks be for that.

One kiddo’s list. The last reminder is one that I need so often.

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