Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm Special Because... I'm Different

Getting through the mountain of grade school 'mail' is sometimes a feat at my crazy house. I look at every paper, because it's important to the girls and should be just as important to the parent. This week Miss R brought home a little packet of papers that her teacher had them fill out.  It's the regular beginning of school things about what they like and what they want to be when they grow up.  I always love to see what the kids put.  As I flipped through the pages I came across this one:
I'm Different

I stopped and smiled. Because countless times I've told Miss R it's ok to be different and often that's how I describe her to people.
Sitting doing homework at her brothers football game,
she created an 'inspiring spot' to focus on Math, she said.
I'm excited that she is embracing it and knows that is good not bad.  She just looks at the world through eyes that I only can pray she never looses. She finds joy and laughter in so many interesting things because of the angle she observes them.

Some people spend their whole life trying not to conform and I find that sad. I want my kids to embrace who they are and love that.  I think that's the big secret to life.  Be who you are and love yourself for it. I found that at an early age and know I'm very lucky to go through life happy.

I've reflected a lot this past month about finding the rewards of being a parent.  Let's face it when you're in the trenches everyday it's hard to find the rewards.  Between the reminding everyone to brush their teeth, being asked for the zillionth time where something is (that I didn't wear so how I would I know), breaking up stupid fights, and worrying if they are eating right, being good people, laughing enough, praying enough... you name it, I worry when it comes to my kids.

I said to my dad just the other night, when does the rewarding part of parenthood come?  He looked at me and said right now, when they are adults. So, I look forward to that time, but for right now I better keep my nose the grindstone so that I can relish in those big rewards. This simple little note that Miss R wrote helped remind me that I'm on the right path. The path to help my kids just be happy with being different.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Small School Big Opportunities

I’m sure some of you have heard me say that I thought I grew up in a small town until I met My Cowboy.  He came from a town of 600 people I had more then that in my high school. Cowboy had 14 people he graduated with, I had nearly 180. 

When we chose to return back to My Cowboy’s small town, I have to admit I had my concerns about the school experience for our children.  My perception was that in small schools you don’t have as many opportunities for a well rounded education.  I soon learned there are plenty of  opportunities, they’re just different.  Turns out, small schools are better then I could have ever imagined. 

In a small town school the first day jitters are not the same.  After all, by about 4th grade, everyone knows you and you know them- really well.  At least that’s what Miss O told me.  She didn’t need to worrying about who will be in your class those things are not a surprise. So, it’s not a big deal to have a new outfit the first day of school. 

In a small school you certainly already know your teacher, there isn’t a concern about which teacher you will get. One teacher per grade or class. We’re extremely fortunate to have amazing teachers in our school who care and go the extra mile to help the kids. I know that not all teachers are created equal and that’s not as easy to pass over in a small school. 

In a small school we may not have a full time art teacher. But our community knows the importance of creativity and we have an amazing arts council. In the coming weeks our school has an artist in residence that will work with our youth to help paint a mural downtown.  I will share that progress in a blog soon. 

In a small town the Senior boys drive their semi and stock trucks to the first day of school.  Yes, the lot has enough space for truck parking. I’m so proud of those boys and their clever showing of agriculture pride. 

In a small town school when your team makes it to the playoffs, the entire town attends the event not just the sport families! The team pride is felt throughout the community and everyone is included. 

I will be honest and say there are times I think my kids would enjoy some of the things a big school has to offer.  But then I think of the benefits we've experienced and those are important to making them who they are. So, yes it’s different then what our friends who go to big schools experience but different isn’t bad it’s just different.