Loving Another Woman’s Child

Looking back, I see how apparent the reasons of why I became a teacher.  Not only am I a “BIG kid”  (not a baby goat) at heart, but I have this desire to positively contribute to a child’s self worth based solely on his/her unique person, the child as gift philosophy.  This undoubtedly springs from my own dysfunctional upbringing where I was placed on the metaphorical back burner.

As a mother, I am blessed to be given the opportunity to express daily to each of my children her importance and ability to impact others through kindness, generosity, and love

In addition, I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to love and learn from other women’s children. . .  as a teacher, coach, neighbor, group leader, and mother.  

My children bring home some of the most intelligent, hilarious, thoughtful friends who will undoubtedly improve this world as adults and who do so already as children.

What is difficult, though, is having to say, “I’ll see ya later!” to these kiddos when they move away.  Unfortunately for us, we have now had to do this two years in a row.  As seen in my daughter’s second-grade journal, the impact is lasting as the girls mentioned in the journal moved at the end of the previous school year.  

Our whole family full of tears said goodbye to Miss C., my eldest’s tow-haired, blue eyed, classmate, fellow Girl Scout, and neighbor.  In fact, I think we hoped right until we saw the moving truck that perhaps plans would change, and this girl’s move would be aborted.  This young lady brought much joy to our lives through her gentle manner, helpful ways, and unending smile.

This year, we are having to say goodbye to Miss E.  My eldest daughter met her in kindergarten as they were both seated at the “Rainbow Pegasus” table.  Miss E., a young beautiful lady with the most distinct voice- low and raspy- also touched the life of my youngest daughter as a reading mentor this past year in school.  With much anticipation, Colette readied herself (minus any of the usual urgings) for school on “Reading Buddy Day.”  In fact, those two are so much alike, I can look into the future and see what my youngest squirt will be like in two years.  In return, Miss E. always looked out for my youngest on the playground at school and otherwise as I often heard her say, “Where is Colette?”

Although Miss E. and her family’s moving truck is full and headed for the East Coast, I can only hope one day these belongings will find their way back to this area.

How has loving another woman’s child impacted you?

Book Club Babes II: Thank You Bear

The inaugural meeting of our kindergarten book club far exceeded my expectations.  Allotting two hours so that the kiddos would have time to eat, discuss, craft, and play, I was thrilled when our eating and discussion over Greg Foley’s Thank You Bear lasted fifty minutes.  A book lover’s dream . . .

Upon arrival, bookies were given a plain box to decorate to her liking.  The box represents the one given to Mouse from Bear.  Members may then take the box home and use it for whatever they would like. . . perhaps, a found mouse.

After decorations were complete, we had dinner as a group complete with Teddy Grahams for dessert.

While we were eating, we went over the two simple rules for book club.
1.  Listen to others.
If someone is talking, we need to listen to what she is saying.  We will all have a chance to talk.
 
2.  Respect others.
We discussed how we are going to read a lot of books.  I stressed that it was all right not to like all the books we read, but instead of saying, “I don’t like the book you picked,” to another member, a member is to brainstorm what she would change about the book if she could.  Only kind words will be said to one another.

 
Discussion of Thank You Bear ensued with the assistance of my second-grade facilitator.  

Members brought their books (one on a Kindle- cool!) and could read along if they wished.  

Then a lively back and forth occurred before distribution of the journals.  

Since it was our first meeting, we went over how to use the journals: 1) draw a picture of a favorite scene, character, etc. from the book, and 2) write what they liked about the book or any questions they may have.

After an hour of play, budding readers were sent home with the fixings to make a bear thank you card as well as a bag full of gummy bears.

Next book:  Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are