1--As much as you want to believe you know better, mom will end up being right about most things. She has more life experience—listen to her.
2--As much as you want to believe you know everything, you don’t. Right now you think the older you get the more you know, but you’ll actually discover that the older you get, the more you have to learn. Stay humble.
3--Life doesn’t move progressively upward in a straight line ending at happiness—you’ll have periods of good times & periods of tough times; progress, then setbacks, then progress again; thinking you have it all figured out and then unlearning what you thought was right. Growth is a wavy, sometimes messy line.
4--You don’t know anything about parenting until and unless you’re a parent, so shush on the parenting advice. No, I don’t care what your child development textbook says, hush it.
5--You’re investing sooooo much time & energy into guys—how you look to them, what they think of you, how you’ll find one, how you’ll keep one, will he want to have children, yadda, yadda, yadda. Invest just a fraction of that time & energy into your own goals & dreams and your future self will thank you for it.
6--And, speaking of goals & dreams, that thing nagging at you—start taking steps toward it now while you have the time & energy. Your dreams won’t change as wildly as you think and you’ll wish you’d started sooner.
7--Save a dollar or two a day and don’t touch it. Start TODAY.
8--Trade the tanning bed for a great tinted moisturizer. Please!
9--Rather than caring so much about what everyone and their brother thinks of you, focus on those you respect & care about deeply and how THEY think of you. Let the rest of them go and just do you. You’ll find your people. Remember, quality over quantity.
10--While I wish you’d listen to all this you’ll have to figure it out for yourself because real learning comes not from advice but from experience. So just know, while there will be rough times, it all works out. Breathe. Relax. Pray. Listen to your gut. It all really will be okay. And you’re okay, just as you are.
After nearly 15 years in education, I tend to see things through the lens of how it impacts children or, I guess more accurately, I see things through their eyes--what they must be thinking and feeling. I see things through the lens of what we are modeling for them.
Five weeks ago when I heard the story of Ahmaud Arbery being gunned down while jogging, I felt sick to my stomach that a life was lost so senselessly. When I heard of the equally senseless murder of George Floyd only four weeks later and that, in his last desperate moments, he called out for his mama, I cried. As a mother myself it took my own breath away and made me physically sick to my stomach. I believe black lives absolutely do matter. And while I of course also believe that all human lives matter, the reason we choose the words “black lives matter” at this time is to put the focus and support on the black lives that, lately, seem to very clearly not matter to some--not all--who are white.
I looked at what happened to Mr. Arbery and Mr. Floyd and thought of our kids and what they must be thinking and feeling; about what we’re modeling.
And, while the anger and frustration over not being heard is understandable, I looked at the riots and looting going on and once again thought of our kids and what they must be thinking and feeling; about what we’re modeling.
I saw and heard some of the things being said about law enforcement and thought of our kids; about how confusing it must be to try and make sense as to whether police officers are there to help them or hurt them.
Yesterday I didn’t log on to social media until 7pm and saw the #blackouttuesday movement that was happening. I thought about what a powerful, united statement it seemed, but I also like to take a minute to research anything before I jump into posting, just to be sure that the message and intention behind it is something that aligns. As I researched, I saw that there were people within groups and pages I am a part of saying things like “if you don’t participate in this, you are making a statement that you don’t believe black lives matter” or that if we say anything at all on the topic as a white person, we are undermining the message. Once again, I thought of what we’re modeling for our children. We say we want to teach them not to make judgments and assumptions about people before getting to know them; to not incite peer pressure or bully others and to be inclusive, yet…some of our actions spoke differently.
There's alot about this whole Coronavirus situation I can't seem to wrap my mind around, but one of the things that's most hard to believe is that, next month, the new year, we all had so many hopes and dreams for will be halfway over. Isn't that insane? Time during social isolation seems to be flying by and moving at a snail's pace both at the same time.
Some mornings I wake up feeling positive and hopeful about it all. I feel we're adjusting to our new normal of virtual learning and social isolation and feel positive that we'll be able to move back toward our normal lives soon enough. Other mornings I wake up and just feel so sad. Not over the loss of busy--it actually feels pretty peaceful looking at our open calendar. I feel sad about so many other things, though. I hate hearing story after story about people coming down ill or passing away from this thing. I hate hearing about mystery children's illnesses and medical workers having to be separated from their own kids. But maybe what makes me saddest of all is that, during one of our darkest hours, we seem more divided than ever as a country.
I feel so lucky to have grown up rich,
to have grown up privileged--
never having had to do without.
Our family was so rich in love & laughter that, despite what I can now look back and see as a modest upbringing & tight income, it never occurred to me we were lacking anything.
I was so privileged to be raised in a home where we were the priorities--
I never once scanned the classroom or audience wondering if mom or dad would be there,
I never once went without the school clothes or the dance lessons, although I can now look back and see that my parents went without quite a bit for themselves.
I'm turning 40 tomorrow.
Just typing that sentence is crazy. Turning 40 amidst all the Coronavirus-ness is even crazier. There's a lot about this turning 40 thing I never pictured.
First, I never pictured feeling so--well--not 40. I suppose everyone feels that way. I certainly don't feel the way I pictured I would when I was younger. I guess what I mean is that I don't feel the way 40 seemed to me back then: old! I don't feel over the hill--I feel like I'm just setting out to climb the hill, just getting started on the REAL journey. There's this feeling like I'm coming into my own, dropping what other think or feel I should be doing, and just living a more free life on my own terms. It feels a little like the dress rehearsal is over and the actual show is beginning.
I also never envisioned celebrating 40 six feet apart from those I love in cloth masks but hey, given what's going on I'm just happy to celebrate another birthday feeling well and happy that those I love are here to say hello, even if from a distance. And, I have to admit, for an introvert with a bit of social anxiety I'm actually finding not having a big blowout kinda cozy. My own parties always end up feeling like a sweaty, nervous, happy whirlwind that I don't end up remembering well later because of the mixture of beverages and being in my own head the whole time. Last night my husband bought all my favorite snacks and we camped in the backyard with strung lights and wine and s'mores. As we laid down for bed my boy whispered "this was the best day of my life". I don't know if he would've said that after the big shindig we originally had planned at the nice hotel on the water with 20+ people. The best day of his life is the best day of mine, so I think it might've worked out better this way.
When did it become "mean" or "bad" to enforce rules, limits, boundaries, or consequences of any kind? When did setting restrictions become synonymous with lacking empathy?
I suppose some would say I'm pretty liberal when it comes to discipline with kids in the sense that I see misbehavior not as something to squash, but as a call for help--a plea for the adults in their life to dig deeper and give them the tools they need. They don't know what they don't know, so a child's behavior is the language they speak when they can't articulate their needs. I suppose this is true with adults, too. However, pain or ignorance is not a free pass--personal responsibility plays a role
I was grabbing a smoothie one morning when a familiar face walked into the store, a former coworker of mine from public school. We greeted each other and she asked where I was currently teaching. I told her I had recently taken a position at a private Montessori school. Her mouth formed into a pained expression and she leaned in close, “ooh, how is that? Ya know, working with those kinda kids?”
My heart started to race & the Mama Bear in me started to stir. Because I knew exactly what she meant by that question--I got different forms of it all the time. The implication behind the questions is usually that they are incapable of doing things on their own or are entitled.
I’d been through this before so I took a deep breath to tame the bear and calmly told her the truth. “Honestly... ‘those kids’ are no different than the kids I taught in public school. Some are entitled, others are not. Some are gifted, others have significant learning disabilities. Some come from wealthy families, some don’t. We have a mix of different kids, just like anywhere else.”
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Being a woman, a wife, a mother--it's all rewarding but also tough. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul. Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)