As I sit here watching my 12-year-old daughter and her friends circle the skating rink in celebration of her birthday, my eyes fill with tears. Tears of confusion. Where has the time gone? Tears of pride. My, what an incredible young lady she is becoming. Tears of relief. She is surrounded by such wonderful friends; I could not have molded any better. Tears of joy. I love her and she loves me.
And then I think, with a bit of panic, does she know what's in my head? in my heart? She sees me working so hard day after day. She realizes how many hours are required to do what I do. She hears me talking about education all the time; it is potentially an all-consuming career.
But does she know how much time my head spins with thoughts of her? Does she realize that I spend more time reflecting on motherhood than I do my role as an educator? Does she understand that I question my parenting and find it more challenging and more rewarding than anything else in the world?
Actions speak louder than words, hers more than mine today. She approaches me and gives me a big hug and kiss in front of her friends and says, "Thanks, Mom. What a great day. I'm so lucky." I relax inside, I hide my tears, smile and kiss her on the forehead. And I know that, at least for today, she knows. She realizes. She understands.
Tomorrow, the cycle will likely repeat...
Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.