Brushing Away the Fears of the World

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” -Maya Angelou

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” -Maya Angelou

When the occupational therapist handed each of us a three-inch plastic brush, my co-teacher and I looked skeptically at one another.

I was pretty sure we were both thinking of certain male students in our classroom who possessed a force with no limits. In a fit of rage, they could destroy the classroom with one hand while putting a classmate in a headlock with the other.

And these boys, who made pro wrestlers look like amateurs, were going to be calmed by a measly brush?

I just couldn’t see it.

But when you’re desperate, you begin to look for hope in unusual forms. Not only had the first three weeks of school been challenging; they had been soul-crushing. We quickly understood why the twelve particular students in our class had exhausted all other special education resources in the district. And unfortunately, if they could not make progress in our specialized program, they’d be forced to attend an alternative school.

That’s where the little plastic brush came in.

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Living By Heart: Hope for the Pressured Parent

 

"Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart." -Robert Tizon

“Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.”
-Robert Tizon

 

This post was inspired on a gorgeous day during my children’s spring vacation. After helping my youngest daughter apply sunscreen, I sat in a lawn chair as my children did cartwheels and played ball. That’s when it suddenly occurred to me—maybe I’ve been too hard on myself. Maybe I’ve been too hard on my children. And maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t have to be so hard.

 

What If

What if it is more about applying sunscreen to their tender noses and less about applying pressure to succeed?

What if it’s less about extracurricular activities, test results, and flash cards and more about bedtime stories, picnics in the yard, and seeing the world from the top of a swing?

What if it’s less about pursuing perfection and more about embracing flaws?

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Changing the Way the Story Ends

Changing the Way the Story Ends

*name has been changed to protect privacy

For ten years I thought of him every day, but yet I never thought to look him up.  The only former students of mine that I happened to hear from were the ones that had looked me up.

Then all of a sudden, it was important to how Kyle* “turned out.” Reader’s Digest was going to publish our story and the editors wanted to know what Kyle was doing now. It had been ten years since I last saw Kyle, and I had moved several times since then. I told the editors I was sorry, but I did not know where or what Kyle was doing now.

Then just before the article went to print, I was asked Kyle’s actual name. Over the last decade, I thought of him only by his first name – which happens to be very unique. But for verification purposes, the editors at Reader’s Digest needed to know his real name.

I typed his first name in the reply email, and then embarrassingly, I drew a blank. After several minutes of racking my brain, I realized his last name would more likely come to me if I stopped thinking about it. I set the email inquiry aside and went back to a piece I was writing.

Minutes later, like a neon sign suddenly switched ON, Kyle’s last name vividly displayed in my mind.

But before I responded to the editor, I knew there was something I must do.

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