From the Eye of The Storm…A Teacher’s Point of View…ESPN Style

I’ve learned quite a bit from ten years of teaching…here are some of the highlights.

If a second grader says, “I don’t feel good,”–get a trash can under his chin before he finishes that sentence.

If a 7th grader says, “Want to hear a joke?…Are you sure?…hee, hee, hee.”

Don’t say yes. It most definitely will be about sex.

If you say something funny and you are wondering if your middle school students are laughing at you or with you–be assured they are laughing at you.

The sentence, “This is due tomorrow,” means the same thing as:

Don’t forget to take the trash out.

Pick up your clothes.

Put your dishes in the dish washer.

Walk your dog.

You get the idea…

Volume means nothing. They WILL yell at the person sitting an inch away from their face.

If you want to get their attention, say “Phone.”

If you want them to work, let them listen to their music.

Eating like a dog, unsure of where his next meal will come from, becomes a daily act…on the part of the teacher…because we have about 12 minutes left by the time we have actually made our way through the maze, hunted down the students that owe us work, or found the students that are silently escaping their silent lunch consequence from a behavior that truly deserves so much more than a mere few minutes at a separate table.
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!

A middle schooler’s social life IS EVERYTHING. Use this against them to thwart their evil ways WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Planning time is akin to TOTAL ANXIETY as you wonder if you will actually be granted this mystical notion.

Hoodies are the end all be all way to PISS THE TEACHER OFF.

Second graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Fourth graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Fifth graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Seventh graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Good Lord where does the madness end??!!!

You may spend eight hours of your glorious weekend finessing your plans to be perfect–fun and interesting, yet full of learning for your little minions…yeah, those minions don’t give a crap.

You keep signing that contract. Year after year…you sign.

Why?

There is no explanation.

Teachers are an enigma. We do it. We hate it. We love it. We hate them.

We love them.

We stay.

Thank goodness we stay.

You need us to stay…and so do your kids.


Do They Know?

What one sees may not be what one knows.

Do they know that when they see a beautiful face, I see the unyielding bumps desperately trying to free themselves out from under the tediously crafted camouflage?

Do they know when they see a tall lean body, I see the pale, white string climbing up my spine, the hip that sits too high, and the bones that will never again give way to a curve?

Do they know when they see hair thick and long, I see a bank account habitually dwindling due to the monthly wage being summoned like a sinner to the altar to support the hiding of old, the lightening of too dark, and the snip that keeps it healthily yet doesn’t stop the breakage?

Do they know when they see confidence through smiling and speaking or laughing, I see crows feet, an imposter, weariness,  and those too blind to see the truth?

Do they know when they see offspring too good to be true, I see a long, silent drive home from the outing that had to be abandoned because it was plagued by disobedience? I see the discipline that was handed down as a result of the test that I knew could be ignored but was chosen to be a lesson. I see authority and wonder how long they’ll buy it.

Do they know when they see someone who came through the breakup of a family less like a suicidal nutcase and more like a champ, I see a father that apparently didn’t love enough, a hole so deep all the ocean’s in the world couldn’t fill it, and a loss so great that giving it the time it deserved to heal would mean a crack in the canvas that would never be sealed.

Do people know when they see a great couple, I see the choice to never walk away, the tears…anger…words never forgotten yet forgiven, the eye of the storm, the other side of the fury, the clearing sky after the tumultuous rain…the reason for the words “to death do us part?”

Do they see what they want to see?

Don’t we all?


Game Night!

These days playing board games seems to be about as antiquated as trying to solve the mystery of the Rubik’s Cube or awkwardly hopping around on a pogo stick watching your life flash before your eyes. But they’re so fun, so why doesn’t anyone really play them anymore?

The board games that we once played as children just don’t quite make the cut anymore when searching for ideas of what to do on a Friday night. For me, however, they do tend to bring back memories of laughter and fun with my family where no computer or iPhone was repeatedly being checked being sure not miss someone’s latest selfie or the all too familiar  picture of just toes sticking up in front of a line of sand and just beyond that the blue ocean emulating how pleased the owner of the toes is that their feet are on vacation.

Oh, the moments technology has robbed us of! Well, not tonight, my friend…not tonight.

So, with that in mind, I decided to go retro the other night and offer out the idea of family game night with the clever little game we inherited from a friend; Clue.

Even though past memories of trying new games flashed into my brain (complete warning signals) of me reading the rules to my family first happily, sometimes pausing to make sure they understood, then moving on to a more than eager pace desperately trying to avoid eye contact with my less than enthused audience so they wouldn’t stop me with the eventual proclamation of, “Let’s just play!” or, “We got it!”

Well, why not give it a whirl?

Clue is a game I have heard of since forever but have never actually played. So, here I am faced with the inevitable reading of the rules to the family situation once again because none of them know how to play it either.

Great.

This is not a step to be skipped (even though my family believes otherwise.) The directions must be read because they are are there for a reason. How else are we supposed to know what to do with the colored pieces, the cards (which look bizarrely elementary for such a complicated game,) and the miniature replicas of common killing devices?

We will read–then we will have fun.

This time, though, I wisely decided I would figure everything out beforehand. That would make the explaining part quick and simple.

Ha!

Once I found the rules (wondering if finding them was actually part of the game since I could’ve used a clue as to where to actually find them,) I laid them out on the floor, bent over them and started reading, and reading, and reading.

Total snorefest.

By the time I arrived at what to do with the cards, I had already forgotten how to start the game (which I really didn’t understand to begin with) and then got so confused about the doors and how to get in the rooms and how many people can be in the rooms at one time that I began to feel mentally deficient and that I may have chosen the wrong career path. Children play this game. Children I’ve taught play this game. How hard can it be?

So, after I neatly returned the pieces that did make it in the box from the previous owner (looks like we’ll be fashioning our own lead pipe and looking for a replacement for the purple token if we ever do play this game,) I declared, “We aren’t playing Clue EVER people!”

I’ll admit, guilty feelings did enter my mind as I packed it all away thinking about the ghosts of former students and those whiny voices saying this is soooooo haaaaarrd and I don’t get iiiiiiiiit.

Am I one of those now?  A giver upper?

Well, after a glass of wine and the hopes that I wouldn’t give a crap how hard the directions were once it had taken effect in my system, I realized I had let a game get the best of me, and I would go back and read them again.

Then…that thought was quickly replaced with an even better one.

I had actually solved the big mystery of why people don’t play board games anymore and, therefore, was free of my guilt for being a quitter.

We are too advanced for the reading of long, boring directions these days. We’re movers and shakers now. This is the 21st Century afterall!

Who needs board games when you have computers and iPhones?

Gotta love technology.

 


The Amended Trajectory

According to Dictionary.com, “change” means “to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone…”

Hmmm….if life was just left alone, it would be stagnant, mundane…boring!

I don’t want “it” to be left alone. Bring on the change, I say! falling-big-1

So, what’s so scary about change anyway? You never know just what it may lead to. Think about what you may miss out on by never straying off the path.

Yes, the unbroken path may seem safer and more secure, but is it? Isn’t life always full of ups, downs, uncertainties, and surprises anyway? Why not make it interesting along the way?

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You said this path was safe. No, I said there were no turns…

Instead of fearing the unknown, why not think about it as opportunity that offers what safety may not:  discovery, new experiences, excitement, new friends…happiness.

I have signed up for countless changes in my life and they are usually scary, but I like change and I love to stretch myself. I have found I can do much more than I ever would have dreamed from moving to New York City to quitting a lucrative job in order to pursue a career that allowed more flexibility as a mother.

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I’m a mommy!

Change isn’t always an easy choice, but I continually find that what follows is great reward.

I just happen to be embarking on a change this year. A change that has brought me great sadness as closing a great chapter in life always does but also sends my stomach surging with twists of excitement.

As I sent my fifth grade students off to face their next challenge in life (middle school) I sent them with some words to live by…

…and realized we could all live by these words.

Dear departing fifth graders,

I would like to give you some advice to take with you as you leave.  But, before I do, I wanted to tell you how special you really are to me. You guys (class of 2023) have traveled the same road as my own two daughters and have shared many of the same adventures. From the Kindergarten egg drop FAIL, to the well worth it tug-of-war rope burns Coach provided every field day; from singing it out with Mrs. Banks and her awesome music, to finding interesting books with Miss Dixie, and of course we can’t forget how much you enjoyed the enlightening PUBERTY discussion Mr. Aikens and Nurse Sheila presented; you truly hold a special place in my heart and will continue to be a bittersweet memory that I will hold onto throughout the years.

Ok, so onto middle school…

I know you’re excited; your parents are too, but along with this age comes a challenge or two. You are going from “KING OF THE HILL” to peasants of the manor, “THE BIG CHEESE” to the stinky little sixth grader.

Now, I’ve been told that middle school students are a different breed. They’re easily compared to awful things, indeed.

Things like… demons, aliens, monsters, and mutations. Oh, how I hope you don’t have too many confrontations. These words may mean nothing to you in this moment, but as your parents are tightly strapping their seat belts in preparation of your impending mutation into a temporary but strange remnant of what you are today, remember these few things that I have learned along the way.  

Kindness is a cure for many ailments.

Making friends is much easier than the pain that comes from losing one.

Gossip is wicked and has no place…anywhere.

Knowledge isn’t only power, it’s a necessity.

Your word should be your word, and if it is, a promise isn’t necessary.

Be teachable; you’ll go farther than the ones who aren’t.

The truth won’t set you free, but it will ease your tummy. Guilt is there for a reason.

Think before you speak. It can and in most cases will save you from looking like a fool.

Technology can’t and won’t ever replace the closeness and camaraderie that face to face conversations provide.

Conquering a challenge is unspeakably more rewarding than giving up. Life isn’t easy, so quit acting like it should be.

Listening is magical…just doing it helps you learn. (No sweat required)

Being popular for the right reasons takes time; being popular for the wrong reasons maaaayyyyyy land you in jail.

Respect can be taught, it can be given, and it can be earned, but it won’t be forgotten. 

Impressing a teacher will get you farther in life than impressing your friends.

Laugh at yourself…it most likely was funny.

When you make a mistake own it…and move on.

And finally, cool isn’t always cool.

So, in conclusion, from my heart to your ears…Embrace good friends. Laugh hard and laugh often. Forgive hurts, and let them be forgotten. Love those when they don’t love you, and give even when you don’t want to. Seek knowledge and wisdom as you travel your life road, and always know a special place in my heart you do hold.

Love, 

Mrs. Slagle  

So, as I tearily wrap up the chapter I am currently in, I look forward to the next one which just happens to be teaching middle school (yikes!)

Sometimes you choose your path, sometimes someone else does, and sometimes changes are simply the inevitable next step.

Don’t let fear stand in your way of something great!

 


A Deal with the Devil Part II

So, here is what you, my dear readers (all seven of you) have been anxiously awaiting–the highly anticipated sequel to A Deal With the Devil.

(I like to think positively.)

Before I start, I must say that uncovering something so revealing, so personal, yet so ridiculous may be crazy or weird (judge if you will judgy judgers), but keeping funny stories all to myself just isn’t right.

It’s plain selfish.

Sharing is better.

So, I left off with me in the bathroom staring at my countertop lined with products and my true grit willingness to conquer the application of fake eyelashes which interestingly enough also happen to come in delicate, wispy singles as well which is just what I chose.

Piece of cake. Ha!

Not only were the simple singles appealing, but also the fact that the package they were in said they lasted for weeks. I didn’t believe it for a minute, but I was definitely in.

Anyway, I unpacked the little lash tray with all of these different lengths of single wisps of lashes, the directions, and the glue that came with it.  I put my glasses on to read the only three steps the makers for some God forsaken reason think that’s all there are and quickly realized this wasn’t going to be easy–especially minus the glasses. Thank goodness for magnifying mirrors.

Maneuvering these microscopic hairs with tweezers and applying the glue was no easy task. Several fell to their demise in my sink, others got eternally stuck to the tweezers, while finally the lucky remaining lashes made it to my eyelids. (Found out later that’s not where they go, but that’s neither here nor there.)

After a while, I started to get the hang of the application process, and my eyelashes began to take on a look that said, “You’re gettin’ good at this…look…at…you.”

Soooooooo…of course I applied more. If one row looks good, two rows will look fabulous! I layered and buried and stacked those lashes till only one or two lonely sprigs lingered in the tray.

My transformation was complete. It was two grueling hours of intense labor, but I was finally pleased with the heap of tiny hairs that now bordered my eyeballs.

Wow.

My eyelids felt as if a small child had sat on them, but not feeling that this was a dealbreaker, I ended my process with one of my favorite sayings, “And it was good.”

Hello eyelashes!

Feeling ever so lovely, I took advantage of enjoying my beauty every time I could.

I looked in the mirror every time I passed it in the hallway. I calmly snuck off to the bathroom many times to make sure they were still awesome. I subtly stole glances of myself sideways in the microwave, and I finally decided it was time to take them out for a spin.

I wore them when I ran my errands feeling just a little self-conscious but owned it.  I wore them all day.

LIKE A BOSS.

Until…I had to go meet my friend to pick up her daughter to spend the night with my daughters. I decided I was NOT going to have the eyelashes on then. For strangers it was ok, but for people I actually encounter regularly it wasn’t.

This was a test drive, and I was not quite ready to let the world know I had chosen this path.

So, having worn them as long as I could until meeting my friend, I returned to my bathroom to undo all I had done and began the process of dismantling the tiny hairs one by one.

I had one hour until pickup…no worries.

The pack came with a liquid that would “release” the glue, so I began drizzling that over my forest of lashes, let it soak in for the recommended 15 seconds or so, and then began to tug with my tweezers.

One problem; there was no releasing of the eyelash wisps.

Ok, let me try that again. I let it soak a little longer.

Still, no releasing whatsoever, and no promise of any type of release in my near future.

I started to realize that the whole “stays on for weeks” was no whisper in the wind.

It was real.

They sold me “releasing liquid” AKA Crazy Glue. You know the one–where in the commercial the guy glues his hard hat to a steel beam and hangs from it all because of the Crazy Glue and it’s amazing holding power?

Yeah, that’s on my eyelashes.

Forty minutes in and the countdown to meeting my friend (and dropping them off at a church event where I will need to briefly talk to other adults) I begin to feel a rush of panic set in.

You know how you feel when you need something off or you will lose your mind?

Maybe it’s an itchy sweater, or a jacket that’s got the arms of your shirt underneath bunched up around your elbows, or even a too tight dress all zipped up that won’t pull over your head and won’t come back down either–pure panic I say!

So, good Lord, of course I begin to take what I feel is the ONLY course of action and rip them out.

That’s right. Once I did one and realized I was left with a tidy little bald spot, I figured I had no other choice.

Flashes of white light hit me. I envisioned my eye baldness after this situation. I wondered if Crazy Glue worked if there were no eyelashes at all…because there were going to be eyelashes in my future, and this was definitely going to be what I was going to use if it came down to it.

It just got worse and worse, and it was time to meet this mother.

AND I WAS ONLY FINISHED WITH ONE EYE!

Good lord what happened?

Not just an hour ago, I was feeling like J LO from her L’Oreal mascara commercial, and now I look like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings.

OMG!

So I make my way toward the other eye.

Let ‘er rip.

I ran out of time though, and I decided that cutting the remaining lashes down to meet whatever I had left was a reasonable solution.

Things get weird when ya panic.

But, I was nervous so I cut a big gash out and now I had this real low part right in the middle of my eyelashes…lower that my own.

I had cut the few poor eyelashes I did have shorter than the rest of my eyelashes and now they looked like they were smiling at me.

I actually heard my eyelashes beg me to stop.

I held back tears. I sucked it up. I told my daughters to look away, and I texted my friend.

Now, she really is more of an acquaintance which makes this conversation that much harder, but I basically told her of my lapse in judgement and that it wasn’t going to be pretty.

You know when someone looks at you and laughs with that uncomfortable, tight laughter while telling you that you don’t look that bad… it’s that bad. 

She’s so nice.

I made a very brief, far away showing at the church event. I had actually looked in the mirror before I left to see how many inches/feet a person would actually have to be in proximity to me to make out what I had done.

I didn’t move an inch closer.

After the drop off, I made a beeline to the nearest drugstore and purchased–you guessed it–another set of eyelashes.

The prospect of putting glue on what was now red hot, bleeding eyelids was not something I was looking forward to.

Yes, they were bleeding…

…complete freak show…

When I got home, I tearily removed the remainder of lashes I had and decided to give my bleeding eyeballs a break. I went to bed…and rested.

Amazingly, eyelashes are quite resilient.

They weren’t hideous for long. Miracle! I did use some natural looking eyelashes for a bit. They actually came with a sticky strip so no glue was necessary. (Where were they that night?)

And I got some lessons (from those on YouTube that had gone before me), and found out how to do the whole eyelash thing right. At this point though…who cares?!

Although I am not completely against the fakes, I’m still not totally on board because they are a lot of work and feel weird, but I thought this journey might be an enjoyable one for you to take vicariously through me.

You know the one that you’re sooooooo glad you’re not actually on?

Maybe I should go on YouTube and give tutorials…of what not to do…ever.

Sweet dreams…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Deal with the Devil

In the ever desperate attempt to hold onto my rapidly fleeting youth, I find myself in some of the oddest of situations. This one is no exception. Continue reading


Just Say No

I promised myself I would never do it again. I dared myself to try it–or else. I told my kids they had permission to say inappropriate things to me if I dared try. I deleted it it from my life forever and sealed the deal with a vow to NEVER DO IT AGAIN!

In the famous words of Britney Spears, “Oops, I did it again.”

I went to Walmart (no, that’s not it, but great guess) completed my shopping, looked at the ridiculously long lines, and decided….wait for it…to check myself out quickly at the “self check.”

Ha!

I was the “self-check’s” prey once again.

Everything about that seductive little sign with its come-hither look is nothing short of a complete mockery!

Come to me. Look, there are no lines. Look how easy this is. You can do it, and it’s fun…look how fun this is.

Well, as Eve is to an apple, here I am to the “self-check.” (It’s an analogy. Go with it.)

We had a movie date planned, and it was dangerously close to the start time…so here I am choosing to do something guaranteed to cause a complete panic in my world. Why not? (I need to be at the movies before the previews start because if I miss the previews, I’m not fit to parent–total Rainman situation.)

As I am “patiently” waiting for my impending implosion the lady to finish, I realize the self-serve check-out behind her has been open all along. That irritates me, but moving on. I move in, hit the start button, and the machine immediately tells me cards only and no cash accepted. Well, any other day that’d be just fantastic because I never have cash anyway but, of course, today that’s all I have.

Already not looking good.

As I’m winding up, the lady at the register I was previously waiting at (for no reason) tells me she is almost finished and her machine takes cash.

Awesome.

So, here we go. I am telling my kids to just hand me things and since we’ve walked this slippery slope before, make sure they bag every item in the bagging area (as I’m gesturing all over the place trying to show them.) This may not sound important, but, oh, how it is.

My kids (in full prep mode to handle mom’s meltdown) are battle-style finding the bar codes handing them to me in perfect position for swiping and taking the items from my hand as soon as they hear the beep and placing them in the bagging area.

So far so good.

And then it happens. The very thing that makes my heart pulsate, my pits sweat, my rational thoughts turn irrational happens.

The machine starts telling me to place the item in the bagging area. (No s#@t lady.) They are in the bagging area!

As I immediately begin a less than Christian-like conversation with the voice coming out of the screen, I feel my body heat rise. Please tell me this is not happening. If ya don’t know, at this point the entire transaction is frozen.

FROZEN, I SAY, as you, the helpless moron who signed up for the (idiots who come to Walmart and think they know how to do our job better and faster than we do) attempts to hunt down the person sadistically planning their well-planned jaunt to a customer as faaaaaaarrrrrrrrr away from you as possible just as you get into a pickle.

This is always fun.

So, as my eyes are darting around the area of self-serve stalls, they finally land where the “leader” stands and supposedly is ready and waiting to swoop in and help you when something goes sideways.

Well, the bearded lady (yep) has strolled her way down about four stalls. So, I just wait…and wait…as I watch her go help every person in Walmart on her way back to me. Yeah, everybody has a problem.

She makes it to me, puts in her 49 digit code, tells me I’m “good to go,”  and walks off.

Ugh. Here we go again.

One child is handing items to me. I am handing them off to the other child. I am yelling at them to do it right so we don’t get stopped again.  The movie is about to start. They’re a nervous wreck; I’m a hot mess, and, of course, it happens again.

So here I go craning my neck around like some sort of zoo animal on crack trying to find the “leader.”

She’s with someone else. I look around and see these ominous lights above all of our heads and realize that they are all blinking red.

I’m never gonna get out of here.

This time I actually walk over and hover, abandoning everything I know about politeness/personal space/being weird/acting like an idiot/embarrassing my children/embarrassing myself and simply hover.

I will stand here if this situation you are trying to work out with the other moron takes ten minutes. It takes ten minutes. It’s awkward, but I’m not going anywhere.

So, she finally turns her face to me (she knew I was there the whole time) and as I try not to flinch at the 5 o’clock shadow desperately working its way to a 12:00 horror show I calmly tell her (with a plastic smile) that I need her.

We walk back to my machine together.

As I desperately attempt to memorize her mother of a code she’s tap-tapping in, (I’ll just take the matter into my own hands if necessary) I asked her if she would just stay and get me through to the end of this transaction as I was getting desperately close to committing a felon. (fake smile attached)

She clearly didn’t think that was very funny and as I turned, swiped another item, and turned back to assure myself she wasn’t leaving, I see she was already gone and well, you guessed it not two seconds later the third situation arises.

Seriously?

So this just gets better and better as I begin swirling my head around like the Exorcist girl trying to find out where Herman has ran off to, I now begin to contemplate simply walking off.

I will just leave, and you, my friend, will have to go put all this crap back. Ha Ha.

But then I realized that would really be more inconvenient for me since I already did the shopping, spent all of this time in hell trying to complete my mission, and would have nothing but a bad experience to show for it.

Nope! I will see this through…to the dire end…no matter how dire.

So, I find myself  just standing there. I literally felt like a balloon deflating. There is nothing I can do. The fight is over. I…have…been…defeated…beat.

So, I waited for Nanny McPhee to mosey on back, and as she saunters over I just look at her like I told you not to leave. See? Look how miserable I am. I’m missing something VEEEERRRRRRRY important. I knew it was gonna break down again! 

I saw her her smirk…and giggle.

Lord, as I finally finish this eternal transaction, I find myself walking to the car realizing what my children just witnessed/went through and most likely will be talking about in therapy one day.

I told them I was sorry, and please don’t let my actions sink into their lives. I told them I was acting ugly and not to act like mommy when they grow up. I told them how great they are when I’m stressed and they were my rocks (as I was secretly hoping they weren’t planning my mysterious disappearance when they are old enough to drive.)

One of the girls’ sweet words to me were, “Don’t worry mommy we know you express things more aggressively than what you are actually thinking.”

Really?

Huh.

So, maybe I’m not ruining them…

Yay!

So, moral of the story–I am NEVER going through the self-check again!

(If you see me, please intervene. You have my permission.)


The Man That Makes a Father

father

When Father’s Day rolls around I find myself in a mad dash trying to figure out what to do for my father…well, my father and my stepdad…well, my father, my stepdad, and my husband.

Yes, it’s a little complicated, but not, by any means, out of the ordinary.

I am always in this emotional frenzy of taking this day seriously yet ultimately feeling somewhat blue, moody, guilt ridden, and, quite frankly, screwed which makes me want to ditch the day, burn it at the stake, and never look back.

I have done this every year…since I grew up, took the blinders off, and realized what a true “father” is.

Definitions of the word “father” are provided by a multitude of dictionaries including the Urban Dictionary which is giggle worthy, but I will let you look up that one on your own. These definitions are surprisingly plentiful, clinical, and void of any feeling.

Click here if you can’t stand it. Urban Dictionary- Father

So, the question remains…what is my responsibility?

I have two fathers–one that is biologically mine and one that is mine through marriage. Wow, two! Well, I still feel somewhat fatherless…in father limbo.

There’s just not really another way to describe it. You only get one dad. When that one isn’t there anymore, it never quite feels the same. You have loyalty issues. You have issues with feeling like your stepdad isn’t really yours, and you have the ultimate issue of not being loved (by the man that was originally yours) enough for him to stay or at the very least stay close.

Death certainly makes this situation incredibly different. Death wouldn’t be a choice…well unless it was suicide. Then, my friend, you certainly have different issues than myself, yet still issues of him leaving by choice.

These issues are no joke.

So, when I snap out of that train of thought, my next thought is to recognize the father in my life that belongs to my children; he is the father that I so desperately want to be everything to my girls that my father inevitably wasn’t to me.

Sounds reasonable, right?

My father was a wonderful dad to me. He was my hero. He was my favorite (sorry mom). I loved him so much that I thought my heart might actually burst when he loved on me. I actually thought that if I were to ever lose him, I would not be able to go on.

(I now know that I can.)

He filled my cup to overflowing and then some…until he eventually did the unthinkable–left, moved away, claimed his new family, and eventually allowed me to be slowly phased out of his life.

This rocked my world. I pretended it didn’t, but it did. I was tough, and not going to let this speed bump set the stage for my future–not an option…but I now know that it shaped me in some ways.

Some fathers move their responsibility to new families. Some fathers stop being responsible at all, and some fathers step into responsibility that doesn’t technically belong to them, yet they are man enough and loving enough to take on that responsibility by choice.

I’ve been affected by all of the above.

father-and-daughter

What a father may not know about a girl is that she needs him there to keep her safe, to make her feel protected, to be the spiritual leader of the home, to show her how to respect a man, how to act like a lady, how to hold her tongue when wild horses seem to be ripping it from her, how to keep herself pure, how to look for Godly qualities in the man she wants to marry, and she needs him to wrestle with her and tickle her until she can’t breathe.

A girl needs every one of these things.

Father and sonWhat a father may not know about the incredible responsibility he owes to a boy is that he needs to teach him how to be confident. He needs to teach him structure–to be self-disciplined, how to be tough in life when tough is the last thing he wants to be, how to respect a woman and how to treat her the way she needs to be treated as well as how to be respectable.

He needs to know how to be emotional and tender, and how to let his guard down when someone needs to connect with him.

He needs to teach him how to start a fire and cut the grass. He needs to teach him how to nail a nail (straight), how to use a drill, how to drive a stick shift, and ultamately how to be a man–someone willing to do what they need to do for their family or their friends when they are needed whether it be cold, rainy, or hot like the Sahara.

daddy girls 3

What a father needs to give all his children is discipline that says, “I love you, and I care about your future,” prayers at night to remember who comes first and last each day, gas money, and time, time, and more time. A good father is there for events that matter…and those that don’t.

Daddy and girls 4
A good father is willing to take the more difficult route in order to teach a lesson even though it may mean suffering for himself as well.

A good father is supportive when you succeed and when you fail.

daddy and girls 5

daddy and girls

So, ladies, take care of your men out there-they deserve it, and for the ones that don’t–forgive them, and for the ones that could do better–love them through it, and for the ones that are “Rock Star” dads–make sure they know how you feel.

For the fathers that are yet to be, show them you have faith in them while revealing your expectations.

Dads, whether biological or inherited, are a gift from God and deserve to have this special day in their honor.

daddy girls 2

Where would we be without the men in our lives?

Happy Father’s Day 6/21/15.


Walk or Scoot?

walk or scoot

Back in the day, in the not so distant past, the riding of scooters in a store was reserved for those that were, well, a little long in the tooth– the sweet little old person riding around trying to lead a normal life as they go through the aging process.

“Oopsie, I think we are tangled.”

However, riding a scooter in a store looks a little different these days. Continue reading


Two Girls, One Night to Remember

I have a childhood memory that doesn’t surface often, but it surfaces with regularity, and when it does, it is vivid.

It is a memory of a night I spent at a friend’s house when I was in middle school.

It still gives me the shivers… Continue reading


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