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mommy. wife. teacher. yogini. writer. coffee drinker. aunt. crocheter. reader. dog lover. scattered. methodical. rational. irrational. paranoid. annoyed. lost. found. content. searching. peaceful. i am constantly in search of my story. the one i have never happened. the one i've lived i cannot write.

24 February 2010

life lessons: be nice.

i've had life lessons on my mind.
the ones i have learned
the ones i want to teach 
my sweet girl.

some of this stems from being a teacher.
day after day
i'm exposed to children
who teach me how to be a better parent.
day after day
i'm exposed to adults
who show me how not to parent teach me how to be a better parent.

leaving school yesterday
on my way to retrieve charlie
it occurred to me;
it is so much easier
to be mean
than it is
to be nice.

some things we have been working on
in our daily interactions with our one-year old are
nice hands
nice words
nice feet.

this is reinforced at daycare with her teachers
and friends
nice hands
nice words
nice feet.

obviously, being nice is something we are trying to model.
it's something i also try to model for my students
as i praise them for work completed
encourage them when work is not completed
gently remind them to get out a pencil (for the fifth time in five minutes)
and pat them on the back when they just don't get it.
this may sound all peachy keen
but i assure you;
when the student who has done nothing all year
continues to do nothing
doesn't have a pencil
and has no idea what you are talking about
to pull them aside
pat them on the back
and find something good.

when the student who yells down the hallway
about her latest sexcapade
screams at you for looking at her across the room
and refuses to follow directions
to smile at her
tell her what a fantastic person she is
and hope that she will find her way.

when the smelly kid
is constantly raising his hand
and emitting a blue fog
from the shirt that hasn't been washed in a week
to find it within yourself to keep going over
lean over the desk
and help with yet another math problem.

the thing is
my job is to work with this population
but i see the looks
from the other students
i watch as they move just a few inches more away
or roll their eyes when the student passes by
or walk right by without even realizing that a person is standing there.

and i remember being that age
and doing those same things.

i have even come to the realization
that even today
i roll my eyes when certain co-workers approach my room
i cringe at the sound of another's voice
i beat my head in frustration when i have to hear
the same complaints
from the same people
and sometimes
i lose track of my filter.

even now
being nice...

but now
more than ever
it is crucial that i polish this skill
and practice courtesy
and graciousness.

sweet girl
know this:

the things in life that are the hardest to perform
yield results that far exceed the easy things in life.

being nice...
but if you succeed
you will leave two someones in far better shape
than you found them.

nice hands.
nice words.
nice feet.
to everyone
all of the time.

all my love, sweet girl.
go well.

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