Letters to My Kids

The One with a Few Challenges

I am tired.
I have been busy.
And thus more likely to prefer lounging in my big comfy chair
than on this much less wonderful desk chair.
Oh, how I miss the days I spent with my iBook.
RIP, iBook.
Our time together was sweet.
And much too short lived.
I digress.
After spending my first day on the job in the fifth grade
kindergarten was quite a drastic change.
A lovely change really.
I simply cannot resist the adorable age of five.
And I had “young fives” at that.
The little voices.
The smiles.
The hug requests.
The spontaneous tears.
The snot.
The incessant noise.
The simple forms of discipline.
The excitement.
The love.
All of it, good and not so good, was truly enjoyable.
Someone asked me my favorite part of working with the kindergarteners.
Another asked if there was crying over minuscule mishaps.
There were DEFINITELY tears.
I believe both sets of tears had to do with their “card system”–
they each start on a green card,
then if discipline is needed it moves to yellow,
then orange,
then red.
When they get red they must go to the office.
The same boy who cried when he got a yellow
bawled at the end of the day because he didn’t get to choose a piece of candy
which students received if their cards remained green all day.
My heart broke at the same time I suppressed a giggle.
Oh, to be five again!
I think my favorite part (of my two days of subbing) was that I was being responsible for actually teaching them.
That’s the difference between elementary subbing
and high school subbing like Kevin is doing.
At the older age, most subs are left with homework assignments to pass out and nothing else.
At the younger age, I have the same students for the entire day and the show must go on! :D
It’s frightening but exhilarating at the same time.
Kind of like sky diving.
Or maybe not.
It’s also wonderful to walk down the halls after dismissal and hear little voices
shouting, “Mrs. Eccles!” or “Mrs. E!”
Makes me feel like I spent my time well.
I invested it.
When I arrived home I had already stopped at the library.
After all, we have an official Friday night tradition.
Which I absolutely love.
Homemade pizza and a (library) movie night.
My wonderful Kevin had started the pizza dough for me.
And I picked out three films that had actually been on my “to watch” list.
We chose Ben Button for Friday night.
It was long.
Quite a marathon.
But very intriguing. Very good.
And by 9:50 both of us were exhausted and ready for bed.
Glory.
And we didn’t set alarms!
We “slept in” until almost 8am.
Even though I was awake at 5.
Gosh darn it.
I worked out. We had awesome French Toast.
Then Kevin came with me on our grocery hunt.
I decided to indulge his cravings for Taco Bell
and we spent a long hour there talking and talking.
I enjoyed my cinnamon twists immensely.
I then met Britt in Ann Arbor.
We had a girls day.
Much needed.
Much fun.
We visited the apartment complex she and Nick hope to get into soon.
Which would be great because it’s right near the Sam’s Club we frequent.
Then we found out Jennie and Nich were in the area at their “home away from home”–
the Ronald McDonald House.
Conveniently located right next to the Children’s Hospital.
Where their three babies have been in the NICU for the last 130 days.
For the first time, I was privileged to visit all of them.
Touch their little hands.
Hear their tiny cries.
See pour Landon’s bodies pulse with the ventilator.
Experience for a just moment the life Jennie & Nich have been living for months.
And then watch them as the reality hit them–
they were going to be taking home their first baby that evening!
Brennan is home!
And Brooklyn is just a few days behind.
What a miracle.
I am so thankful for that visit.
Britt and I spent a little more time together and then parted ways.
That evening was another one of relaxation.
I ate some leftover chili and we watched yet another movie.
Cold Mountain this time.
This was also two and one-half hours long.
But oh so entertaining.
There were great one liners in almost every scene.
And it just drew the viewer into the drama.
There was romance.
And war.
And suspense.
Every aspect of a film I enjoy.
(Though I must admit, I was quite shocked at the intimate scene. Eek. too much.)
Tonight proved to be a great time spent with our teens.
Youth group seems to be extending to three hours
now that the entire church is participating in small groups
for discussion of Max Lucado’s Fearless.
Which is totally a great “problem” to have. :)
Our time of honest sharing was great.
I was thrilled to see so many of them listening intently as I shared my own personal experiences with the fear of not mattering (tonight’s topic).
And to hear their answers to the question, “When do you feel significant?”
One girl said she always feels important to Kevin and I.
And that right there was proof that it’s all worth it.
That’s what it’s all about for us.
To love them and make certain they know we care.
So that they may see glimpses of the immense concern our God has for them.
I challenged them to read Psalm 139 this week.
And not just read it but understand it.
And not just understand it but soak in its truth.
To being to know they are exactly as they are.
And I challenge you to do the same.
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