In: President's Post

3 Sep 2013

This time of year causes us to reflect on life and be thankful for our blessings.

shelliI’ve started and stopped this article what seems like a million times, I’ve even deleted what I wrote a few more times. This time, I will finish it no matter what. I don’t know why it’s been so difficult. It’s a new year of sorts, at least for teachers and students. I guess I wanted to be inspirational and encouraging. I consider my monthly article as my blog! I’m sure you wish I wouldn’t.

So, what to write? I thought about writing about twins or education OR twins and education, but came up with nothing! It’s been a tough, yet at the same time, a joyful month. I guess you could call it bittersweet.

My sense of melancholy began about two months ago when a high school friend who has been battling cancer learned that there is no more the doctors can do. He’s dying. He’s been given less than a year to live. Yet, he is planning to live these last months with a vengeance. His strength is amazing. He’s started writing a daily blog called Terminal Velocity, and it is powerful. Some days it is so raw that I have to stop reading. Other days it is so funny that I almost pee my pants from laughing. And I wonder, would I have his strength? Could I keep my sense of humor? I wonder…

Bittersweet, yep, that is what August has been.

My dad was airlifted to Wichita, Kansas, at the end of July due to what we thought was a heart attack. Thankfully, it was not, but he did have to have a stent. Aging isn’t for sissies, and my dad is certainly proof of that. As I watch my parents and my friends’ parents age, I realize I am not ready for this. I need for time to slow down. Then there are my children who really aren’t children at all anymore! I can’t believe my “baby” is about to be married! Twin A is moving around New York City like a gypsy. He’s got a suitcase, a backpack and an I-Pad as he moves from place to place…what guts! My daughter just bought her first house, all by herself. And once again, quietness has taken over my home. Don’t get me wrong, I love the peace. It’s bittersweet…

School has started! The building is full of laughter, love and learning. I loved being at the high school level because I love teenagers and all of their craziness, but in elementary it is pure joy watching all of the little ones eyes light up as they meet their teachers for the first time. The curiosity of a kindergartner is unmatched! I’ve talked to many parents this week, listened to their concerns regarding their child’s development, learning and survival. I’ve stocked up on Kleenex because in my school world we use a lot of it! Sometimes my parents are so angry, we cry, others are sad and we cry. Lots of times we are celebrating the simple joy of a new word…and we cry. There are mountains to climb, but first we have to go through the grief process. Once the parents make it to the acceptance part of the grief cycle we begin…bittersweet.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends lately. I have friends of all ages, which is such a blessing. One of my youngest friends potty trained himself last week, and he couldn’t wait to tell me. We celebrated with donuts! One of my former students had her first child on Sunday. Holding that precious baby was priceless. Another friend called crying. She’d had a fight with her boyfriend. It was sad and emotional until we were both in tears laughing at ourselves. For heaven’s sakes, we are both over 50 and we were acting like we’d just had our first breakup! Life cycles…bittersweet.

“Producing or expressing a mixture of pleasure and pain.” (bit·ter·sweet)

In simpler terms…Life.

More than doubly blessed,

Shelli Jones
AAMOM President

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