Building Bravery

Sam had both arms wrapped tightly around his mother as she opened the door on his first day of preschool.  He took a quick peek at the classroom before seeking refuge behind her again.  Sam knew his mom was going to leave.  She’d been telling him for weeks how much fun he would have at…

My Lap

Tonight my daughter crawled into my lap.  I could tell something was bothering her, but I’d learned that prying often led to her withdrawing like a turtle deep into a protective shell where I could not reach her.  But tonight when the house was silent and dark she crawled into my lap. She is nineteen…

Jar of Stones

I remember hearing a story about a monkey who came across a glass jar full of colorful stones.  Being a curious monkey she reached in to take some.  With her hand inside the jar she realized she wanted more than one stone so she filled her fingers with all she could hold.  When she tried…

Outsmarting a Preschooler

One might think it would be easy to stay one step ahead of preschoolers.  But don’t let their age fool you.  It can take a lot of work to not be outsmarted by this wily and creative bunch. One morning Silas was having a difficult time keeping his body in his own space during circle…

Waiting for the Grown Ups

I rarely question the value of teaching.  It’s something I have devoted my life to.  Teaching hasn’t made me rich, because our society values money over kindness and power over people.  I know this.  I had merely forgotten.  I guess I should be thankful I have been reminded. If you are happy with this past…

These Hands

These hands with veins like aged snakes and wrinkles gray are getting old But once these hands were small and smooth and held a father’s hand. These hands have blocked the blows of man and faith that tried to confine. But the vastness in these hands cannot be caged. These hands have let go until…

I See You

“Mom, come watch this video that’s going viral,” my daughter said.  I watched the video of Chris Ulmer, an enthusiastic teacher, speaking directly to each student in his class.  He had the youthful energy of a teacher still fresh with the notion that teachers can change lives. “You are funny.”  “You are an amazing student,”…

My Proper Raincoat

My raincoat makes a swishing sound when sliding it over my arms and onto my shoulders.  Each time I put it on some part of me whispers, “Thank you.” I have lived in rainy Washington over thirty years and this is my first proper raincoat.  I’ve had second hand, make-do coats faded in color.   I’ve…