Tomorrow many of my friends will be sitting in the great outdoors waiting patiently for an unsuspecting deer to come close enough that they can shoot it. I must say I am a little jealous. I used to hunt myself but when I started working in the newspaper industry I was too busy to get out into the woods much. I hunted a couple of times during my newspaper years but never with any success. I have often thought that I should get back in the woods but just have never found the time to do so. I loved being in nature, having time to meditate and think as I enjoyed all that God had to offer through his wilderness. Maybe next year I will get back out there but until then I wish the best of luck to all the hunters and be safe.
On another note, we often go through life doing things that we love and a lot of the time we don't know if we are having an impact or not. So when we get some validation that our hard work is paying dividends it really is rewarding. One of the things that I have always loved about coaching and now teaching, is hearing players or parents say that I have had a positive influence on them or their child. It makes the long hours and hard work and sacrifices that I and my family have made worth it. That may sound a little selfish or egotistical but I think we all like to get that "stamp of approval" from others. I had one such incident tonight. It actually caught me off guard a little. I ran into a parent of one of my students and struck up a conversation with them. As we were talking about how their child was doing in school and how much I enjoyed having her in class the mother of my student says "she loves having you for a teacher." She went on to say that her daughter, in past years hasn't always been excited about going to school but this year she wants to go to school. I have to admit, it made my day. Today was a bit of a rough day at school. A few of my students just didn't want to follow directions and work together in groups and were really making the day a not so pleasant one. We plugged away and got through the day, but it was exhausting. Then, in the parking lot of a gas station, in a small moment of time, my day was redeemed by one mother's story of her child's desire to come to school every day. What a rush that story gave me. It makes me almost wish we had school tomorrow. But, I will take the day off.
I am excited for my day off tomorrow, though I am going to be pretty busy. My day will probably start in my classroom (I can get a lot of work done in an hour or two when I don't have any kids) before heading to Pinckney for a Turkey Bowl wrap-up meeting. I will get a "small dose" of my friends and then I will head back to Lansing/Okemos area to do some shopping for a couple of cool little buds of mine. Then on to their birthday party. Leo and Shaun are two special kids. They were foster kids of ours for almost a year and a half. Their mom has been great about keeping us involved in their lives since they went back home and I am forever grateful to her for it. It is awesome to see how those two boys have grown and matured since they lived with us. It is a true success story of foster care.
So, despite the fact that I feel like crap tonight with this head cold, I am feeling extremely blessed. I have a great job in a good school, with an awesome group of coworkers, and 19 wonderful students. I have an amazing family and the best extended family through all of the foster care connections we have made. I am loving life and it's only 4 days till basketball season! God is good!!