Skip to main content

Just Before the New Year



It is about four hours from the New Year and I am sitting with my son playing video games (Star Wars). We just bought it today, on sale at Gamestop while we out purchasing yet another gift for someone. This always seems to happen, does it not? You're in the store for one thing, and you walk out with something entirely different, or in addition to? It does to me, anyhow.

It occurred to me that the reason I walked out with this game, however, was because the night before we attended the Harlem Globetrotters basketball game at the Allstate Arena. My eight year old son brought along a friend, and on the drive there, I heard the two of them discussing what they each got for Christmas this year. I found myself feeling bad for my son, who had to sit there and endure a lengthy list of toys and electronics his friend had been "lucky enough" to receive. I sat there thinking about the kid's parents, who would most likely be paying for this Christmas extravaganza until next Christmas. And then I heard my son speak up.

He went through his much shorter list.
And he was happy.
He did not brag, did not sound unhappy that he couldn't match his friend's list.
He was happy, and still I found myself searching for a game that he would like - unconsciously, or so it seemed, attempting to make up for the fact that my son did not have everything that his friend did.

We teach our children that it is not material items that count. It is family. We teach them this by showing them. We show them by making every moment count, by spending quality time together, by making sure they know we love them. NOT by giving them every little thing they want (although I fail in this area today), but by being there for them when it counts - every day.

One of my goals for 2009: Show people, every day, that I care by being in the moment. More on the importance of being in the moment in a blog posting coming in '09!! Happy New Year.

Popular posts from this blog

Finally!

I am visited by two former Seniors on a recent Friday in early June.  They have been out of school for only a short time, having graduated three weeks prior.  We stay in touch because, well, that's one of the main reasons I am in this profession - to make a lasting difference in the lives of students.  But it's not only the students; it's their families as well.  I attend their graduation parties, keep up to date on their life happenings, I even recently attended the wedding and reception of one of my former students whom I had taught when he was in the 6th grade.  He's now 28.  
But this is what is required of this job.  We are in the business of making lasting impressions.  For anyone who doesn't believe this to be true, and that your only job as an educator is to impart knowledge and provide kids with information that they could just as easily find online, you are sorely mistaken.  I could easily insert here all of the research that proves, beyond the shadow of…

Parenting and the Principal

Very REAL Life, Part I

I need to tell you about my life as principal.
Particularly from the standpoint of this life as husband, dad and foster/adoptive parent.
And the daughter I have who is sitting in prison.

It is the winter of 2009.  I had just been accepted into the Doctoral program at National Louis University, and was heading to an informational meeting about the program when my wife called.  I was pulling into the high school where our cohort would be spending a lot of class hours together over the next few years, excited about this journey my family had agreed was the best time for me to embark upon, even more ecstatic to be the first in my family to achieve this prestigious degree.

We didn't realize the road I was about to travel was actually riddled with potholes, detours, wrong turns, and dead ends.

My wife can barely speak.
It seems like a lifetime, though it is actually 10 minutes on the phone with her,
trying to calm her down,
sitting in my Volvo with the engine turn…

Real Writers. Real Writing. Real Voices

Same 7th grade classroom.
Different group of students.   It is a warm afternoon and the fans are on.   I think back to my days as a 7th grader.   My teacher's name was Mrs. Zurn.   She passed away in the mid-90's and I remember her clearly for her loud voice;  Her booming voice and I remember her because she used to make us write.
A lot.

And it was always about the things that she wanted us to write about, never about the things that I CARED about like music and motorcycles and the ATV's that I spent my weekends on, flying through the cornfields and woods that I lived next door to.  Or my parent's divorce and my dad moving to California and how much I missed him.  We couldn't write about that stuff. 
Instead we wrote about St. Thomas and our favorite lunch, and if we could be anything when we grew up what would it be, and Mother Theresa and what our favorite color was and why, and writing a letter to Pope John Paul II.  I went to a Catholic school.  You can probab…