The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Today, I have done some thinking about what I am genuinely thankful for. Not the cheesy obvious stuff, but stuff that I don't always stop to think about and appreciate. This was inspired by my amazing son.

Vinny's class did "What I am thankful for" stuff (of course, what preschool doesn't) and most of the kids said the typical "My mom" or "My dad" or "My toys." Guess what Vinny is thankful for?  Vinny is thankful that he can jump.  At first, I laughed. Then I thought about it. How precious is it that my son is just grateful for the ability to use his legs to do something he enjoys, jumping?

Last night, when he was in the bath, he was reflecting on the idea that God made him (a point that they have really been driving home in his Sunday school) and he kept asking me, "Mommy, did God make Grandma? Did God make Papa? Did God make Aunt Tricia? Did God make Aunt Natalie? Did God make Tiana?" and on and on and on. There were a couple of "Did God make snoopy?" in there that I had to clarify, but for the most part, he just wanted to confirm that God was indeed the ultimate creator of us all. (On a side note, to my Christian parent friends, how do you answer this one: "Did God make Santa Claus?"). Anyhow, I ultimately said, "Yes, God made all those people. Aren't you lucky that God made such wonderful people for you to have in your life?" He thought for a minute and said, "Yeah!" So then I took the time to make the point, "Well, that's what Thanksgiving is all about. This week we Thank God for giving us all those wonderful people." My awesome son immediately said, "Yeah!" and then broke into a prayer thanking God for giving him every single on of those people. I am so inspired by him.

So, what am I thankful for. I am thankful that I have an awesome job that is not a job, it is a vocation. I use the word vocation because it is the most direct translation of the idea for having a calling. I am thankful that my job gives me so much time off to spend with my son, even if it does keep me up until all hours of the night grading papers when I am working. I am thankful that God blessed me with a baby that I didn't think I was ready for. I am thankful that having that baby meant being on maternity leave and getting to spend so much time with my son this year. It was so special to be able to do things like go to his Thanksgiving feast at school today. You've never seen a prouder boy. He was so proud to show off his baby sister. I am thankful for an awesome extended family who are like my best friends. I am thankful for a best friend who is like family.

God has been good to me.

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