For the last few days Drew has been asking me if we could go shopping on Black Friday. I have been putting him off, knowing that it is really the last thing I want to be doing on my day off. The crowds, the parking – I just didn’t want to deal with it. I blame the media! All the build up to this “big day of sales and bargains” is all they are talking about and it is enticing him and luring him in!
Last night he begged me and I caved. How many more days is my nearly 13 year old going to want to go out and spend the whole day with just me?!!? The deal was, he would let me go to an exercise class this morning and we would leave mid-morning. No waking up early for any door buster sales for us although Drew told me when he gets his driver’s license he plans on doing that “just once.”
He had saved up some of his own money and we gave him some that he’d have to budget himself for all of the people he wanted to buy for. We started at Best Buy where not only did we get the FIRST parking spot in front of the store, but he found his first deal of the day for his cousin.
Target, right next door was our next stop and Drew found his new favorite words, “CLEARANCE” and “BARGAIN” A boy after my own heart! Following in my footsteps I told him. I am a bargain shopper and it thrills and exhilarates me to get a good deal. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and I think I have passed some of that along to Drew. I was so proud 🙂 I think he wound up getting four or five gifts there and still had money left over for our trip to Bob’s. He had ideas in his head which always helps when holiday shopping. Somehow, he even wound up buying my gift and I never saw what it was – he’s as sneaky and crafty as I am when it comes to shopping with the person I am buying for!
He is wrapping them all right now. He is so ahead of the game! He is already talking about going out again for another day of shopping for his last few gifts. I will relish these days while I can get them. Who knows how many more of them he will want to give me!
One of the benefits of being a teacher and living in the town that I teach in, is that I get to bump into my students and their families quite often around town. My own family laughs because we can rarely go anywhere without seeing someone I know. Being a Kindergarten teacher is a blessing in itself. The joy that these 5 and 6 year olds find in the simplest things, brings a smile to my face on a daily basis. Children teach us how care for the small things, love unconditionally and to simply laugh.
In the weekly journal writing class that I have been taking we have been focusing on vulnerability. The definition of vulnerable is “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally” Many people might think that children are vulnerable, but perhaps the people who really are vulnerable are adults. Children laugh, care and love unconditionally. They are giving, compassionate and empathetic. They are tolerant and unbiased. They want to love and they want to be loved. Simple. Maybe this is why being a Kindergarten Teacher is “my calling”. They all just want to be friends!
Being vulnerable is not a bad thing. After talking and journal writing about it for a few days now, I think it is part of a growing process. Vulnerability is necessary to grow and move on. It is a process of change and learning to accept that you can move forward. I am secure in the way my life is right now….but now that my mom has passed, that life is going to be different. I am vulnerable. I have to learn to live without her. I can’t just call her like I want to tonight, to ask her for her corned beef and cabbage recipe that I will be preparing for 20 people tomorrow. I have to rely on other ways and open myself to new possibilities and opportunities. It will taste just fine. It may not be her recipe, but it will be as close to it as I can get it to be, and perhaps be a new tradition for our family.
That brings me back to teaching in town…
Today, while I was at Target, buying all of the ingredients I needed for tomorrow’s meal, at the exact same time, three of my students and their parents and I all wound up in the same part of the store. I got hugs and enormous smiles and in return, I was able to give them one of the biggest, most genuine smiles I have been able to give all week. When one of them told me, “I missed you! Where were you”? I told them, “My mom was sick”. One of them just smiled and said, “She needed you to take care of her right?” My eyes filled with tears and I was able to reply, “Yes. That is exactly what I was doing”. Perhaps I am breaking through my vulnerability and it is my Kindergarteners who will help me to get there.