Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sports Mom

I have been sitting my at a lot of games this weekend. My daughter is playing basketball and softball right now. She loves playing ball. Athletics is her "thing" and this is where she shines. Even though we are constantly on the move, I love watching her compete. Sports were a big part of my life, too. I totally understand how she feels when your team hits a last second shot or you throw a pitch for a called third strike. Being in the spectator seat is new for me, though. The roller coaster of emotions you experience as a parent is even more incredible than playing in the game. It is so exhilarating to see Peyton, my oldest, make a great play. I love watching her aggressiveness and competitiveness. She is so strong and aware in the game, that I am overflowing with pride as I cheer her and her team on. However, that high of emotions can shift so quickly when she makes a bad play or throws the ball away. I feel every little bit of pressure resting on her shoulders, as she gets put on the mound to face a batter with 2 outs and bases loaded. She has to dig deep, focus and put it altogether in front of a crowd at the most crucial point of a game. I feel her pain as I wipe the tears from a loss and share a hug in celebration of a win. I guess what I didn't expect as a parent, was how you could want something twice as much for your child as you ever did for yourself. I didn't anticipate the feeling of not being able to "help" your child during a game, knowing they have to "fly" on their own, even if they fall down a few times first. Finally, I didn't realize the amazing amount of pride you feel in your child's accomplishments. What a bond I get to make with Peyton by being her biggest fan.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I need to say, "I love you..."

I need to say, "I love you..."

I love the way you make me smile.
You know what gets me and how to make me laugh.
I love the way you look at your kids.
You can dry their tears and create giggles with ease.
I love your drive and confidence.
Your kind heart and compassion are so admired.
I love how we share our home, interests, family, life.
You support me, love me and push me to be a better person.
I love how you make our crazy life calm.
You are my partner, confidant and cheerleader.
I love that we can play, laugh and love with all our hearts...
and us feels so good.

Monday, March 7, 2016

"It's okay, now."

This is  story that I have told out loud a few times, only to family, mostly.  Tonight, though I think it is time that I write it down.  It's an important enough story to share it and even more importantly to not forget it.  I lost my Grandma three years ago in February.  We were always extremely close, even from that time I was a very little girl.  We had so much in common.  I resembled my Grandma B more than my own sister or either one of my parents.  I was artistic like her, and just a little disorganized like her.  I had thin, fine hair like her and loved being around kids and babies like her.  Growing up, I loved to bake cookies with her.  She would always let us lick the bowl and frost them, no matter how messy it was.  We would make hollyhock dolls and cut out homemade drawn clothes for paper dolls.  Things that adults don't always take time to do.  She knew the importance of creating and imagination.  Even when I was an adult with my own children, we would sit with Grandma at the picnic table in the warm summer afternoon and paint rocks that she had collected.  They transformed into animals, food and flowers.  It was amazing to see the delight on my children's faces, just the same way mine would light up for years when I was around her.

Needless to say, when she passed away, I had a very hard time accepting it.  Weeks went by and I still could not speak about her without tears streaming down my face or my throat starting to close.  I listened to others in my family share stories and talk about her amazing life, but for some reason, I could just not come to grips with the loss of her.  I couldn't handle knowing that I couldn't call her on the phone, go over for dinner or sit beside her painting and talking about our day.  I just couldn't make myself feel at peace or okay with her loss.

Finally, after a couple of months had passed, one night I had a dream.  A very vivid dream.  Quite often, I don't remember my dreams or they don't make any sense.  Most times, I  people's faces are blurry, or I wake before a dream even ends.  However this particular night, I had a dream about my Grandma.  We were at her house, at a family gathering.  Everyone was eating lunch in the backyard on a warm summer day.  Everyone was there and so happy.  I saw my Grandma very clearly, her face, her smile and I could hear her voice.  I wondered why no one else was so surprised to see her.  She told me that I was the only one that could see her that day.  She had come back just to see me.  She explained that she had to tell me that she was okay. She was fine and so happy in heaven.  She told me that I didn't need to be worried or be sad for her any more. "It's okay, now, Kimi,  I am fine. You can let go," she told me.

I woke up shortly after that and could recall every second of that dream, or vision.  From that moment forward, something changed.  I felt differently.  Somehow, Grandma or God or both, communicated to me that Grandma B was in heaven, now.  She is okay, and I should be okay, too.  It became clear to me, that Grandma would always be here with me, even if it was different than it was before.  My mind and heart are at peace, and "it's okay, now."

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Treasured thoughts 
and broken words
on weathered pages 
from long ago.
Locked inside a tiny child,
a voice still speaks
child now gone
entrapped in words
for me 
to remember again 
that child
and feel again 
those memories 
to find again myself,
the me, 
nobody knows

Saturday, March 5, 2016

March Madness

Write. Share. Give.
I love the month of March!  There are so many things happening during this month.  I am a huge basketball fan, which means that the NCAA tournament starts shortly after the month begins.  Growing up an MSU Spartan also means that March Madness holds a little extra excitement this time of year.  This might be the year MSU takes it all again!  I love filling out the brackets, trying to anticipate which teams will make runs and who will be the Cinderella teams causing upsets.  My whole extended family enters into a bracket pool together to find out who has the best predictions for how the tournament will pan out.  I always look forward to this time and the "friendly" competition.

March also means reading month for many schools.  I love seeing kids and teachers get excited about reading. With all the busy things that are happening in schools today, it's comforting to think that we can still take a moment or two to celebrate our favorite titles and authors, and even spend a little extra time wrapped up in a great story.  This month reminds us that even with all the expectation in today's data, reading is most importantly meant to be enjoyed.

Finally, March reminds us that Spring is near.  It is always nice after a long Michigan winter, to know that warmer weather is on the horizon.  Every year, a group of my extended family and friends make the trek south to Daytona Beach to spend the week together in the sun and ocean.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate the ending of a great month, than relaxing on the beach with friends and family and a good book during the sun of an 80 degree day, thinking about the basketball game tipping off at 8:00 that night!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A New Writer is Born...

It started with tears.  Her tiny voice crying, "I don't like writing.  I don't want to write!".  Molding a young, new writer into a motivated, excited author is no small task, but is something that elementary teachers do every day.  This week, I was able to see this transformation once again.  In my 16 years of teaching elementary students, it has happened many times.  It is never easy, but it is always just as rewarding.  You have to take your time.  Listening and asking questions to a new writer is essential.  As we all know, "Writing begins on a sea of talk."  Once the stories begin, allowing that young new writer to share them with you is so important in winning them over.  Once a new writer feels comfortable sharing, confidence begins to build and details, voice and author's craft begin to weave themselves onto the page.  You see, like beginners at anything, writers only grow when they believe they can do it.  Be their biggest fan, encourage every little step and take your authors are born every day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tiny Fingers

Post 2: Tiny Fingers 

As I grab 
onto these tiny fingers,
one at a time
to steady all their little wiggles,
my mind wanders to 
a time, a place
far off into the future.
I wonder...
where will these fingers be,
what will they be touching,
who will they become?
Their potential
is awesome,
their path just beginning.
As much as I want to hold onto
these tiny fingers forever...
I know that one day 
they will accomplish