Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tomorrow is a big day!
Tomorrow is my daughter's surgery. I talked to her last night and she sounded a little anxious. On one hand she knows what to expect and on the other hand "She Knows WHAT to Expect". She is having a good-bye party with her kindergarten class today. She is so sad about missing the last month of school with them because as she has said several times, "This is the best class I've ever had." Hmmmmm seems I heard that last year, the year before and the year before that. I see a pattern here!
I was thinking on my way to work this morning that Julie will now have spent 3 years teaching from a wheelchair. Her first year as a teacher she broke her foot so bad that the bone wouldn't heal and so she was in a wheelchair almost the entire year. She had to wear a bone stimulating device most of the time which required her to be in the chair. Julie isn't very big herself so she got a child's wheelchair to use and that put her more eye-to-eye with her 4 and 5 year olds. Her classroom was in a portable building outside the main school building and because it had stairs going to the door she would have to get out of her chair and crawl up the steps dragging her chair behind her. The school was not very accomodating I might add. I told her at the end of the year that if she could survive that first year she could survive anything.
I remember one day she decided to take her little ones on a field trip. They walked from school about 2 blocks to the downtown children's theater. On the way she allowed two of her little boys to push her in her chair. Well, the enthusiastic duo got carried away and began running. Julie said her hair was flying back like a dog in a car window as they ran full speed down the sidewalk with the rest of her class running to catch up. Julie was screaming and the boys were laughing and I'm sure they were quite the sight. I later heard about the caravan from a friend who caught me at the grocery store and said, "I think I saw your daughter this afternoon."
If I were five I know Julie would be the kindergarten teacher I would want. She has more energy in her toe than a room full of 5 year-olds. Her imagination is off the chart and she is the world's greatest story teller, next to her grandpa. What I admire most is her heart...she truly loves each and everyone of her students and has a special connection to the children with challenges. Having a learning disability and having had to work so hard to compensate for her dyslexia she has a natural empathy for children with disabilities. Although she identifies with their struggles she gently pushes them to keep trying and applauds their successes with gusto. I think she also gives parents that reassurance that with a lot of support their children CAN succeed.
I could write a book about how I admire my lovely daughter. She is the funniest person in our family and the most stubborn. When she gets something in her head she will not rest until she has either done it or talked someone else into doing it. She never gives up! That determination has carried her farther than anyone ever thought possible. I cannot imagine my life without her and I thank God every day for my surprise baby. I may not have known she was sharing a womb with her sister for 9 months but believe me she has made her presence known every day since.