Conversations on Education // 8


I have lived my life rather focused on output and work and doing well at all that I endeavor.  This in and of itself is OK and even respectable. I get things done. However, as a result, I have often been unaware of my surroundings, and the beauty of singular moments. This was well represented to me at a recent teacher's in-service day where we as a group of ten teachers were required to move around from classroom to classroom to perform specific learning activities relative to new educational protocols.  At the end of this exercise we were to return to classroom five which some of the teachers in my group had affectionately called the monkey room. This did not register with me.

When I inquired why they had dubbed this room the "monkey room", they thought I was kidding.  Upon returning to the room, there were monkeys everywhere: in pictures, hanging from the ceiling as stuffed animals, on the bulletin boards etc. Need I say more? I missed an incredibly strong visual as a result of being so riveted on the task. In this situation, no harm, no foul.

My oldest son Chad came to me at the age of four and said, "I can read this book Mom".  We were at a skin specialist for dry skin on his elbows and knees. It was his first encounter with the book. He read it orally; with wonderful enunciation and flow. How had this happened without me knowing it? On another occasion he came to me at age five and presented me with a perfect cube made out of a piece of paper. I'm not a mathematician but this seemed unusual. In both cases I cheered and praised him for these accomplishments. I was, however, unaware of the process he had taken to get there. I recognized his mental acuity at a very, very young age, however I cannot say for sure if I was aware of his processing.  

Since that day, I have had a couple of illnesses: a brain tumor in 2001 and a large cancerous tumor in my right leg in 2009.  Chad, the same boy and 23 at the time of this incident, came with me to many of my appointments for the 2009 situation. We had met with the doctor to hear the verdict and the procedures of chemo, radiation and surgery.  We listened carefully, then he and I walked back to his truck and he opened my door for me. He stopped me before getting into the truck to take me by the hands and said, "I wasn't there for you for the brain tumor Mom, but I am here for you now.  Tears were coming from his eyes and an indelible mark registered on my heart. That was "My Moment" and it transformed my cancer journey. I knew I would make it. There were other moments with my other children that had the same impact but this is an example of when I finally caught the sincerity and revolutionary nature of one moment. 

As teachers, I truly believe every day has a moment that transforms. Some days may have many. We may be aware of their power, or blissfully unaware.  However, life is simply moments followed by moments that we partner in.  They may be indelible like my moment with my son or they may simply point a child in a right direction for that day. Whatever they are, one thing is for sure, they have incredible power.  Today's a great day to look at  each moment as an opportunity and to listen carefully to your intuitive nature. Thank goodness, "Every Day Has a Moment"!

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