The Teacher Called Again, shared from The Dallas Moms Blog

Today I visited the science teacher.  Not long ago it was the reading teacher, and one time this year it was a called conference of what appeared to be the entire 6th grade staff, including the lovely, and well dressed Principal. 

And I have to decide before each meeting how I want it to go. 

.......Read more on Dallas Moms Blog here....

Some things are worth getting up for

I have a long history of falling.  Once when I was little I fell off a curb into a mud puddle in the parking lot of a restaurant.  When my mom took me inside to clean me up, the restaurant man was crazy helpful because he thought I had been run over by a car. 

Then when I was a teenager and wearing some totally cool crop pants, I fell down my driveway and scarred my right knee for life.  I also fell out of my car in the Tom Thumb parking lot one time when I got tangled in the seat belt. 

At work I've fallen off steps, slipped on the deck of a pool, and had a giant metal basketball backboard and pole fall off the wall, pinning me, breaking my tailbone and forever altering the course of a disc in my lower back.  I also had a near death experience in the Texas heat teaching my 4th class of the day in the bright summer sunshine while everyone in the pool watched and waited to see if I might fall in.   

Then there was that time that I tripped going up the stairs on stage at an elementary school awards ceremony.  Not once, but twice right there in a row.  And sadly, I wasn't the one in elementary school, but a parent with a captive audience.  

And I fell teaching a class yesterday morning.  The good news is that I was fine.  Mad -  but fine.  Because this time wasn't even close to being my fault, but a slip and fall on something slick on the fitness floor.  It was like an invisible ice patch and I went skating .... which reminds me of the gillion times I've slipped in my own kitchen after the boys left water on the floor in a devious plot against me.  

So yesterday after class I marched downstairs to complain and tell my manager that I could've totally broken my hip and he'd have to live with that the rest of his life....  my exact words, I believe being, WHAT. THE. H.E. DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK is going on up there ?   

Anyway, people were sweet and worried and mostly shocked that I get paid to dance for a living.  But as I told every one of them, If you only knew how many times I've almost killed myself in this job, you wouldn't worry about this one at all.  So let's salsa.  

Y'all, it seems most of my fallings and failings have audiences.  And in the stage of life where I live right now, what I envision as failings as a parent scream to the world that I wasn't paying attention that day in mom school.  

I probably napped when I should've been guiding and leading - or taking them to baby ballet.  Maybe I did too much for my kids.  Maybe I did too little.  Maybe I forgot to teach them that the value of their words are like mirrors of their own value.  And their own values. 

Anyway, I didn't really know what to expect about parenting teens.  Though the topic ranked right up there in my top 5 greatest fears.  And I think the biggest problem I have with the whole thing is the loss of control.  And the loss of time to make any further impact on their choices make me doubt all the years leading to this.  

Did I  ___________?  
Didn't I ___________?  
Should we have___________?  
I thought we ___________.... 

Lots and lots of conversations going on like that between me and Fireman Dave lately.  (And here is where I make a public plea to my man to never ever leave me...... because I can't raise these monsters boys on my own.  He promises that they'll have to kill us both to get rid of us.  And y'all, those are the sweetest words I've ever heard.)

This past week I learned a bit about the behind the scenes life of teens.  The phones, the slang, the need for me to Urban Dictionary search anything and everything to have a clue about what's going on. It's the new girlfriend and the growing up too fast - and the pressure to be like other people, though inside somewhere I think they know there's pride in being different. 

But for a couple of days this week I completely lost heart in all that I've invested over the last 15 years.  I got sad and mad and disappointed.  And for about 2 seconds I gave up and decided to let it all work itself out - faith in God and all.  But then I remembered the story of the man stuck on his roof in a flood and how he kept praying for God to help him.  And though boat after boat came along to rescue him, he sent them away, still waiting on God....  See the irony in that story?  I don't want to get stuck on the roof in Teenager-ville and finding that what I thought was faith was just ignorance.  

So I got out of my funk and made some calls, had a heart to heart talk with a key player that placed me right in the center of the activities and the mind of the teen in question.  And I'm contacting important players, parents, and other adults in this game of raising my kids.  

And I got up from, well .... down.

And I decided that I love these boys bigger than this world and so much bigger than this bad reality TV episode of Teenage Angels, Pirates and Thieves.  And I decided that they're worth everything I have to do to grow them into good men.  And for now anyway, at this writing, I'm up for the challenge.  Then a long vacation filled with naps and tanned, shirtless men bringing me drinks by a pool.  

Maybe that slip and fall at work yesterday was what I needed to remind me that we all fall.  And that we all fail.  I definitely do.  But that some things are worth getting up for.  I happen to crazy love what I do, injuries and ice packs aside.  I've fallen before, and I know I will again - but I plan to get back up and start again every time.  Because that's where the love comes in.  

Just like being a mom.     

post script... and here are some wonderful things the boys did, ....

Kid 1 got up early on his day off school to take a trip with his high school jazz band to a local Head Start preschool - where about 100 kids celebrated The Week of the Child and loved to hear how talented these big kids are. There's Kid 1, front row, far left.  Guitar player extraordinaire.  

Kid 2 made this mom proud when another mom told me how her son considers my kiddo to be a "stand up guy".  I love that.  And y'all, I am open to receive compliments about me or my children 24/7.

And Kid 3 - bless him, is a friend to all.  He's been the assigned big kid watching over our little next door neighbor a few times lately and he takes his job very seriously.  Proud of him for always being such a sweet friend.  I see the hand of God at work in this kid every day.     

It's the little things that add up to the big. 

I know my kids could be doing worse things

I know my kids could be doing worse things.  Like drugs.  Or robbing banks or killing people.  But I also tell myself that when people do bad things they could end up in jail and at least there they're guaranteed room and board for a while.  Lord help me as my mind wanders that path.

Right now I have useless boys sitting on the couch eating tortilla chips while every item of clothing they own is thrown on the floor of their room.  They're also failing school.  Parts of it anyway.   Not all of it, hallelujah, or I wouldn't even have the strength to write this post.  They all happen to be extremely successful in the areas of social skills and gym class.  And I like to think that whatever else happens, they can one day use these talents to get a job or marry a wealthy woman.

Kid 1 is now in love.  And he's learning to play some dandy love songs on his guitar.  But with that going on and no more brain space available, he has no time to do his work in geography class.  The class that his favorite coach teaches.  And I, Kristi Walters, give said coach permission to hit Kid 3 really hard on his head in or out of class to knock some sense into him.   I'll be watching and waiting for the transformation.  

Kid 2 has failing grades in two of his classes right now.  One because algebra is just sucky for most of us.  But as I tell him all the time.... lots of things are sucky.  Even some people.  I can name a few.  However, we do what's right because it's the right thing to do.  It's called integrity, boys.  I've preached those exact words for years and if I ever were to get a tattoo, I think I may just spell this out on a giant part of my body so I can still spread my message, but conserve energy.  

Physics has become a battle between Kid 2 and his teacher over missing papers that he claims the teacher lost -  so he refuses to do them over.  It's really a, Watch me fail your class, mean lady teacher and that'll show you who's boss, kind of attitude.  It is a slow and painful death I'm dying here each day.  

And Kid 3.  Sweet Kid 3 has his head stuck into his phone so much watching basketball videos that he can't find the time to do his work.  However, he can't find the time to do his work in school even when there's not a phone for him to watch basketball videos.  His phone, y'all... was meant to be an Intro to Cell Phone Usage... by giving him the free phone that came with the family plan.  But the family plan didn't mention that the phone could suck his face off.  

My next post for the Dallas Moms Blog will be out in late April and it's a play by play of my last visit to Kid 3's teacher.  That happened last week and I made sure to dress fabulously so I would maintain at least some part of my dignity as I heard how my kid may spend the rest of his life unemployed and eating out of trash cans.  

Then there was the incident that has had me scared for days.  And now I hear bumps in the night and imagine scary people in a black Escalade and a red Honda sedan breaking in our house to chase us.  Kid 1 and his buddy, Kid 4, ran into two cars full of guys looking for trouble one night about a week ago.  These guys saw two kids that they could intimidate, and chased them through a church parking lot and down an alley till the boys found a neighbor out in the yard to  help them.  I love neighbors.  

But now I've got scared kids and a nervous me... and I just don't have time for the drama.  I'm too busy trying to turn my boys into decent people to fit in harassment from outside sources.  

Y'all.  I haven't been in much of a positive parenting place for a while now.  And I have two writing posts due this week for other blogs who kinda depend on me and my words to uplift and encourage.  I ran out of all those things weeks ago.     

In the last week I've had two heart to heart conversations with a couple of my kiddos.  One was with Kid 2 about focus, and where we choose to place it.  It was also about that darn phone and his need to post to the world every little thing so he can always have a place on the page. 

I asked him to give each post this quiz... (These questions come from my morning prayers as I drive to work and pray for the day ahead.)  I always make a point to pray for my presence at work, at home, and on the blog.... and it goes something like this:

1.  Does what I am saying add value to someone's day?  Mine or theirs.

2.  Do the words or photos I share show the real me?  The one I am proud for the world to see?

3.  Do my words glorify God in their message?  

And if the answer is no to any of those things.... just say no.  

I had another talk with Kid 1 last night about some things.  How he has strong emotional responses to certain things and events and almost no response to others.  However, right now at the ripe old age of 15, his responses in the big picture of things are backwards.  Things that are small and will only leave a tiny imprint on his life seem so darn huge right now.  And the ones that should matter the most get little more than a passing glance.  Most of the time, a teenage grunt or shoulder shrug.  

And whether I should or not, I find myself looking at my mothering in so many of these things.  I am forever asking myself if I could've done something better or different so that we wouldn't be where we are right now.  But at the same I try to look at my influence on these boys over time, and give thanks for where we are - no matter what the passing circumstance.   

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord.  Psalm 19:14

Y'all... this one just keeps popping into my head about all of this.  And I'm trying really hard to put this into practice.  I guess that means I need to keep my cursing to myself. 

post script... no I will never get a tattoo.  I prefer my adornments to be sparkly and set in white gold.  And that social media lecture to my kid?  I am as guilty as the next guy of posting endless blather about not much of anything.  And I have no idea how I managed to have such a mature conversation when the time came.   And finally, yes... I love these boys and I think I'll keep them... no matter what.  

If I didn't already have a husband

This has been one of those weekends that if I didn't already have a husband to help out with things... I would've put on my best dress and gone out to find one.  Really.  

Fireman Dave ended up taking a sick day to take care of us all around here because I injured myself at work last Thursday.  Or maybe I slept crazy Thursday night, but by Friday morning I knew all was not well.  So I've been pretty much useless around here for three days and have said such things as I need one of those elevated potty chairs and the most often repeated, I can't put on my pants.  Fireman Dave says pants are overrated anyway so I know he's on my side through this.  

Our sweet dog, Rita has been terribly sick again as well and we really worried she might die last night.  She always has certain tummy problems but on this occasion and two others in the past, has gotten something called hemorrhagic-gastroenteritis, an awful illness that makes fluid, protein, and red blood cells seep out of the intestinal wall.  So she became very dehydrated, very tired and weak.  It got so bad that Fireman Dave had to give her an IV during the night to get any sort of fluid in her.  I'm convinced that's what saved her.  And that he's  a miracle worker on many levels. 

About an hour ago my sweet Rita got up and walked around all by herself and the angels rejoiced.  So did we.  That little walk out to the yard exhausted her, though, so she's not quite 100%.  But that seems to be the case for all the Walters women today. 

Now if husband could only work his magic on me, all would be back to life as we know it.  Really, I'm much better today.  Not working tomorrow to make sure I don't have to start the healing process again, but Tuesday will be great. 

I'm thankful today for the help of a man who doesn't mind seeing me in my pajamas for three days straight and doesn't comment negatively when I ask him to slide the heating pad under my backside.    

Good things are everywhere and I can't wait to get up and see some of them.  

Y'all have a good week.
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