My Very First Website

When I thought seriously about where I wanted to be in a few years as a writer, having a website was one of the things that came to mind. I’d been kicking around the idea of starting one over the last several months, but today I decided to start one. So here’s to not waiting a few years!

 

I am a Teacher

The earliest memories of me playing dress up (other than the countless times I re-lived the Star Wars saga with my siblings….but that’s a whole other story) were of me pretending to be a teacher. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher, and that’s what I became.

In college, I tutored other students who needed help, whether I was paid or not—and I loved it. There is that moment when the concept is finally understood and the lightbulb goes on. No one knows this, but the teachers celebrate just as much as the students do. After graduating with my bachelors in education, it was a no-brainer of what I wanted to do. I pursued the job of homeschooling my children. It’s not high paying—or paying at all, but there is no other job that I’d rather have.

Every morning, I get to wake up and teach three of my favorite people in the universe. We have fun learning about the world around us and how it all works. And we get to do it together, my children forming bonds with each other.

But it is a highly stressful job for me. With each lesson I teach, I wonder if I’m doing it right. Am I teaching enough to my children? Are these lessons aligned with my state’s standards? Even though I follow the plan that my state has provided, there is still that seed of doubt in the back of my mind, Could a public professional do it better than me? I’ve finally realized the answer to that is no. There is no one who has a greater interest in the education and well-being of my children than I do. And because of that, I know that I’ve made the right choice.

There are days where my kids grasp a concept easily and we move onto the next subject. But we also have days where they struggle, and each of us is battling to find a way through the learning process, working hard to achieve the same goal. And it is on those days, the ones traveled through with sweat and tears, that we learn who we are and what we are capable of learning.

I am a teacher, but no one can be a great teacher without also being a student, so that’s why…

I am a Student

Every morning, I get to wake up and learn from my students. Every lesson is an opportunity for me to review not just the material I taught but how I taught it. Did I teach in a way that they could easily grasp the concept being taught? Did I teach according to their learning styles? Some days my thoughts turn in another direction: when they get to college, my kids will have several teachers, all with different teaching styles. So I make sure that I change it up every now and then, teaching them in a new style so they can adapt to learn in many different ways.

Tired yet? I am! I wake up early and fall into bed exhausted each night, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Any other homeschooling parents out there? Please leave your story in the comments! 🙂

I am a Runner

I am a runner. I was born a runner. I hope to die a runner.

It wasn’t until jr. high that I realized how important sports were to me. A random catch of a pop fly in softball changed my life. Since that moment, I’ve been hooked on being active.

Now that my time is no longer my own, and I have the responsibilities of being both an adult and parent, playing sports isn’t something that I get to enjoy very much. But running is.

My favorite time of day is just before dawn, as the sun is getting ready to crest over the foothills in the distance. The soft light of it’s rays make the earth look just out of focus. It’s peaceful, no sound but the birds. The air is crisp and cool, a reprieve from the heat of the day that will inevitably come. This is when I run.

Running has become something essential to my life. There is no better way for me to clear my head or find peace after a harrowing day before. It teaches me to be mindful of myself, knowing how far I can go and how hard I can push before the tank runs dry. Running also forces me to challenge myself, pushing farther than I ever thought possible. But most of all, running allows me to play.

On any given day, you will find me being a wife to my husband, a mom to my three kids and a responsible adult in my community. Rarely do I get to be a kid anymore. But early in the morning, while most of the world is still sleeping, I head to my concrete playground. For those precious thirty minutes, I am not a mom, a wife or a grown up. I am little girl running as fast as my legs will take me, flying over the ground, having the time of my life.

I am a Reader

There is nothing quite like the feeling of walking through a bookstore, my eyes drifting along the spines. When my eyes light on the book I’m searching for, my heart skips a beat, a slight stutter that I would miss entirely if I weren’t paying attention. Carefully, I pull it from the shelf, running my hand lovingly over the cover, feeling for any raised words or textures that have been added. The weight of it gets me wondering if I will finish it in one sitting or if I’ll need to devote a few afternoons. And I’m torn—do I want to read it quickly, turning the pages to figure out how it ends? Or do I want to absorb it, savoring each carefully picked work? Finally, I breathe deeply, taking in the new book smell. I live in this moment and hold onto it as long as I can, knowing that my new book and I can only be introduced once, and that the next time I pick it up, some of the magic will be gone.

Most of us know how to read. We spend the first few years of our school career picking out letters, putting them together, sounding them out until we can form the words. Anyone can read, but not everyone is a reader.

It was my mom and grandparents who taught me how to be a reader. For them, reading was as essential as food and water, sleep and shelter. My mom would read late into the night, head propped up on pillows, her light dim so she wouldn’t keep my dad up. My grandparents showed me that there was no better way to spend a lazy afternoon than curled up on a couch with a good book. It was there that I was introduced to the adventures of the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and later, Agatha Christie.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. My parents took me weekly to the library, where I came home with stacks of books. Each night was spent tucked in bed with a small light, as I read way past my bedtime. Summertime was the best, where I would read all day, devouring one book after another. And it still holds true.

Being a reader is being a part of a community. It doesn’t matter what the book, if I see someone reading on the train, in the waiting room, or outside on their porch, a smile comes to my face. “Ah, another reader,” I think. But it takes one to know one. Even though we were raised in the same house, not all of my siblings became readers. Sure, they can read, but they don’t have that need to read deep down in their core. They don’t understand my shelf of books, the ones that are loved as dearly as old friends and are pulled down when I need a hug. They don’t see worn covers as proof of a good read.

Even though I have so many different roles to fill every day, being a reader helps remind me that I am still me. I still feel that same wonder I did as a kid when I pick up a new book. My heart still breaks when I finish a sad one. Reading is as essential to me as breathing. That’s why I am a reader.