Then, there's an elementary principal, Karen, who rides the bus home with her students, praises the bus driver and cares for her kids for another hour on the way home. It's not an expectation from the district; it just the way she serves.
My colleagues in middle school at Union Sixth / Seventh Grade Center have found a way to make a building full of 2200 eleven and twelve year olds small. Moreover, they have found a way to personalize the experience for parents and students. They #believe they can, and I am so thankful.
Over 900 high school students descended upon Central Park at Union tonight for our annual Back to School Bash. Have you ever watched that many kids just play in the mud, on the volleyball court, with a football, dance to the music, slide on a slip-n-slide? Oh my! We collected their phones and shoes in paper sacks and almost every single student said "please" and "thank you" as we served them. A - MAZ - ING.
In the midst of all of this, there were still parents who I had not met who approached me, introduced themselves and offered these words...
"We've been praying for you." Oh my...
A dad, a fireman, sees my face and says, "You're Witcher. You're the mom.... My daughter cheered..." I stuck out my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Lisa. I am sorry we never met before." Then I saw his name on his shirt. Our girls did cheer together. I love being known as Wade's mom and Taylor's mom. Sometimes I wonder why I ever wanted to be anything but their mom.
Can I tell you how many times I cried in the car today because THIS CANNOT BE MY LIFE!? Can I tell you that I still look for Taylor and expect for the phone to ding and see a text from her? Can I tell you that my mind still wonders, "Where is she"? Sometimes, my mind tricks me and I think about her at work at the OU football office or in a class. I think she will call afterwards. Other times, I just want to know where she is. Don't look for logic in this - there is none. It is not until I can come home and settle myself that I can center myself around the joy that I know is in heaven.
As I do that, I reflect upon this community we have in Union and in Tulsa and beyond. Then I can realize how much our lives intersect and how much we belong to each other. Even when I am lost in grief without an honest wish to be found, I am found, and my boys are found in friends' hearts and friends of friends' hearts.
I work with hundreds of professionals who have made it their mission to "pour light into" young people. (Taylor's words). And when they do, it overflows. Rebecka writes tonight about the joy she finds in watching a student recognize his/her own learning. There is simply nothing like it
Thanks for writing Rebecka, for always looking for the good, for reminding me....