Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Snuggle Me!

Our children never slept in our bed with us when they were little. When we brought our newborn baby home from the hospital, we set up one of those cradles for her to sleep in between us. Within a few hours we both knew we'd never sleep well with her between us. Occasionally, on vacation or if one of our kiddos was sick, we would have them in our bed, but it never seemed to be conducive to actually sleeping. When I was a child though, there was nowhere safer than in between my parents in their bed. I wondered if my children would never feel that way, and then this summer something changed.

When my mother in law fell ill, my husband went down to San Diego to be with her. What started as a night here and there, turned into weeks and months of him out of town. Naturally, we all missed him. Within a few days my son asked if he could sleep in "daddy's spot".  Now he knows that when my husband is out of town, he gets to be the man of the house. Soon after he bunked with me, my daughter started a new tradition of setting her alarm a few minutes early so she could cuddle in the morning next to me. This has been a win-win for all of us. I absolutely love having them next to me when I wake up. It is something I am so grateful for these days, and I know it is fleeting.

Last week we went on the middle school tour, so we could get a sense of what next year will be like. I really don't understand how time seems to be flying by so fast that my baby is about to go to middle school. I definitely don't understand how I'm old enough to have a middle schooler, but regardless, the time is coming. With that, comes her moodiness, independence and a maturity that may have her choosing to stay in her own bed for those precious extra minutes next year. I hope I'm wrong, but in case I am, I am treasuring these snuggles.

In the middle of the night, my son will sometimes say "Mommy, snuggle me." I draw him close and kiss the top of his head. If he is cold he will hug me and no matter what, I'll never be the one to let go first. Even if he falls asleep on top of my arm, it's worth it. It is a pretty magical way to wake up in the morning, with my two children on either side of me. I breath them in, cuddle them close and take a moment before having to dreadfully get out of bed.

When my mother-in-law passed away, she took her last breath with all four of her children and her husband right next to her. I am not sure what she was thinking in that moment, but I know that she was in heaven just having them all next to her. Our experiences keep challenging and changing us. It can feel like a whirlwind, so when I can slow it down and hold my family close, I do. My prayer is that the last feeling of love for my mother-in-law lasts forever. Little by little our family is finding it's new normal and when all four of us get to snuggle together, everything feels right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
-- George Bernard Shaw

If there is one area that needs much improvement in adult day to day interactions, it is communication. For any organization to work effectively, communication is key. Not everyone has to be on the same page, but everyone should at least know what page they are on. I have recently experienced the negative side effects of lack of communication in an organization, and it can be quite a bumpy ride when the truth falls off the tracks.

The larger the group of people the more easily misinformation spreads. Negativity is the first thing I notice. People feel in the dark so it's concerning. No one likes feeling out of the loop and it results in fearful thinking. That uneasy feeling breeds doubt and negative feelings towards their environment and it becomes and unhappy place to be. 
The second thing I notice is rumors. People don't get enough information they begin asking around, and if what they find out isn't enough they began to speculate. Those speculations are heard by someone as fact, and rumors begin. The longer the facts are withheld the more rumors start flying. 

The last thing I have noticed is a lack of productivity. No one feels inspired, driven or creative when they don't feel part of the group. If one doesn't know what is going on how can they step up and have any voice at all? There is no point in voicing up with half the facts. No one wants to ask questions about things they aren't sure of. Sure we were all taught in school there are no stupid questions, but that doesn't mean you won't feel stupid asking.

As this school year sets in, I reflect on what goes right for the parents, teachers, principal and students. There is a lot of good. There is so much I would not change, but communication is not one of those things. There are so many layers of leadership that go into making a school. There is so much that should remain behind closed doors until the door is meant to be opened. There are also so many whispers that get sent through the halls before the good intentions can even stand a chance of keeping up.
While my first hope is transparency whenever possible, my second hope is that people give others the benefit of the doubt. Think the best of people, and before you get upset try to imagine that leaders have the schools best interest at heart. Being an administrator, teacher, school counselor, or principal is not an easy job. There are so many pieces to the puzzle. Please try not to fill an open space just to make up a resolution. The answers will come. They always do, and most of the time it all works out in the end.