Something New, Teaching.

Last week I began teaching teenagers in our public school system. I was so scared, still am. At times, I still believe this something new is all going too fast. This something new has affected all facets of my life. My life is changing. Things are different. I am different…softer in my approach or retaliation to others. There is so much training on what not to do that it is easy to lose focus on how we are to be….with children. They are children, little people trying to figure It out too—so many of them without any help.

Teaching is not a role new to me. It was never a desire of mine to teach. My parents told me I was good at it. As teens, we believe parents tell us what we can do because they love us. However, teaching requires a great sense of responsibility and that I did not want. When the thought of teaching Sunday School became more than just a thought I fought against it with so many belittling reasons. I am not good enough. Who am I? Why me? I am not smart enough. The greatest one, if I teach I truly have to live what I am teaching. Lol! Every night of training, I had to push myself to go into class and each night as I was leaving I cried the whole way home. Three years later, the butterflies are still there but the love I have for learning and being able to influence others toward God’s love quietens the fluttering.

When I started this job, every morning as I traveled toward school, I prayed for strength and protection. Every afternoon, while leaving I thanked God for strength and protection. Whew, I made it! While driving home I reflected on each day and I smiled. I wanted more. I am still smiling now. They grabbed my heart. Those children, other people’s kids grabbed my heart. They have given me the greatest hope and that is of finding ways to influence their lives. Yes, they are at times loud, sneaky, disrespectful, and cautious and closed off. Yet, for those few, there are more who just want you to listen, encourage, show concern, and hear them.

Oh these little minions are easy peasy versus warring with God about my personal preferences. Finding my way and living out my life well that is the hard part. Becoming a better person while in a difficult transition requires brutal self-honesty. Learning to love where God has you requires dependency, trust, faith, forgiveness, hope, determination…..and so much more.

My something new reminds me how God loves on purpose. A former colleague and a great female leader emailed me when she knew I was teaching: “Doing something you have passion for is the true key to success!!!” She is right. Be encouraged.

Always be ever expecting in God’s better.

Writer-Mom-Child Advocate-Blogger-Teacher,

~A.Michelle

Monday’s reflection

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Happy Monday!

I had a pretty eventful weekend with family.  Friday night, I shared a wonderful birthday celebration with my cousin, her sisters and longtime family friends. My Autumn went to a late night movie with her friends, (late is 9:15.) I can admit that I am an overprotective mother. To Autumn and Brutus: nope, I am not changing anytime soon. My Brutus was to spend time with his brother Darius at his home.
I don’t go out much but when I do my wardrobe advisors are vicious in their comments…after I have completed dressing: Autumn: “I don’t like those earrings with that outfit.” She finds more and hands them to me. I put them on. Brutus enters my room: “I don’t like those earrings. What is Autumn thinking? Everything else is fine.” He finds another pair and I put them on. As I am leaving and Darius is entering to pick up Brutus, Darius: “You need to go back in and put on some clothes.”  I ignore him. (All of me is covered up as usual. They not gone worry me. I dress them.) Of course, all this makes me late. At times I think they torture me for fun. I want to believe that they have no clue how many times I change clothes and how indecisive I am about my “Me.”  #mytribe
My greatest friends are my siblings, my cousins, my family. Oh how we laugh and cut up. Love is contagious. Goodbyes include, “make sure you text us when you get home.” I am a middle child. There was no outlet or organization I attended where I wasn’t surrounded by family. School, Church, work, shopping, anywhere and everywhere somebody always knew me, whose child I was. I think at times we take for granted what we have, what we are accustomed to yet our environment can become the very foundation of our makeup, our journey.
As I drive towards Charlotte to pick up Bru I think of my journey as a mother. I have been a mother longer than I have been a child, a teen. My oldest is 26, college grad and living in another state. My second born, Darius is 23, on his own and getting ready to be a father. I remember how I didn’t like children, didn’t want children and I laugh. My greatest fear was that I wouldn’t be a good mother.  I was afraid that I would either forget or leave my child somewhere; absent-mindly neglectful. Now, I am to be a grandmother, whew! Still quite unbelievable to me. (I’m smiling)  Of course I get lost trying to find his place….I debate with my GPS because I don’t wanna travel the Interstate. (Don’t try to figure me out.) Yes, I know there is a setting to avoid highways.  At times I have to ask Autumn or Bru how to mute my phone. I pray they don’t send me to a nursing home, which is Damien’s common threat to me.
I finally find his place 30 minutes later. It should have been a 15 minute drive per my GPS. Darius so protectively watches me walk from my car. He tells me I am back early. I tell him they went out for drinks. Him: “You could have went with them and got some of that swing back. Bru is fine.” Of course, Brutus is not ready to leave, so I nosey around; ask questions about the new place. Me: “You check the crime rate before moving over here? You like it? Yall feel safe? You did good Darius. I noticed on the way in the parking lot is full and it is Friday night so that’s a good thing.” We leave. Darius again watches us. I smile as he braves the cold. Brutus is sleep before I pull up to the stop sign.
Damien and Darius grew up the way I did surrounded by family, cousins. They know and understand that generational love. My Autumn and Bru know but will not truly experience the full effect of it.
Summers were fun time. Running through fields, jumping gullies, riding bikes with sheer abandonment. Damien and Darius remember catching frogs and tadpoles; cousins defending them from neighborhood bullies while playing “rough” football. They were tiny. “We can hit him like that, you can’t.” Oh the childhood fights, the protection. Love is contagious.  None of my cousins or sisters went a second go round of having children, LOL! Only me. I’m not sure if I could have done any better as a mother but I know I always did my best for I received the best. They are happy and so am I.
#roots #TillmanTaylor #Waxhaw
Nesting is a huge problem for me and I think it will forever be. My wish is to have a home huge enough for every child of mine and their families to co-exist in one place. I told them they each could have their own wing and each night we could meet at the dinner table. I think it is quite doable. Of course they laugh at me. Family matters, reflecting on life is a joy. Sharing life is an unforgettable constitution. I love Saturday mornings and my favorite day of the weekend is Sunday. Make life count for you and for others.
Soulfully aging,
A. Michelle!