“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
- Mother Teresa
Well our eighteen year old son Tyler graduated from high school last week and I am still in shock! The time goes by so quickly! I feel like I blinked and there he was walking across the stage in his cap and gown. He left the next morning for a father - son trip with my husband and some friends of his to Chicago. It was an incredible time of fun, fellowship and “testosterone filled” male bonding. While they were off on their exciting adventure, it left my daughter Shannon and I home for a fun girl’s weekend. I cannot tell a lie and no offense to my husband and son, but it was absolutely wonderful. School had just wrapped up and Shannon and I slept in, went out for lunch, and dinner, went bowling, went to the mall, took in a chick flick movie (for the second time) and spent some time just chilling and gabbing in the hot tub. A great time for just the two of us to reconnect, laugh, and relax. The end of the school year gets so busy, that it seemed some quality time was truly long overdue. I am blessed to have two wonderful kids who have both grown up into two amazing human beings in spite of my ups and downs as their mom along the way! I am extremely proud of them both and I do really enjoy their company.
What I do really treasure as mentioned is that exceptional occasion where I can spend time with each alone. This is where I can truly focus on only that child and have more meaningful interactions. This is where the most meaningful dialogue takes place. My husband and I both try to make a conscious effort to spend time with each individually to strengthen our relationships. I remember especially when they were little how nice this would be. To have two little ones to take everywhere could get very complicated, but it was amazing how much easier and enjoyable it seemed to just have one with me some days. I feel very blessed that my kids feel they can talk to me about what is on their hearts and they will let me know when they need to talk. My husband and I find it funny that it is often at midnight that they feel the need to bare their souls, but as a parent you have to take it when it comes. Apparently I was the same way according to my dad. My parents would have been asleep for hours, and I would just barge in and start babbling on about something important, trivial or exciting in my life. No matter what, they would always listen. God bless them because in hindsight, I think I did this often not being very considerate of them!
It is so great to have these times though as it opens opportunities to let our loved ones know how much they mean to us. Those closest to us need to hear it. It is not enough to assume they know, but we need to tell them! It is like that with great friends too. I have some amazing friends in the teaching profession. Sadly several of them retired this June. Although I am so excited for them entering this new chapter of their lives, I will miss them so much. Not seeing their friendly and enthusiastic personalities in the hallways in September will be very difficult for sure. I knew the last day would be very emotional for me. It always is anyways, but even more so this year with my friends leaving. Trying to keep it together, was not easy I assure you. I must admit as the day went on, I was struggling. I had prepared a little musical number for the retirees with my class, yet did not know if I could pull it off emotionally. Later I came to realize though that tears or no tears, the show must go on and we were doing it. Well as expected I was an emotional wreck throughout the song, but I explained to the kids that it was because these teachers meant so much to me. I explained that when people are special to you, it may make you cry as you will really miss them. Several kids were crying too, but it was a powerful tribute to these teachers who everyone adored. Those friends came and told me later how much that meant to them. I am so glad I did it, as I knew this was my last chance to honour them in this small, but touching way. I said what I needed to say through a song and a little speech and I have no regrets. Interestingly right after my class presented, the next class came in and we all joined in with a spontaneous dance and sing along of the “Happy” song so that definitely lightened up the mood a bit.
I am sure there are many special people in your life, whether friends or family. I encourage you to let people know how you appreciate and love them. Lately there have been so many tragedies it seems. There are so many stories of people gone too soon often very unexpectedly. It is very heart breaking. We do not want to live with regret. Send a text, write a letter, fire off an email, or make a phone call. The person may seem a bit surprised, yet will be touched by your kindness.
My students are the best for that. They are so honest and sincere. They tell me they love me and that I am a great teacher often. I never take it for granted and it never gets old. I remember one particular day was rather difficult for me and a student came in and said right away “I just wanted to let you know how much I love school and I am so happy you are my teacher.” Those simple words made a very powerful difference for me that day! They model for me the power of showing appreciation spontaneously and in many ways I strive to be more like them.
Starting conversations of this nature can seem awkward at times, especially if you haven’t done it lately. Pray for wisdom on what to say and God will direct your conversation. You will feel great because you let someone know how much he or she is appreciated and believe me the person on the receiving end will feel like a million bucks! Don’t delay! Say what you need to say!
Proverbs 16:24: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Little Lessons Learned: Life is too short. Take the opportunity to show the people closest to you how much they mean to you!
Copyright: Littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014