Huge tears came when his team lost. My ten-year-old was crushed when the Falcons didn’t pull off a Super Bowl win, his little head hung in disappointment. My husband and I were a bit perplexed – he wasn’t even a Falcons fan. The big game build-up, however, had caused him to pick a team to cheer for and he had developed enough admiration for the Falcons throughout the course of that game alone to result in a crushing disappointment when they weren’t the ones celebrating in the confetti.
The start of a new year means different things to different people. Some people are entering 2017 with a list of resolutions that they are determined to keep. Others won't get out of bed for a while, the last nights of 2016 spent enjoying cocktails that flowed a bit too readily with party horns that continue to ring. Then there are those who considered the entry into a new year to be just another night, their bedtime routines like any other in the year. It doesn't matter how you greeted 2017 – it arrived just the same for all of us.
The holidays can be bittersweet for many of us. This is a time to enjoy get-togethers with loved ones, family members that you haven't seen in a year, and close friends. That is the "sweet" of it all. What is the bitter? The bitter can come in many ways. The holidays can remind us of our financial challenges or perhaps serve as a painful reminder that you are single yet another year. Or – for some – the holidays remind us that a loved one is no longer with us to enjoy them. The holidays bring out many emotions, good and bad and you may be asking yourself, "How can I make this a sweet holiday season?" I don't have all the answers, but I can tell you how I have conquered the bitter of the holiday and made it only sweet. Here are a few suggestions that might help you.
Thanksgiving – what some refer to as a forgotten holiday given the emphasis on Christmas and all of its trimmings. The fourth Thursday in November is one of my favorite days, however, not because of the turkey (I'm a vegetarian) or the pumpkin pie (give me a spiced candle all day, but I can't do the pumpkin pie thing). My love of Thanksgiving stems from all it represents – taking a few precious moments to appreciate our lives and how truly blessed we are.
Dating -- an institution that is relatively "new" in the grand scheme of things and yet already starting to diminish in our “I want it now” society.
When you are knocking on thirty's door, it seems that everyone has an idea about who you should be with. While the sentiment is endearing, more often than not the execution is very much lacking. A person has to know you fairly intimately in order to choose a companion to spend great lengths of time with.
As I say goodbye to my last student headed off to kindergarten, a new wave of little ones is filing in. For a Pre-K teacher, this time of year is full of emotion. Excitement for a new group of students, anxious to learn new and exciting things. Sadness for the old group that is moving on to the big leagues. Worry that "your children" will be confident and successful with the resources you've taught them, that they will make wonderful new friends but stay close with old ones and that their new teacher will understand and love them the way that you do. Then comes a preschool teachers biggest fear – that they will forget us. August is simply the most bittersweet month for a teacher like me.
Growing up, going back to school each fall meant new school supplies, finding out which of my friends were in my class, and setting out a crisp, bright new outfit for the first day of school. For some kids, however, going back to school simply means a new arena in which their separated or divorced parents can fight.
Imagine being told no one else would want you. Imagine being told that everyone else thinks you are ugly and you are lucky to be with your significant other. Even if he's a liar and a cheat. Even if he's insanely jealous, unjustly critical, and loves to argue. Imagine being told you aren't allowed to go out with friends or talk to certain people while the person applying all of these restrictions is allowed to do as he pleases with no remorse. Now imagine going through this as an adolescent, still trying to find her place in this world.
I feel that I have to address a few things about the happenings of the last few days. It is important to let others know where you stand when issues like this arise. I have been asked by several people to shed light on my thoughts regarding Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the Dallas police officers.
Whether you spend time together having coffee, enjoying a movie on NetFlix, or going out on dates, it is important to nurture your relationship. The kids will eventually grow up and (hopefully) leave home and we will someday retire from our careers. But marriage is for life and it’s up to us to make sure we properly care for it.
My people have seen my ugly cry and don't pretend that they don't see the monster zit on my chin. We don't pretend that our lives are perfect; we acknowledge when we got a little too competitive at our kids' soccer game and openly admit that we put in a frozen pizza for the kids and ate Girl Scout cookies for dinner because we don't have the energy to do anything else.