Friday Favorites

Kings Island — We celebrated the first day of summer vacation yesterday. It was crazy-chaos to get out of the door after my last day of school. On Wednesday, my last day of school, not only were we driving to Ohio to stay with Andy’s aunt (who treated us to the tickets — wow!), but we also had a baseball game for the boys, and before that we had a hair cut for Jordan.

The day began with rain and we had a conversation about “Choosing to have a happy heart no matter what the situation is.”  They were all — all four of them, every single one of them — pleasant for the entire day. We were there when the park opened and watched the fireworks when it closed. The rain chased away the crowds, then stopped around noon — leaving us to ride again and again. It turns out our kids are roller coaster junkies. Sometimes the apples don’t fall far from the tree. Jordan said, “Good things really do come your way when you have a happy heart.” Perhaps there was much more to the day than a bunch of roller coaster junkies being gluttonous.

When Strong Mamas Feel Quite Weak — This is a guest post written by Lisa TerKeurst. This passage is only a smidgen of why it is speaking to me.:

And you know what I’m tempted to do as a mom?  Draw a straight line from my child’s wrong choice to my weakness in mothering.

That will just about kill a mama.  Crack her heart open and fill it with paralyzing regret of the past and fear for the future.  And that’s exactly where Satan wants us mama’s to stay.  Paralyzed.

But what if that’s the wrong line to draw?

What if I’m supposed to draw a straight line from my child’s wrong choice to my STRENGTH in mothering.

Teacher Evaluation — No one is as surprised as I am to see this on my list of Friday Favorites. But here’s the thing. I just received my evaluation this week and the conversation with my curriculum director was important. Because of the new evaluation system, we were forced into reflective practice and I received feedback about things I care deeply about knowing. She said meaningful things about the way I do my job. They were things I’ve never heard expressed aloud and affirmed to me that I’m doing the right things. Sometimes I wonder. It’s good to have a conversation based on reflective practice.

Center Court Barbershop — Yes, I’m actually giving a nod to a barbershop on our teaching writers blog. Stick with me, and you’ll see the reason. Our kids are in charge of their own hair. I supposed it comes down to the fact that I have bigger fish to fry than their hair styles. Jordan’s hair has been a learning curve for me. To be completely honest, I’ve been failing the learning curve. He wanted locs, so we’ve been growing it out. Then a few weekends ago, the girls and I twisted locs into his hair. We worked, all three of us, for a collective amount of nearly 8 hours. This may have had more to do with having no clue what we were doing rather (and depending heavily on You Tube videos) than that nature of putting locs in. I’m not sure. Jordan was happy with the result and so were we. Then life happened. He tugs on his hair as a means of comfort. It’s a little hard to watch him pull out 8 hours of effort you would have really liked to go somewhere else (like, say, writing, than hair styling). But I smiled. Then he put on his bike helmet and his skate board helmet and his baseball hat and he ran around like the little athlete he is, sweat pooling around his face. The locs frayed out and we weren’t sure what to do next because he really wanted locs.

Meanwhile, I’ve been looking for someone who will not only cut Jordan’s hair, but will help me learn how to support him in caring for it. This is a tricky situation. I want to help him, but I don’t have the experience in caring for his hair type.  So we’ve been looking for someone who can help. Then my friend called me with the name of a barber. She took her boys and found he gave incredible haircuts, solid advice, and had special training in Jordan’s hair type.  So we make a plan to show up at the barbershop.

The barber talks to Jordan and helps him figure out the possibilities for his hair. He talks to me. He gives Jordan the come to help pull out the curls, preparing it for cutting. Jordan decides on a short hair cut, and “don’t forget the line up!” While cutting, the barber starts teaching me, helping me know what kind of comb to buy, the direction to comb his hair, what kind of product we need. He makes Jordan smile.

And I realize the importance of specialists. I could have taken Jordan to a number of places to cut his hair. I could have attempted to do it myself. However, the barber had insight that others didn’t because he’s studied hair. He’s worked with people. He’s developed a craft and a passion for his work. It is subtle, but makes a remarkable difference.

This is why I write and read about writing and listen to others talk about writing. I want to develop a craft and passion for teaching writers. This summer I’m hoping to include many Friday Favorite links that will encourage us  to develop our craft and passion to be writers ourselves.

Happy writing!