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Welcome to 2013!

| Admin

Happy New Year!

The New Year brings us a chance for new beginnings in so many areas of our lives.  While we cannot directly and immediately control congress, the president, global warming, our local politicians, etc. through some kind of super-power, we can control a few things.  It’s a time for resolutions but how many resolutions do we really keep and are they really effective?  I know that any resolution involving a reduction in my consumption of chocolate or an increase in exercise is a waste of time on my part.   I have decided to focus on the simple things this year.

As a parent and teacher, I think of the families who have lost a child and the wisdom these families now have as a result of their horrific loss.  My own sister lost a 7-year-old child ten years ago.  We recently discussed the unbelievable tragedy at Sandy Hook and her own experience with losing a child violently and unpredictably.  My sister rarely talks deeply about her son and her feelings about him and his death so when she does, I listen.   Because I have not lost a child, I can’t understand her feelings but I listened closely to her when she talked about it and am trying to take her words of wisdom very seriously.

My sister has told me that there are many things she regrets but the words spoken in anger or haste, which can never be undone, are what she regrets the most.  She reports forgotten incidents suddenly coming to her with harsh clarity.  She privately agonizes over these small incidents and struggles to focus on the positive times and what she can do now with her remaining children.  Many people who lose a loved one report this too.  If, as parents and teachers, we can take any lessons from parents who have lost children, it is to bite back harsh words and actions when we are angry with our children or students.

I hope never to lose a child but I know I will lose someone, sometime—a grandparent, a parent, a friend.  Who knows?  This year, I am resolving to treasure my children and students, with more kind words, a greater effort to understand the thoughts behind their actions and more hugs.  While I’m sure I will stumble and falter here and there, I know I can do this one not-so-simple but very important thing.

What will you chose this year?

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