Thursday, January 12, 2012

On the Twelfth Day of January

We're not even two weeks into 2012 but it feels like Christmas was a month ago already. We've been enjoying the mildest Chicago winter in my memory...until today. It started snowing around 9am this morning and hasn't stopped yet. My kids - and more importantly my nephews visiting from Australia who never see temperatures below 45 degrees in winter - were thrilled.

Bonus: the twins had a half day and were able to play outside with their cousins. It was the four kids (twelve and under) against the 18-year-old, six-foot-two brother/cousin in a monster snowball fight. Until two neighbors came over. Then it was six against one.

The 18-year-old won.

It took me awhile to get home from work. There are always a few folks who forget how to drive in the first snowfall. They go whiteknuckled with hands at Ten and Two O'Clock coasting in the path of the tracks in front of them at a whopping 10-15 MPH. They are terrified of people like me who are accelerating to get around them. But even I tried to manifest some patience today while everyone got their bearings.

Miraculously Dan made it home in time to attend the Parent-Teacher Conferences for Maggie and Ryan which began at 5:15.

I love these nights.

I love meeting teachers who love to teach. Even though their class sizes increase and their meetings are scheduled at inconvenient times and they constantly have some yahoos in the mix that require repeated reminders that it isn't Open Mic Night at the Comedy Club, they love to teach. They get up hilatiously early and come to a building that houses over 600 preteens and then spend their energies pouring into the lives and minds of those kids.

Class after class. Day after day.

The benefit of the snowstorm was that lots of people were late and so we had several of the teachers to ourselves, if for only a few minutes to hear about how our kids are doing in their classes. And they RAVED about our kids.

I'm touched when I get to reconnect with some of Caitlin's former teachers who ask after her and sincerely rejoice when we tell them how well she is doing, all while managing to declare some special skill or trait of Maggie or Ryan's that they really appreciate to avert the dreaded comparison with the gifted older sibling.

I know it's all God's grace and we are unbelievably, undeservedly blessed with these kids and I'm happy I get to tell their teachers that. I'm also happy I get the opportunity to tell our kids how glad I am to hear that they put forth the effort they do and show these amazing men and women who teach such respect.

This is a pretty good start to the new year.

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