Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thirty-four years. Thirty-four Christmases. Same house.

Waking up on Christmas morning and seeing all the presents under the tree, must be one of the single most exciting moments in a child's life. Well, that is if you are fortunate enough to have presents under the tree, a bed in which to wake up, or even a house in which to live. I, myself, have been blessed with that precious gift of a home, presents, and a family, all surrounding me on Christmas morning. I believe this has helped to shape the person I am today, and the thoughts that bounce around my head. This experience has made me a stronger teacher!

You see, during this Christmas Season I am probably experiencing something extremely rare in the world today. I'm getting ready to celebrate my thirty-fourth Christmas in-a-row at the same house in which I grew up. This indeed is a special experience for me, especially since the house in which I grew up is around 600 miles from my current home. It's like instant time travel. The bedroom. The bathroom. The living room. The basement (which isn't as scary now as I used to think it was). Of course, the icing on the cake would have to be the fact that both of my parents, after 45 years being together, are inside the house to help make it warm and inviting.

So what does this have to do with my teaching? Everything. I've finally realized that my parents have built a foundation for me that has kept me strong and encouraged. All the memories in this house - the good ones and the bad ones - have played a role in shaping me into the person I am today. I was recently named Teacher of the Year, and my mom flew from Erie, Pennsylvania to Atlanta, Ga to join me at the dinner in which I was invited. Having her there with me made sense. It was because of her, along with my father, and the rest of my loving family, that I could even be a teacher in the first place. They all have equally contributed to my success.

When I wake up in the morning on Christmas day, at about the same time I'm thanking the Lord for the true gift He has given us, I will also be thanking Him for my loving parents and family. I will be thanking Him for the wisdom and understanding He has bestowed upon me during this Christmas Season reflection - a time in which I am truly understanding the importance of a family, and the successes that result from one!

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