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my gratitude…

I have been watching in social media, especially Facebook, where my friends have been posting daily statements of gratitude all month long. It’s been inspiring. Thanksgiving also provides a good reminder about being thankful. I too have much to be grateful for today. It’s like a year years of gratitude are just poring out of me. It’s been a life-altering year. I shudder to think how hard it could have been if I hadn’t had so much support.

Starting next month, I return to work. I am so excited to not only be gainfully employed full time but also to be doing the work I love. Thanks to my new employer for seeing something valuable in me and inviting me to join the team.

Huge thank you’s to so many of my colleagues and friends who have been sending me job notices and ideas. The fact that you thought of me and wanted to help me in my job search was spectacular and thoughtful. You were a blessing in disguise. To my other friends and colleagues who offered me references, not only did you help me secure a job you also helped me get into graduate school. I don’t have adequate words to tell you how grateful I am for your willingness to speak on my behalf and help me tell my story. (I am just sorry it was such a long-term commitment. Who knew it would take 11 months?)

To my family and friends…you were the best cheerleaders, sounding boards and hand-holders a girl could ask for. I don’t know what I did to deserve you. You  inspired me daily to keep the faith. Without you I would have been a mess. You gave me the strength to face it all with grace, helped maintain my sanity on those hard days and reminded me that I am worthy. I love you all so much.

Mom! Thanks to you (and a great national jobs report in October), I was able to take your advice and counsel and turn that into an awesome financial solution (and all the while still have a proper nest egg). You’re the best investment advisor ever! When we win the lottery, we are taking you with us. 🙂

What a gift my girls are. Those little dynamos brought me daily joy and reminded me that nothing is as important as seeing them smile and be happy. NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT! And D., my love, there are truly no words to tell you how amazing you are. You are absolutely my rock. Thank you for protecting me. It was one of the worst thing to happen to me but it was never a bad thing because of you. What a miraculous partnership we have. Here we are at the end of this event and I feel completely unscathed. Most of all, thank you for letting me be the things I need to be when I need to be them. I have never been more open and real. I know I will never be able to explain what a gift that is to me. I am forever yours.

I know I missed some things. I feel like I need to say thanks in so many ways and to so many people. This only scratches the surface. Let this stand as a documented reminder to me that I have everything to be grateful for in this life.

branding Z.

Z.’s had some trouble at school lately. I am a mix of emotions about it…everything from sadness to anger.

It’s a pattern of behavior where she lashes out when angry or scared. It’s just that she’s  so black and white. On one end she is incredibly  loving and social but on the other end she is equally big in her emotions. Her angry/scared behavior of late ranges from coloring on another kids coloring sheet when the kid didn’t give her the crayon she wanted, to cutting a kid’s skirt with scissors when the kid threatened to tell on Z. to the teacher.  Once you might say “oops” and talk to her about making better decisions when she is angry. However, this is now a pattern of behavior that we know must correct immediately.  I mean, we heard scissors and thought sh*t, what the hell was she thinking? We are taking all of this very seriously. We talked to her. We wanted her to fully understand the consequences, even the social consequences. We prepared her for the fact that most likely those kids won’t want to play with her anymore.

Social consequences. I guess we weren’t prepared enough though. These social consequences are making me angry and sad . Z. has had more than one incident with one kid in her class. That child’s parent has first told her child not to play with Z. and second had her child moved away from Z. in both class and in the after school program. I expected some of this but it also doesn’t feel right anymore. Instead of Z. dealing with those consequences privately, it has been made known to many of the kids why it is happening. I am sure the violated kid told some of the story but A. also knows that whole story. We kept it between Z, mommy and me at home so that Z. would have some privacy to deal with her issue.  A. knows the whole story and it didn’t come from us. This makes me think that it is likely that the after school teachers also made it known to kids. If I am right about this, then this is really upsetting.

Here  is where I struggle with the question of how much? How much branding her a bad kid worth it? Z. knows all of this is happening. She tears up knowing that her actions mean that she is now being ostracized for her behavior. Is she being labeled? Will she have the opportunity to make this mistake, learn from it and then move on or is she now stuck in a behavior label? I am not sure and I know now that what we thought was an issue that was addressed and Z. could move forward is now something Z. is having to face emotionally over and over. Seems like enough is enough already.

Now, I am just trying to figure out how to help Z. change the soundtrack that I am guessing is forming in her mind and heart right now.

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