Author Archives: Petals of Joy

For the Teacher at Summer’s End

I’m sitting at my desk. Music quietly plays in the background and a steady, soft rain falls outside my windows. My classroom is as ready as it can be. I’m not. In just a few hours, I will be gulping … Continue reading

Posted in Struggles, Summertime, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Because It’s Not About Choosing Sides

For over a week I’ve been silent. Attempting to put a broken heart into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into something that makes sense. Knowing I have something to say about our nation’s fractions and fissures but not … Continue reading

Posted in Hope, Struggles, World Issues | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

What My Kids Need When the World Turns Dark

Last night Caleb had a nightmare. Two robbers with guns came in through his window and stole him. He’s six. My heart shudders because–what a horrific dream. I can’t pretend to think the dream wasn’t somehow related to the bits … Continue reading

Posted in Hope, Motherhood, Struggles, World Issues | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Please. Don’t Correct My Kid for Using Manners

“Don’t call me sir. That’s my father. You can call me Gary*.” The sales associate looked at my twelve year old girl with a patronizing grin. “Yes, sir. I mean…sorry.” My daughter stumbled. My daughter, out of habit, continued to use … Continue reading

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When You Wonder if You Did Enough

My classroom is quiet. Today was the last day of the school year, and I’m sorting through papers and materials—attempting to save only what is necessary. But I hold on tight because what if. What if I need it next year? Or … Continue reading

Posted in Struggles, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

I’m Already Proud of You

Oh, my sweet girl. My young, beautiful ballerina. This week I’ll watch you walk into the studio for hours and hours of rehearsal for your part in next week’s performance of Coppélia. After the final curtain falls, and your muscles … Continue reading

Posted in Beautiful Life, Joy, Motherhood | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dear Teacher on the Tired Days,

I get it. I had a student hurt my feelings today. Words that cut deep and wounded because there is always an element of truth perceived by the one being sarcastic. And I’ve been icing my bruises all afternoon. The … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 178 Comments

Whispers and the Still, Small Voice

I know I’ve been quiet lately—here in this space. There’s no singular reason, but rather it’s been the spinning plates or the different hats or whatever metaphor you want to give to the busy-ness of a teacher-mom running fast. While … Continue reading

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Notes to Self as I Turn Forty

I turned 40 yesterday. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure how I feel about this giant leap into middle age. But I know how I’d like to feel. I’d like to be great with aging. I’d like to believe it only gets … Continue reading

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Because the Village Still Matters

We sat across from one another sipping our coffee. She was traveling back to her college campus and had asked if we could meet. I jumped at the chance to hear about how her life was going. We talked for hours. I … Continue reading

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