Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Life of Change

Many of you who are regular visitors to this page are aware that my family's life has become about change.  Our son, Andon, is doing well in his fight against leukemia and we hope he will continue to do well throughout his life.  He has just over a year left in maintenance - a portion of treatment that requires roughly 130 chemo pills monthly, a monthly visit to the cancer clinic for intrathecal treatment and often a back poke with more treatment.  His feet are damaged by the Vincristine he takes and require special boots, which he hates to wear, his executive functioning is affected by the 6-mp, and his bones are affected by the high doses of Prednisone he takes monthly.  After all this he is an INCREDIBLY cheerful and kind child - growing into such a wonderful young man.  He will be 14 before we are done with treatment, and there have been enough scares along the way that the cancer was back and we would be back in the thick of it once more.  There have been way too many of our friends from the clinic and ICS that have relapsed and are fighting again and some who have, sorrowfully, left us.  Our life is a life of change, and it will never be one of stillness ever again.  I am grateful to have him for as long as I am able.  It is worth every moment.

After 9 months of sabbatical I returned to my Montessori classroom and was so different.  Somehow serving of Andon changed me.  I had a calmness I didn't before, and I spent the summer in a beautiful classroom with a wonderful assistant.  When it was time for Andon to return to school I became so fearful of him going into a germ filled school with a depressed immune system and being so far away.  I prayed for some way to take care of this great worry.

I was presented with the opportunity to move all of us (4 of my children and myself) to a new school that had a Montessori Early Childhood classroom as well a couple of Early Elementary classrooms.  The only catch was there was no position for Early Childhood open, only Early Elementary.  I took a leap of faith and moved into Early Elementary for the 2015 - 2016 school year.  I sometimes felt out of my depth, and overwhelmed with all the demands on me as a mother, wife, guide, trainer, and person.  I turned to the wisest people I knew for advise and help and they did help me.  Finally in February 2016 Laurie Stockton Moreno (she teaches at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, Michigan as well as instructs at Westminster College of Montessori, Utah) visited my classroom for a week and changed everything for me.  I chose to stay there and have fallen in love with Early Elementary and cherish my time with these beautiful souls.  My brain feels about 10 times larger - as well as my heart.  I used to say I didn't want to teach any older than 6 because of the change in the child, but I have such a great blessing to walk with the children through these changes and the explosion in to exploration that happens in these years.  The complexity of their young lives leaves me breathless and overwhelmed at times, as well as the heroic way in which they face their challenges and overcome what they can.  Their hearts are so good, and they strive to do so much good for each other and the larger world.  I miss the Early Childhood classroom.  I don't think I could choose a favorite - ever.  I see that working in the Elementary Classroom has solidified my understanding of the importance of the Early Childhood Classroom.

I do not know what the future holds for me and my family, but I strive and pray to have the courage to face it and take on whatever lies ahead of me.

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