It's been ages. My excuse could be time. Or traveling to London to fulfill a life-long dream.
London was a dream come true. It was like living in a fantasy. Now all I want to do is go back, since I never wanted to leave in the first place. Everybody keeps asking about favorites. It's hard to pick since I just remember loving it all--except the part where I felt like a little kid again when I couldn't keep pace with my professor. That man speed walks, I swear. Well, if that's true, then so do all the Britons. People walk fast there. People walk with purpose. Leisurely strolls don't seem to exist, even in parks. That's where the "fitties" do their training.
I start back to school on Tuesday. I'm scared shitless. It's been three years. Is it possible to forget how to be in school? If so, I think I've done it. This week I've been writing essays for my study abroad classes. I swear it's taking me twice as long, and the writing isn't nearly as good. I can't imagine going back after a long break. It makes me appreciate people like my mom who went back with a family after 13 years of being out of classrooms, or my brother-in-law who is finally pursuing his dream of earning a bachelor's degree.
But with the beginning of my return to school comes the close of the regular school year. I will miss my beloved Kindergartners. Working with them has been life altering. I am amazed by them and the things of which they are capable. Yesterday I was at Walmart behind a mother with her two children, I'm guessing ages 2 and 3, a girl and boy, respectively. Of course their little minds are bombarded with the diabolical impulse items. As soon as the boy asked for a treat the girl went into full-out tantrum (as in laying underneath the shopping cart pounding the floor). I remember having a conversation with my sister about having kids throwing a tantrum in the store and passersby giving dirty sneers, or even worse saying, "Oh somebody must be having a bad day." Instead, I politely watched this stalwart mother stand her ground without making faces or sympathising with the children. She picked up the girl and seated her in the cart, and took the boy by hand. He looked back to see how interesting my purchases were. His cry was clearly false. And my only thought was, "Your mom must really love you because she said, 'No.'"
Working with recovering drug addicts I am convinced that the world could use a whole lot more "no." But not just the blatant no, but nurturing because-I-really-care, "no." Tonight I'm grateful for parents who not only supported me in all good things I wanted to do, but also told me no when I needed to hear it. A timely no leads to a world full of yes. I have a lot of yes right now because of their nos (even those I chose not to hear).
Be grateful if you had a mom who loved you enough to say no.