Surviving High School With Your Introverted Child

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An enthusiastic cheerleader’s voice boomed through the loudspeaker over our heads and echoed down the shiny, tile hallway. Our little group paused until it was over.

“Sorry about that. Big game tonight.” The assistant principal said with a smile. He then motioned us toward a doorway marked “125”.  Inside, students were huddled together over papers and chrome books, talking and writing. They looked up at us briefly.

“This is one of our history classes. The students here are working on a group project,” he explained.

We watched for a while, then continued our tour. We were new parents and students, getting informed and oriented before the next school year. The following thirty minutes were spent moving from one spot to the next, as students pushed past each other in the hallway, reached across each other in the cafeteria, and talked over each other at classroom tables. It was a loud, busy place.

Personally, I loved high school, and happy memories washed over me that day. The energy of games, clubs, and social activities fueled me through my academics, and I thrived in it all.

But now, as a parent, I was seeing things through my daughter’s eyes. With her in mind, even this short tour made me tired.

She is extremely introverted person, and I realized I had to do some very intentional parenting for us both to survive until graduation day.  Continue reading

Half-Mast

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One of my favorite parts of my morning walk is when I pass by our local library just before it opens. If my timing’s right, two staffers come outside just as I pass and I get to watch their reverent ritual of hoisting our flag for another day. It’s cool to watch, and I’m enough of a geek for it to put a little spring in my step.

Last week, I was a little behind schedule, but I rounded the library corner just in time to see  Continue reading

When We Feel Beautiful in an Ugly World

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I looked into the face of a murderer this morning and my stomach turned.

Last week, I looked into the face of a rapist and my blood boiled.

For months and months, I’ve been looking into the faces of ISIS terrorists, kidnappers, corrupt politicians, and abusive parents. And I’m struggling to stay grounded.

I scroll through the images and articles and I feel it pulling me. A current works to get under my feet and sweep me away with the rest of the world. The anger, the divisiveness, the panic …  Do you feel it?  Continue reading

The Leveling Place

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It’s flattering when someone asks you for advice.

It’s terrifying when you remember that you have none.

Not long ago, a friend invited me to coffee so I could share any wisdom I might have about teen anxiety and depression. It was a reasonable request, for she knows I have lived that roller coaster. I’ve also read books and tried strategies. “Surely, I can offer some help,” I thought.

So, as my friend’s question floated across the tops of our steamy mugs, “What do you think we should do about our son?”, we both expected more than what came out of my mouth… Continue reading

Present

It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write freely on a one-word prompt. Then we link up at the amazing Kate Motaung’s site. It’s a flash mob of writers- having fun and sharing their take on one word. This week’s prompt is:  PRESENT

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The best present I ever got was a used pencil with a broken tip.

It was my first year teaching and the last day of the semester. My second graders and I had learned a lot together since August and we were all ready for a break.

“You have five minutes to pack up your backpacks,” I warned, and walked to the bus list on my desk.

I turned back at a tug on my sweater. Continue reading