My beautiful I take your hand, and we walk through the garden of life, may I be ever open to seeing the world through your eyes...full of innocent wonder, delight and joy. As you take my hand, and we walk through the garden of life, may you be ever open to seeing the world through my eyes...full of gratitude, wisdom and peace. May we be blessed on our 'ramblings' together. Love, Nana

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Bond!

Today is my daughter's third grade teachers birthday!  She is 84 today!  She taught my daughter twenty-five years ago.  Beyond the reading and writing, are the lessons my daughter carries with her today.  We keep in touch.  We visit in the summertime.  She is an amazing lady, and remains an inspiration to us both.

Recently, there was a story in one of our newspapers regarding a woman who was about to graduate from University.  She credited her success to one of her early teachers, who took the time to encourage her to be her best.  The writer wanted to find her teacher, after so many years, to thank her.  So she wrote to the newspaper with her story.  The newspaper, in turn, launched a 'Lost Teacher Story' contest.

While my own daughter's amazing teacher story didn't quite qualify for the contest, I nevertheless felt inspired to share her story, excerpts of which follow:

"Bravo to Ms. G for her amazing accomplishments, and Bravo to Mrs. C for her dedication and inspiration all those years ago.  I hope they soon have an opportunity to re-unite!"
"I'm sure there are many teachers out there who are unaware of the legacy they have passed on to their students by being such positive role models.  In this fast-paced world we live in, it is sometimes difficult for parents to find sufficient time to dedicate to inspire their children to read."
"I have a similar story to share, although it is unlikely to qualify for the 'Lost Teacher Contest'."
"Back in the early 1980's my daughter Erin attended Birch Cliff Public School in Scarborough.  Her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Chu was amazing, and Erin loved going to school.  However, grades 1 and 2 were another story.  Her teacher, which she had for both grades, seemed to lack that special quality that so many teachers take to their job - a genuine love of children, and a genuine desire to reach out and inspire as many students as possible.  Erin was withdrawn and sad during those two years, and her self-esteem gradually withered, try as I may to encourage her with her homework."
She began grade 3 as a very shy little girl, unsure of her self-worth and her ability to keep up with her fellow classmates.  That soon changed!  Her teacher, Mrs. Bond, took her under her wing (for she is truly an angel!) and took the time, patience and enery to bring Erin out of the 'cocoon' she was in, and release her beautiful 'inner butterfly.'  Her reading skills soared...her self-esteem soared...her happiness soared!  As a mother, I was beyond grateful for the change in my child.  Mrs. Bond taught Erin, and all the other lucky little ones who were in her class, for two years.  Two transformative years.  And while my daughter had her share of encounters with other teachers throughout her school career, it is the positive influences of those teachers who encouraged her that has stayed with her and contributed to her success as a good person, a loving daughter, a caring partner, and now, an amazing momma to my little grandson, Aidan."
Student and Teacher!
"We have stayed in touch with Mrs. Bond through all the years since Erin was her student!  Christmas cards and letters, emails and visits.  Mrs. Bond was at Erin's high school graduation.  She travelled a long distance to attend her wedding.  I don't know if she really knows how much of an honour for us her being there was.  I hope so."
"Retired from teaching now for many years, Mrs. Bond continues to inspire and bring out the best in people.  When not travelling around Canada, she spends her time teaching writing workshops at her local library, and writing her own collection of books of her early years growing up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia."
"While visiting last summer, I harvested every copy of Mrs. Bond's books!  They have been well read, and now sit on my bookshelf, a concrete legacy, not only for my daughter, but also for my grandson."
"I will tell him of Mrs. Bond.  How good and kind she was to his momma when she was in school all those years ago.  It is my wish that he too will encounter such an amazing teacher in his travels through public school.  I will hopefully draw upon her patience and skill to instill in my grandson a love and passion for reading. 'Paying it Forward' her legacy will continue to live on.  Thank You, Mrs. Bond!"

And a VERY Happy Birthday to you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School Days! School Days!

Where does the time go?  It doesn't seem all that long ago that the little love of my life was small enough to cradle on one arm.  Small enough to lay across my chest where I could listen to the tiny sound of his breathing.  Small enough to gather him to me and whisper 'sweet nothings' in his ear.  Small enough to gently sing a lullaby to soothe him to sleep.  Where does the time go?

Today was Aidan's first day of school!  His mama had to walk him to school and leave him with his teacher.  It is a rite of passage for them both.  All mothers have to do it.  Nana sat this one out!  But only long enough for school to start, then I too arrived at their home and began to walk to the school, and met my broken-hearted daughter on the pathway home.  I know how she felt.  I remember it well.  But I also know it will all be alright.  She has yet to realize that.  A cup of tea and a shoulder to cry on made us both feel better.

Hi Ho, Hi`s off to school I go!
It wasn`t long before it was time to pick up the little guy from school.  When mama left him there he wailed and cried out for her.  It was of no consolation that some of the other children cried for their mamas too.

But all was well!  When the bell rang, out ran all the little ones with big smiles on their faces (and relief on the faces of all the anxious parents.)  So, we all survived the day!  And now a whole new adventure begins!  I`m sure there will be lots of tales to tell in the upcoming months.  But for today...a sigh of relief.