Thursday, January 5, 2012

putting a positive spin on things

My job description has changed a little this semester. Instead of teaching Freshman English, like I have for the last 2.5 semesters, I'm only teaching an elective. Public Speaking. Don't get me wrong, I like that class, at least I did last semester, but that's not all to my job. We also started an open enrollment course this year for kids who enroll late...I'm also teaching Public Speaking as an open enrollment course. I have no idea what this will bring, I have no idea what to expect, but I do know that the other open enrollment teachers are more awesome than I could have ever imagined. They are funny and they are flexible and they are open to new ideas.

The teacher who is sort of heading this whole open enrollment project is probably the most positive person I've ever had the pleasure of talking to. She is always in a good mood even when things are bad. She always manages to laugh at herself when she makes a mistake. And she has the sense to always find the positive side to any situation. You can tell she really likes her job. You can't help but be happy when talking to her!

We don't know each other that well, so, like I usually do, I just mentioned in passing that my daughter has special needs. I usually don't make a big deal out of it, but, especially with people that I'm working with, I like to just drop the information and let them do what they will with it. Some people ask questions, some people tell me how amazing I am and that they could never do this, some people don't really comment at all...but at least they're on the same page when in conversation I talk about therapy or wheelchairs or that my 2-year-old is just learning to sit. Anyway, this teacher had a completely different reaction, one that I've never experienced, and I haven't stopped thinking about it for the last 24 hours.

She said to me, "I didn't know you have a special needs child! What a wonderful journey you are on!! I've had the pleasure of sharing that 18-year journey with my sister and her special needs child!!"


I've never looked at my life as a wonderful journey. I've never thought that hard about the things I get to experience with Sadie that other parents don't. I've never thought of the people I get to meet and the things I get to learn because my child has special needs.

And now I can't STOP thinking about it.

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