Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Angels are Among Us..Sometimes disguised as high school boys!

Sometimes, the gifts we receive at Christmas come wrapped in the most unexpected packages.

Typically, those are the best gifts of all.

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity that would change my life.

I wanted to make a difference in the life of a child at Christmas.

The idea wasn't wasn't original..but it WAS rewarding.

I started the "Angel Tree" in our high school.  A holiday program that would identify young children in our community that would benefit from the kindness of others at Christmastime.

I felt it would also give our students an opportunity to understand the true meaning of the holiday and giving from the heart.

A win-win for everyone involved.

Although the concept of the Angel Tree is simple... the execution can sometimes be tricky.

First, identifying those children who would benefit the most can be a delicate process.  We received names from area churches, elementary teachers and community members. Sometimes from students themselves who wanted to make sure their little brothers or sisters had something under the tree on Christmas morning.

We collected our "angels" and put them on a tree in the school foyer.  Students and staff members would choose an angel and that is who they would buy a gift(s) for.

People always LOVED to TAKE the Angels, but sometimes getting them to remember to go out, purchase a gift and RETURN it to me could be a challenge.  It seemed I was always chasing people down with only days to spare before our big delivery day.

All in all, even with all the craziness it involved, it was still the most rewarding experience of my life. And many times, the lessons that were taught about love and giving didn't come from me at all, but from my students.

My wonderfully caring and kind-hearted students.

One year, I had a group of young men approach me about taking some angels from the tree. The group of young men were students that lived in a community foster home.

Young men, who grew up knowing the pain of waking up Christmas morning with nothing under the Christmas tree at all.

Young men, who many would have understood, if they saw no importance in helping others when no one had helped them.

Instead, these young men, these beautiful, caring young men wanted to make a difference.  Wanted to be someone's hero.

At that moment, they were already mine.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little concerned about their ability to follow through on this commitment. These kids didn't have jobs, they certainly didn't have much themselves and I wondered if they would be able to fulfill their Angel Promise.

I was a FOOL..these kids had a plan.

They approached their foster mom and asked if they could do extra chores for money.  They asked teachers and neighbors if there were things they could do.

And they did them.

They raised money and they went shopping and they fulfilled children's Christmas wishes like it was nobody's business.

They were the ULTIMATE Santa's Elves.

And these kids weren't playin'...they didn't go to the dollar store and buy a matchbox car. NO, these kids came back with the most sought after gifts of the season.

It was BEAUTIFUL and NO, it wasn't about the was about the GIVING. It was about their HEARTS.

It was about a group of young men that could have been bitter and angry...and instead, were loving and wonderful and magical.

Those young men taught me so much that year.  So much about the Spirit of Giving.

Unexpected packages perhaps....but those boys were truly the BEST gifts of all...simply THE BEST!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Left Holding the Dirty Underwear...

I think somewhere in my marriage vows my husband slipped in a line about me following him around for the rest of our days picking up after his ass.

I don't recall this line per say, but it must have been in there and my husband holds me to it.

I follow him around picking up dirty socks, dirty dishes and even dirty underwear...YES, dirty underwear...ewww.

Why it is so difficult to place the underwear IN the hamper is beyond must be a Y chromosome thing.

Now I don't LOVE that I do this.  I have tried to put my foot down several times and refused to pick up after him...but guess doesn't faze him!  Not in the least!

He will walk past those dirty ass underwear a HUNDRED times and NEVER pick them up.

He will even look right at them and leave them lay there. Now I'm sure he isn't trying to determine if they are his or not.  I mean, it's just he and I in the house, and I quit wearing boxer briefs years ago.

No...I think what he is thinking is..."Why in the hell hasn't Tonya  picked these up yet...Geez she's really slipping."

This irks me to no end. (yes, irks me? who says that?)

Anyway...last night was no different...EXCEPT, that it was....

Currently, we are out of town for work and renting an upstairs apartment.  We have to share a bathroom with the apartment across the hall and although I HATE this I am trying to make the best of it.

Therefore, it's a MUST that we respect the space and keep it clean and free from our usual clutter.  We've actually been doing pretty well with it...both us, and the guy across the hall. I appreciate this very much.

Well last night we hit a speed bump.  Just a little one...but one I felt needed to be addressed.

When Joel got home from work yesterday he quickly showered and then we were off to run some errands.

When we returned, we put up some Christmas decorations my wonderful husband had gotten me and then straightened up the place.

As I went into the bathroom I noticed that Joel had left a T-shirt and a pair of underwear hanging on the back of the bathroom door.

I was going to leave them there...let him be embarrassed when the guy across the hall saw what he had done.  That would have really taught him a lesson, right.

Well, I couldn't do that, so instead, I decided to grab them myself and continue the ritual of picking up after him. (it's just easier that way)

I walked into the room...dirty underwear in hand and said, "Ummmm...honey, you need to be more careful.  You don't want our neighbor to have to deal with your dirty underwear hanging in the bathroom do you?"

Well of course I don't dear...that would be rude of me."

"Well I'm glad we got that cleared up.  Now what do you want me to do with these?"

Well, I don't really care what you do with them.  THOSE are not mine.

I stood there dumbfounded...what did he just say? What was he talking about?  OF COURSE they were his...whose else could they have been?


"These AREN'T yours?  You're telling me that these dirty, mens underwear that are currently in my hand are NOT yours?"

That's what I'm telling you...NOT mine.

"OMG...OMG...AHHHHHHH!  That means...."

Yep, THAT means you are standing there holding some strangers dirty underwear!

I run back to the bathroom...put them back on the door hanger...and wash my hands under scalding water!

When I finish and walk back into the husband is laughing hysterically.

You know honey, I'm not a neanderthal. I wouldn't just leave my dirty underwear lying around like that.

SERIOUSLY...that's what he said....SERIOUSLY!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus....

Yes Virginia...there IS a Santa Claus. And anyone who wants to ruin that for the children in my life is going to get their ass it?

Yesterday, I read a blog post where the author asked, Do you lie (or make your kids lie) about Santa Claus?

The author and commenters talked about their struggle with perpetuating the LIE that is Santa.

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE?  You struggle with lying to your children about Santa? You struggle with the decision to bring joy to the heart of your child?  To allow him/her to get excited in the wonder of Christmas, in the magic of something so simple and innocent as Santa Claus?

If you do, then you SUCK!


Am I making myself clear?

One commenter wrote this:

     I never lie. Especially about fantasy worlds.

Critical thinking skills are an absolute must for kids to negotiate this big, weird world. Lying (and covering up the lie, again and again, making less and less falsifiable) is a disservice to the kids and a danger to society as a whole. Teach them to THINK, not to BELIEVE.

Letting your child believe in Santa Claus is a "danger to society as a whole"? I seriously want to throat punch this lady!

I imagine growing up as her child must be a real know, since she NEVER lies.

I can see it now...little Susie is upset because nobody has asked her to the school dance...enter "mom" to make it all better.

Well Susie, it's like're ugly. You're fat and ugly and no boy wants a fat, ugly girl as their date to the dance.  Sorry, but that's the TRUTH..I wouldn't want to damage you by telling you a lie. 

I'm sure Susie will appreciate her mother's honesty.  She may slit her wrists, but at least her mom can be proud of the fact that she NEVER lied to her kids.

KUDOS mom...KUDOS to you!

For me..I will be a liar.  A BIG. FAT. LIAR.

I will encourage the children in my life to believe in goodness, and kindness, and wonder. I will teach them the importance of giving to others and allow them to feel the magical presence of Santa.

Yes, I will LIE to them...and my heart will burst with joy when I see their little faces light up at all the wonder that is Christmas.

 I believe that some day they will grow up to be well adjusted adults. In spite of, the belief in Santa Claus. Quite capable of using their critical thinking skills to navigate this big, weird world. Even if, for a few years they left cookies for Santa and heard the jingle of sleigh bells in the distance on Christmas Eve. Yes, I believe they will adjust to adulthood quite well, in spite of it all.

But for now...for now, I will allow them to enjoy the innocence of childhood.  It is a gift we only get once in our lifetime...I will not rob them of that.

So YES Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus....He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.

Monday, December 6, 2010

There's So much to know about your HOO-HA ladies....

Where the HELL have YOU been? It's been awhile since you visited my Blog ya know!

Oh wait...What? You haven't come because I have been neglecting my Blog and haven't written anything new in LONG time.

Well...Hmmmpf...what kind of excuse is that?  Fine...Fine...I'll write something...GEESH you're demanding!

Okay, so what shall I write about?  Aren't you all on pins and needles wondering?

 I was going to write about some of our travels over the last couple weeks and I WILL, but today something caught my attention and it made me think I should take some time to get back to my educational roots.

If you haven't read THIS you really need to.  Brittany is a hilarious writer and THIS is what gave me today's inspiration.  So go HERE now and I'll wait for you to get back.

SEE..I TOLD you..she's HILARIOUS right.  You people REALLY need to listen to me..I know what the hell I'm talking about ya know!

So after reading that post I knew I had to share this little ditty.  Think of it as a public service announcement.

 Now over the years I have taken  a lot of flack for being a health and phys. ed teacher.

"Wow...that has to be the EASIEST job EVER.  How tough can it be to teach kids to wear deodorant and to throw a ball out for kickball..hardee har har!"

Yeah... that's HILARIOUS douchebag...PLEASE take my job for a week and then get back to me would ya.  Oh, and during that week please teach the SEX EDUCATION unit to a bunch of horny teenagers! It's a HOOT!


During one of my college health education courses this story was relayed to me and I feel it is my duty to do the same.

A girl about the age of 16 went to see her doctor because she had been sick for WEEKS and it wasn't getting any better.  To her HORROR the doctor told her she was, in fact, pregnant.

"That is IMPOSSIBLE! I am on the pill...there is NO WAY I can be pregnant!"

Doctor: Well I'm sorry honey but you ARE pregnant.  You know I told you that the pill is NOT 100% effective.  Sometimes, it can fail.  Are you sure you took the pill as directed...EVERY day at the SAME time?

"Yes...I did it the same time EVERY day. And I ALWAYS made sure it didn't fall out before I got dressed!"

Doctor:  HUH?  Wait...what do you mean you made sure it 'didn't fall out'? You did take the pill ORALLY, right?

"Ummm...orally?  I..uh...put it up know, WHERE you get pregnant."

SERIOUSLY..I am NOT making this shit up!  This girl was sticking her birth control pills up her Hoo-Ha at the SAME time EVERY day!

Obviously, the girl was well lubricated to be able to dissolve that little pill so know, before she got dressed.

I have since used this educational story during my sex ed unit.

 It NEVER fails that EVERY ONE of my students laughs and tells me how STUPID this girl must be. However,  I ASSURE you, somewhere, in one of those classrooms there was a girl (or several) that had a "lightbulb moment" that day.

So just to be clear....DO NOT put your birth control pills up your HOO-HA ladies...just SWALLOW...everyone KNOWS you can't get pregnant THAT way!