Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Day That My Teacher Taught Me The Word 'Never'

What would your answer be if someone were to ask you for your three most prominent grade school memories?

Just like you are doing now? Yep, just like I am doing now.

Mine?

Easy:

  • One: Running home in tears, two miles, up hill (just one direction, thank you), to get home to my father because, even though I had a cast on my arm and was not participating in PE,  Mrs. Bastion was convinced that all children who ask to go to the bathroom during class time, must dubiously be up-to-something.

  • Two: The swiftness with which my fifth grade teacher removed Klye Davis to the hall after he laughingly asked if The Challenger Space Shuttle exploding meant that we got to go home for the rest of the day.

  • Three: Lining up for recess on our third grade classroom's first morning of getting to sample Apple computers. Mrs. Templeton asked us our opinion of them, and I was apparently so impressed by that blinking green cursor and whatever primitive game we were playing, that I confidently let slip, my plans of how I was going to try and talk my dad into getting us one for Christmas.

That third memory is the one that I pull out most often, even though I do still see my now 70 year-old  former PE teacher traipsing around town in tennis skirts from time to time.

It is so significant to me because I can still hear the absolute certainty of my teacher's reply:

She laughed at me and said, "Oh Honey, your daddy will NEVER have one of THESE at home.'

IF. SHE. ONLY. KNEW!

I am entirely willing to chalk the incident up as a 'hind site is 20-20' thing, but isn't it funny to think that today, the phone in most people's pockets are capable of doing more than one of 'those' things' mother boards could have ever dreamed possible?

And I am glad, too, because even though it was that green cursor that first grabbed my attention, it has been technology's use as a tool to grow community and engage in story, that has really tugged at me.

When Steve and I lost our jobs this last time around (Hey, I just used the words 'Steve' and 'Jobs' in the same sentence!), and we were asking all manner of now-what? type questions, right behind the ever-so dialectic answer of 'hold on/let go', was one I wasn't so sure what to do with--write.

Since then, my husband has been nudging and encouraging me to continue exploring what exactly that means. In March of this year, he very lovingly demonstrated his support for me by releasing a significant portion of our tax return so that I can attend the Allume writer's conference next week.

I love him for constantly reminding me that it is still okay to dream and risk during a time in our life that has felt anything but safe.

So, I leave in three days...

I don't know exactly what to expect, but I'm cracking open the door a bit so that the joy of the moment might tiptoe in.

I'm looking forward to the fellowship of like-minded new friends and to (let's be honest here) not having to put anyone but myself to bed.

I'm extremely grateful for everyone who has made it possible for this mama of five to leave town for a few days-- it is a huge gift.

Also, I have not flown in 14 years!

Please pray that I make it past Chicago's airport staff. Alia Joy, my flying partner on the trip, tells me that they are scary. Pray too, that my time away goes well for my people back home. I'm going to miss them a little…okay…a lot.

But not enough to stop me from heading out the door at an ungodly hour next Wednesday for an adventure.

You just never know what might happen.

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