Monday, September 17, 2007


Transitions are words I try to get my middle school writers to use correctly and appropriately within their writing. I hate the standard transition most 11-year-olds have been taught to use: first, next, and in conclusion. They don’t seem to give the transition the honor it deserves. In spite of their previous training, we are working on using more complex transitions to better justify our writing. This got me thinking about life and our life transitions. These pivotal points in life often take days, months or even years. When we go through life transitions they are far more memorable than a few words can justify.

My youngest son started middle school this year. It has NOT been an easy transition for him (or for me). He has always encompassed the term “free spirit”, but not in an obnoxious way—in a silly kind of whimsical-way. He is a “glass half full” kid and even with his difficulties at school and the obvious frustration of his mother, he still manages a smile and a big wave when I encounter him in the hallway at school. When talking about C, my husband and I used to always say, “I sure hope school doesn’t ruin him.” Here I am an educator and worried that some teacher will crush his spirit. I don’t think it is possible. He won’t allow it. He will be happy no matter what. WOW---I hope that is genetic.

The transitions in my life recently have been multifaceted. They seem to be personal, professional and spiritual in nature. Teaching at the same school, in the same grade as my child has been a huge transition. It is difficult to separate the “mommy” hat from the “educator” one especially with a child who seems to be struggling a bit. I have found myself biting my tongue, not only where my son is concern, but where my colleagues are concerned as well. Transitioning into the role of single parent has been a bit rockier. This is one I have made “kicking and screaming”. I don’t like it—and there is nothing more I can say. I imagine this transition will be one I am continuously making

My oldest son is transitioning into adulthood. Having graduated from high school and starting college, he has so many life lessons ahead of him. He wears the hat of “head of household” a bit reluctantly and I often lean more heavily on him than perhaps I should. Yet, he rises to the occasion. He takes care of household tasks without my prompting—not the ones he is assigned to of course, but other ones, like calling the internet company to come change and replace the wiring to our house or organizing his dad’s tools in the garage (at 3:00 in the morning). Nevertheless, I am watching him transform in front of my eyes into an adult any parent would be proud of.

As a family, transitioning since Don died has been most difficult. We have all had to find new roles and paths to travel. I hope this transition will become a bridge to what lies ahead for each of us instead of an excuse to stagnate where we reside. The only thing constant is change. Transitioning is inevitable if you have the desire to continue to grow and live.

This I Know For Sure…


annie said...

A free-spirited student. I remember those. It was always a fine line to walk. Stiff-necked co-workers never made that journey easy. Still, most kids wade through the system by finding their niches and manage to retain those qualities that set them apart.
I have always disliked the role we are expected to play in molding kids into worker bees and consumers.

Stepping back and letting kids transition is so hard. My little girl just started kindergarten and I don't have the same access to her teachers and school I did when I was a teacher. It's a bit maddening to be "just a parent" now. But, probably better for my daughter (according to my husband).

As always, I enjoyed your piece.

my3angels said...


I so enjoyed reading this blog. I know I have had so many transitions in my life since my husband died. Now I find myself seeking stability and roots, but I also realize that these transitions are what make us who we are and help form our identity as we go through the various seasons of our lives.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts as you deal with your transitions.

Can't wait to see what's "next". ;o)

Take care,