Monday, July 22, 2013

When you just need a hug

There are moments in my life that I remember when words have been completely unnecessary.  Some of the moments are sheer joy and others are sadness.  The joyful moments were the birth of my boys.  The day I proposed to my wife.  When I spoke at my dad's Hall of Fame ceremony and when I made my college golf coach cry tears of joy after the second round of the national championships.  

On the flip side I've had moments that have crushed me.  I struggled when my wife lost her grandpa. Bob was great!  He was funny, smart and always had a twinkle in his eye when he saw Amy.  She really struggled with his death and in turn I struggled to be her rock.  I was torn up when I was contacted by my 5th grade student right after we went on Holiday break.  She told me her dad had just died in a car accident.  All I wanted to do was give her a hug.  Words could do nothing.  My heart and head hurt as I watched my secretary Katie struggle with her late husband's illness.  I felt so bad for her, and I knew all I could do was pray.  I struggled when our Golden Retriever Reggie passed away.  The big lug of a dog loved everyone and I was sad to see him go. 

Today is another one of those sad days.

My little buddy Cooper just died.  Cooper was our one year old rescue puppy.  He was the happiest dog in the world.  He would run with me, he would chase deer in the back yard, he would lick my face in the morning, he was a great dog.  It hurts to tell this, I know he was just being Cooper.  He went out to play and then he saw a cat.  He chased her and got by the road.  He knew he wasn't supposed to be there.  He wasn't being bad, he was just being Cooper.

The quote says, "Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts."  Dogs do more than that.  My dogs teach me lessons.  As a father and a principal I try to unconditionally love.  I love my boys dearly, but they can also frustrate the dickens out of me.  I care deeply for all my staff and students.  I wish I could be more like Cooper was.  Cooper was always wagging his tail and happy to see everyone.  Cooper never complained, he just made time for me when ever I asked.  He was my buddy.  He UNCONDITIONALLY loved me and everyone he came in contact with.  This is what my boy Cooper taught me.  Yes you can unconditionally love.  I'm human and it's hard, but I hope to learn from Cooper.

Every day we are thrown situations that we have to deal with.  Today I just cried.  I buried my buddy today and it hurts.

I decided to write because I'm hurting.  I didn't want to talk, it just brings more tears, I just wanted to write.  

As I wrap up I have two deeper thoughts.  My first is, How will I be there for all of my staff and students this year?  Undoubtedly things will happen that force us to adjust, as a leader I must have empathy and support my entire building.  

This afternoon I wanted to be strong for my two boys, yet all I could do was cry.  

The second is, I need to learn to look past certain things.  I need to unconditionally love like Cooper did.  

I told my son that we need to remember all the great things.  We need to hold onto the memories of Cooper.  If we hold onto the memories he'll always be with us.  I stopped there.  Nothing else can be said, sometimes words are insignificant When you just need a hug.

Articles Worth Reading:

Be the Unexpected  by @8Amber8

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Analogies to Edu  by @twhitford

Fly on a wall at NAESP  by @Joe_Mazza

I named a Cat after a Vampire  by @KleinErin

Summer Learning Series: Doing more with YouTube  by @web20classroom

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Videos Worth Watching:

Be the Unexpected (6 min)

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. As educators we have to have the ability to wear our hearts on our sleeves yet "draw the line" as needed. Well, now is the right time for tears. I know that you are surrounded by a caring school community. That's one of the blessings of being an educator. Take strength from each hug and every kind word that comes your way.