Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kindness and Perfect Friends

Being kind and being a friend are both such important skills to teach children.  I know they don't show up in the Common Core, but to me- there is nothing more important. 

I remember when our first house was being put up.  We bought a modular home that had to be "put together" and set on the foundation.  As a "boy" I went to school with was maneuvering one of the big cranes which was swinging half of our brand new house back and forth to line it up- I thought to myself, "I am SO glad I was nice to everyone in high school!"  You just NEVER know- who will be working on your car, who will be your ER doctor, who will be digging your well, who will be your plumber...  I wish kids could understand that in middle school and high school. One of my favorite quotes is:

Yesterday  I met my perfect friend Suzanne for coffee.  I met her the second year I taught, in 1987, we just clicked.  She has moved about an hour and a half away- but whenever we get together, we pick up laughing and talking  right where we left off- and it is perfect. Four hours later sitting in Panera, we decided we should probably give up our seats...

When I saw this poster, it started me thinking how blessed I am.   "He who seeks perfection in a friend will stay without friends," is a Yiddish Proverb that I found.  My saying is the perfect friends love you because you are not perfect. 

Of course, God is my truly perfect friend.  I feel like I have constant conversation with Him all day long- and I don't know what I would do without it. Here was part of my devotion today from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:

When you are with someone you trust completely, you feel free to be yourself. This is one of the joys of true friendship.   Though I am Lord of lords and King of kings, I also desire to be your intimate Friend.  When you are tense or pretentious in our relationship, I feel hurt.  I know the worst about you, but I also see the best in you.  I long for you to trust Me enough to be fully yourself with Me.  When you are real with Me, I am able to bring out the best in you: the very gifts I have planted in your soul.  Relax, and enjoy our friendship.
How perfect was that for today for me?!

 I have this verse down, just because I can't imagine my days any other way.

I married my perfect friend 26 years ago today.  We met in 9th grade when Jeff weighed 102 pounds and could NOT gain weight to wrestle... :) (I could have pinned him with NO PROBLEM because I was in a higher weight class...)  His school merged with ours.  He was in my first period class and just made me laugh.  Later, I saw him come into my 5th period class and I still remember how happy I was inside. 

My parents are my perfect friends.  NO MATTER WHAT happens, I know that I can go to their house, sit down, talk forever, and they will just stop everything and really, truly listen to me.  The are ALWAYS there for me and our family, and love me completely, always. 

My sister is my perfect friend.  She is always, always there for me, and she just gets me. Right away.  What a wonderful feeling to know she is there anytime, all the time, and just loves me.

My children are each my perfect friend.  Jeff and I could talk to Ellie and her "almost husband" Matt for hours, and just have the best time ever.  Ellie has always been my "voice of reason."  She has so many qualities I do not, and I just admire her so much- and wish I were like her!  :)    Emily is a lot like me. We laugh at the same things, love to watch the same shows, go to girlie movies, and just doing anything together is a perfect day.   Matt  has such an easy going, funny, wonderful personality.  He is such a great guy, and a joy growing up- I also want to be like him.  We have so much fun playing games with  him and his girlfriend, Jaclyn.  I am so blessed.

My friend Betty is a perfect friend.  I have NEVER even met this perfect friend.  She bought a book one day from me online- and we started emailing.  Well, a few years and lots and lots of emails, cards, and gifts back and forth from NY to Texas later- and she is one of my perfect friends.  She is amazing, one of the most thoughtful, kind people I have ever "met."

My school friends are my perfect friends. Even though everyone is nice at school, you know how there are a few, special friends you just know are truly there for you. I am lucky enough to have several really good friends at school.   I have taught Kindergarten with  Amy and Holly since I started, and they can make any day better.  They can just say or do something that is exactly what I need-even sometimes just an expression. We work hard, but we LAUGH, too- and we are just there for each other in and out of school. We always know that.  That is a blessing.

My friend Deedee is a perfect friend.  We have known each other forever.  We got our Master's together. She teaches in  another school in our district , and we walk talk whenever we get a chance-at least once a week.    Our "walks" are often sitting in Dunkin Donuts.  We got yelled at one time by an old man for laughing a little too loud- no actually he said we just talked too much and too fast.  :( 

My friend Heather is a perfect friend.  She and I homeschooled together. She has 8 wonderful children.  If she texts me and says one of her kids is at basketball practice and she has an hour to kill- BAM- we meet and catch up- and laugh.  We got yelled at in a pizza place for talking, by yet a different old man who wanted to hear the lyrics to the songs that were playing in the pizza place.  What?! ha ha. Hmmm. I see a pattern here. Those FRIENDS of mine... cause it couldn't be ME! ( Maybe that is why I am an understanding teacher to the "talkers." )

I'll never forget going to watch her kids one night when she had to go into the hospital. I had stopped at the grocery store really quickly, to get food to take - and one thing I bought was a box of glazed donut holes (for the kids).  I was so nervous for her, that by the time I got to her house, I had eaten ALL BUT 4 of the donut holes! My mouth felt like I had just eaten a tub of Crisco.  What a weird memory...  Anyway- Apparently I clean AND eat when I am nervous...

I think I laugh so much with my friends because there is nothing between us.  We know and love each other so truly- it is just the easiest thing in the world to be ourselves. I can tell them anything and they love me.  If I needed anything in the world, they would be there in an instant for me.  THAT is perfection for me.

I am so happy that I started blogging. I have met such great people in a few months- and some who I even feel are already my friends! It is just so amazing to think  that all over the country, all over the world,  there are perfect, new friends to be made! How exciting is that?! We are all so blessed! 

Reflecting on my friends was such a blessing for me today.  I think it helps me to better teach my class about being a friend- not being "perfect" but being a perfect friend- there is such a difference.  I realized that yes, you need to be kind to everyone and try to be a friend to everyone- and then by doing that, you find those very perfect friends who make you better by being with them. 

PS- Suzanne and I did NOT get yelled at by ANYONE in Panera!  Just sayin... 

Thanks for stopping by!

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