Today is Mother’s Day. It is a celebration of the beautiful gift of motherhood. We buy flowers, candy, slippers, we go to dinner or brunch, and we are thankful that we have a mother who loves us unconditionally.

I luckily had one of the best mothers ever. So today as I think about my own wonderful mother I also think about all of my students or friends who do not have their moms and how painful today is for them. Even more painful is all those children or adults who still have raw hurtful feelings of a disconnected uncaring mother. Maybe it was drugs, or immaturity, or violence, or just ignorance, but many have mothers who do not fit the “mommy mold.” They yell, belittle, neglect, blame, and are emotionally unavailable.

As I celebrate my day with my husband and sons I am feeling grateful that my mother is still living and is a strong, moralistic, role model to me  at the age of 83. All I can do is think of several students and friends who are not so lucky. I know that many other people have stepped up to fill that motherly role, many are dedicated teachers who I work with every day. I also appreciate them.

The love of a mother is so special. I tell my students in religion class that Mary is always there for them when they are sad or hurt or angry, to always ask her for help, and trust that she will like a real loving mother would be. For some, she is all they have, besides all of us motherly teachers.

This is dedicated to my mother, Marge Wiethe.


read more

If you ask my students they would say I am a pretty patient person. I help them endlessly over and over again. I recopy lost papers, I reread to them, I restate questions, I repeat myself 8,000 times, or at least if feels like it daily.   I tend to attract the struggling, troubled, angy, or defiant student, and of course the needy, the excited, the depressed, and the anxious student. Oh who am I kidding?… and the funny, loud, ADD, quiet, and outgoing students too. Okay maybe I am a little patient, but not when it comes to waiting for other people to make decisions that will greatly impact my world.

When your life in in turmoil you need to have faith and trust in the Lord. I am very lucky and am not even suggesting in any way that I have a horrific situation like a very ill child, or dealing with drug addiction, or something like that, but I do have uncertainty. We all do right now.

Isn’t that what life is, uncertainty? Why am I surprised? I had my first child and I unexpectedly went into labor 5 weeks early and had him in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, or that time I was relaxing at the pool with my young children years later and got the call from a principal that there was a teaching position that needed filled for the school year that would start in 3 days and she wanted me, or when Lori and I jokingly said we should write a book and now we have written 22 books. Why can I not understand that life is always one surprise after another. I have lived through all of the others unplanned events, so I will live through this too.

I should embrace the excitement right? Think of all the possibilities and be ready for whatever will come, afterall it is just another day of life, who wants a boring life anyways? Apparently not me!


read more