I got to school and started unpacking a box full of mementos. I came across a little stack of papers that I've saved over the years - notes that I'd find on my desk from the boys. Zachary (now 17 and about to start his senior year of high school) was the most prolific of the note writers. Their note writing would happen during the school day when one of them would come down to my classroom "needing" something. Judging from my stack of notes, they frequented my classroom quite a bit while I was away at conference, lunch, or recess.
I look back so fondly on those days. I'd come back in with my class full kids, and sitting on top of my computer keyboard (smart boys know where to put a note so that mom will actually FIND it) would be some torn scrap from a notepad, or a post-it, or sometimes a whole sheet of notebook paper. There'd be things like; "my retainer came out, i have it, come and get it.", "i need lunch money.", "do you have my library book? i all ready looked in the car.", "can you call ryan's mom? he wants to come over.", or "can i have money for the book fair? i'll do chores."
My boys were always blessed with teachers who were fond of them. Thank the LORD. :) Zachary's fourth grade teacher had known him since birth and was so thankful that Zach had a mom, and at school no less, that it seems he had his own private hall pass to use at will.
Many of the notes have little smileys or hearts drawn on them, and they ALL start with the word "Mom". Very few are missing the word "love" either written out, abbreviated, or even included as an entire "i love you" sentence.
As I looked through those notes of handwritten "i love yous" with hearts and smiles from all FOUR boys, I felt really stupid and ungrateful for having complained of the tragic nature of my life lately.
My life is not tragic. It is rich and full and meaningful. Sure, it's been tough, and I've taken lots of risks. But I've gained the MOST important things of all and the only things that last. Relationship. Love. Family.
I have these downward dips occasionally. I guess we all do. I get to thinking that I'll never find true love and devotion. And yet, I have it already. No, it's not there in the form of romance or commitment from a man, but love is love. It's come at great cost to me personally