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Sunday, September 27, 2009


Last week I received the following email from Jared's wonderful teacher from last school year.

I asked (Jared's Gr. 5 teacher's) permission to share this little story with you. He said, "of course"...just as I thought...he knows how much Jared means to me.
This morning Jared fell and scraped his knee...the blood was dripping from the wound onto his shoe when he came into the school. I could see he was in distress as I emerged into the hall to say good morning to my students as they filed in for the day. I looked up at Jared coming straight towards me and he was breathing in and out rather quickly...not hysterically.
I asked him what was wrong...he breathed in and out and in and out while pointing to his knee. It was dripping. He was not talking...just breathing. I grabbed a handful of kleenexes and asked him to come into my room. He did and I mopped his wound as he breathed and said, "Aren't I handling this well?" I looked up at him and smiled...a huge smile and said,"You sure are!!" The kleenex started sticking to the wound...now a year ago that would have sent Jared into a two hour frenzy. Today, he stayed calm and asked me what I could do about it. I said we would get some water and fix it. He said it would be wet and how would a bandaid stick to it. He told me he would need bandAGES!! I told him not to worry. I would get it all under control.
We cleaned it up...he stayed calm and proud of how he dealt with it. Mrs. D. came in just in time to get the bandaids on. He told her how hurt he was..I told her how proud I was of the way he handled the situation. He gave me a high five and went on his way. I beamed!!
I know to some, this may seem small and maybe immaterial. To me, it meant the world. He has come so far.
At recess today when I was on supervision, Mrs. D and I had a minute to chat. She said Jared is doing so well. I am so happy. Jackson and Jared were playing at the monkey bars with a whole bunch of other children and Jared got too rough. He knocked Jackson down on his bum. Jackson cried and cried and as we consoled him Jared felt very, very bad. Jared kept repeating that he didn't mean to do it. We told him it was alright. He apologized to Jackson. Jackson said he accepted his apology. As Jared ran into the school, he called out to me and said, "Mrs. W., do you know what? I called out to Jackson as he was going into the school that I was sorry again and he said it was okay. He said it was okay!! Isn't that cool?" I turned around and gave him another high five. I again, beamed for him.
I know your family has been through a lot this past year. Mrs. D. and I do not have a lot of time to look back on last year. Today we did and we can not believe the progress in your boy. He is my hero and we both just love him.
Have a great week. I know I sure am!!

This email made my whole week. At the end of the week Jared came home with a note written to him about the above incident by the school district superintendent congratulating him on a job well done and for setting such a good example to his schoolmates.

He has definitely come a long way since last September. Back then I thought I had lost my little boy. Now I have him back and we are moving forward and continuing to learn and grow as we prepare for life and school ahead.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Under the Shadow of the Bridge

Thanks to the Lethbridge Herald, this is the picture I tried to get this evening but couldn't. Well, considering my photographic talents, I probably would have had to resort to this photo anyway.

It's the largest structure of it's type in the world, I believe, and it's a hundred years old this year. It's a mile long.

This morning we were down near the bridge for the start of the In the Shadow of the Bridge Jazz Festival. Back up a few months.....James auditioned for and made his high school's senior jazz band. Pretty nice. He's in ninth grade and is playing music for the grades 10-12 band. Okay, now to the present. The jazz band was performing at the festival this morning. They did so well, especially considering they've only been rehearsing for a week and a half. He loved playing in front of an audience. It's true there's nothing better.

I thought it would be fun to watch this much hyped lighting of the bridge. This afternoon Sean and I drove around the south side of Lethbridge to find a good place to watch the lighting. We staked out a location. We returned to the site with the boys and six 1.2L Big Gulps around 8:45pm. Light up was set for 9pm. We waited eagerly along with a crowd of other folks. I'd like to say that when the lights went on it looked exactly like the picture above, but it really, really didn't.

So we hopped in the car and hoped to get a better view from the west side and apparently so did the rest of Lethbridge. From then on we were in a traffic flow that made the obvious result of drinking 1.2L of pop a torturous affair.

We eventually did get a good view of the High Level Bridge, but it never looked anything like the Lethbridge Herald picture. Too bad. I would say it was still a fun evening despite the disappointment. We were all together drinking too much soda and dying for a bathroom.