via Daily Prompt: Hospitality

What a great day to write about hospitality! It is also Mother’s Day! Today, instead of gathering with family, we are going to a friend’s house for a college graduation celebration. It will be attended by mostly the graduate’s family members. Therefore, we are pleased to be included.  Our family celebration of Mother’s Day and other similarly oriented holidays have changed over the last twenty years, since we’ve lived in the mid-west.  Family gatherings of our own, previously attended by both my parents and in-laws, as well as our siblings is a thing of the past. Frankly, our holiday celebrations have become blunted. It is the partially the result of a husband who works holidays and various shifts due to being a health care system employee and not having family close enough to visit on the holiday – no matter what the holiday might be.  It is our fault, as much as anyone else’s, that our celebrations have become mostly private,  We all share the blame for not extending the invitation, not traveling, and not hosting.

Hospitality is something that grows when practiced. My friend is a gracious host. You always feel welcome and wanted at their home. Today will be no different. My friend has had many opportunities to practice her hospitality.  Her daughter, who we celebrate today, has spent time earning a theater degree at a local university. We’ve been pleased to attend and be entertained by her wonderful portrayal of many characters. Her mom, my friend, has gathered family and close friends for a meal prior to these performances. As I said, we’ve attended many.  It has been enjoyable to be in such hospitable and gracious company.

I remember the days of yesterday when my husband and I were hosts to family gatherings.  Both sides gathered for holiday celebrations like Christmas Eve and family picnics at our home.  I would like to think we were good hosts. Now, due to lack of practice, we probably need a little work.  My hope, on this Mother’s Day, is that my boys – now approaching young adulthood, will always know they are welcome to come home to celebrate any holiday or any day, for that matter!  I hope they will allow me the chance to practice the skill of hospitality and become good at it once again.

Inspired by: Daily Post: Hospitality

Who inspired me to teach? My mom.

Who inspired me to teach? My mom.

Today, I saw a PBS Newshour article online asking the readership who inspired them to teach.  I did not have to give this much thought at all. It was my mom! My mom inspired me to teach! She taught third grade at one of our local elementary schools while I was growing up. I remember summers for her were spent either attending a grad course (mostly on making corrugated cardboard furniture for her classroom) or developing new curriculum for her students. She made entire units on high interest topical themes like Robin Hood. It was a time when teachers could be creative in their discipline.  Whole Language was the craze.  I am sure she fostered a love of reading in her students by using Amelia Bedelia stories, Scott Corbett chapter books, and Jack Prelutsky poetry. She was an awesome teacher. I know her to be strict, yet kind. Firm, yet flexible enough to allow students to grow in a way that was meaningful for them. I watched and I learned.

Over the years, I saw how some of my friends and classmates reacted to my mom as a teacher. She was loved. She was respected. She was requested by parents and families who knew their child would benefit from a year in her classroom. I was proud to be her daughter and know my friends, neighbors, and classmates were learning well from her.

Today, I hope I am the teacher of which my mom would be proud. I try to emulate her investment in students, her joy of sharing a good book, and her patience in trying to teach a new concept. I know I received my love of the written word from my mom. I have always loved words, word roots, vocabulary, and a well written story.  I owe gratitude to my mother for these traits I received directly from her. From watching, from growing, from emulating, from dreaming, I knew wanted to be a teacher. And now, I am.

Thanks, Mom.