Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Best Part of Me

I read a blog post this morning that has really gotten me thinking. The blog, www.donteatus.com, is written by a high school (and junior high) classmate, and he is doing a really great job of chronicling their family's journey, specifically as they address their son's special needs. It's definitely worth a read.

The post talks about the importance of setting a good example for our children, about our obligation to give our children the best model possible for healthy, whole living.

Years ago, I remember a discussion Robin and I had when my life was seriously out of balance. Between work and the two programs I was enrolled in at U.T., I was perpetually exhausted, irritable, and generally short-tempered. I would get home and not have the energy to give Robin even close to the amount of patience, energy, and enthusiasm that I gave my classmates, students, and colleagues. He said the most heartbreaking words to me that I've ever heard come out of his mouth: "Everybody else gets the best part of you."

This feels like possibly the most personal thing I've ever shared on this blog, but I think it's really important. I spend my day expending energy, patience, enthusiasm, and careful guidance to my students. My challenge to myself all year has been to maintain enough of myself to give the same energy, patience, enthusiasm, and guidance to Lydia when I get home. I'm not sure if I have succeeded--certainly not every day. It's really hard. I am a working mom. I will most likely always be a working mom, but this oh-so-necessary duty of giving the best part of me to my family--it takes some time to learn.

I work in a profession in which parents are often the recipient of pointed fingers. Children can't read because their parents didn't read to them. Kids miss school because their parents aren't keeping track of them. Parents don't this, parents don't that. I'm the parent now. I'm on both sides of this fence, and as the post I mentioned said, the stakes are high to fulfill my duties. As the post said, I will not be a stumbling block to my child's potential.

I think Robin and I model a lot of things well for Lydia. We take good care of our bodies, we maintain good relationships with each other and with our friends, Lydia is read to every day, all of the basics, but I am raising the bar for myself.

As a teacher, and now as a mentor for a student teacher, I talk constantly about the necessity of being hands on, of constantly giving kids feedback and interaction, of patience and understanding. I have been wondering today if I hold myself as accountable for this at home as I do at work. If anything, it has been a good reminder that Lydia and Robin deserve the very best part of me.


  1. I like it, especially Stanley sniffing Robin's crotch.

  2. Wow. I'm humbled by your post. We are all parents just trying to do our best, yet there are only 24 hrs in a day. How to prioritize?!! Your post impacted me in two ways. 1) I'm encouraged by what incredible parents you and Robin are, and 2) If my posts are really reaching people in deep ways, it's worth the time I spend writing at night. Thanks for such a powerful post Laurie!

  3. I think one of the best things we can teach our children is humility, and I don't think that can't be taught, just modeled. By your humility in your post, It's obvious you are already doing that!

    I am also at fault for not treating my family, as my Dad would say, "like my best clients." Thanks for reminding me my family is "my best clients."

    (I am embarrassed about my sentence structure and proper quotation..Ha!)