One-on-one time with my daughter rarely comes around. When the local father-daughter dance was announced, it was such a perfect opportunity to spend an evening of food, fun and dance. I’m hoping it would be a night that she remembers, just as much as I will. We were able to talk about her 2nd grade classes, sports, music and the dreaded topic - boys!
I must admit, the night meant just as much to me as it did to her. (if not more!) She still “likes” to hang out with her dad. She isn’t ashamed or doesn’t do an “eye roll” when I bring up a discussion. It is nice to know that she still looks up to me and my standards.
Anika will always be my girl, but it is sad to think that in the near future she will be escorted by another boy. (many years in the future - thank goodness!) I hope she looks back on this evening and knows how she is supposed to be treated on a date. I did my best to set the bar as high as I could.
Valentine’s Day is best known as the month for love and giving. This was certainly the case at Ann K. Heiman Elementary as the school celebrated Valentine’s in rare fashion by dedicating the day to a very strong and brave young man. Jason, a kindergarten student at the school was diagnosed with a rare heart defect called CHD. Congenital Heart Disease means that he was born with an abnormally structured heart and/or large vessels. The “Heart Hero”, as staff and students know him as, is currently #3 on a waiting list for a brand new heart. This past week, the entire school came together during “Jump Rope for Heart” dedicating a string of hearts composed of 680 student signatures for him. A huge box of “get well” valentine notes was also presented. Finally, Mrs. Holly Kerkes’ 5th-grade class sewed together heart pillows in their life skills class that they presented to Jason and will give to other children at the cardiac ward in which he will eventually be receiving a new heart.
It was touching watching the Heiman Husky student body, staff, and administration come together and support Jason. I tend to put myself in situations and ask, "What if it was my son?" These questions always rattle me a bit and I can honestly say - It would be tough. Emotionally and physically demanding.
I've learned first hand, do not take the smallest things for granted. The holding of your child in the morning. Playing at the park and laughing. The tucking in and prayers at night. Cherish them and hold on to them for as long as you can.
It will be such an uphill battle for our “Heart Hero”, but we will continue the chant - “Good Luck Jason - Huskies don’t give up”!
Heiman Elementary (3500 Palermo Ave, Evans, CO) is currently seeking community donations to support Congenital Heart Disease month and the family of Jason. They are currently seeking coloring books, 8 pack crayons, playdoh sets, baby blankets, kids DVDs, iTunes gift cards, restaurant gift cards and travel size games/puzzles.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Children are like sponges. They take in everything. It is said that between birth and 3 years of age, the human brain increases to 80% of its adult size. Watching a child change from a clumsy toddler into lively explorers of the world is fascinating! What an experience today to be part of the learning process in the classroom. To see a teacher's method of focusing the student and capturing the excitement as they succeed.
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.