Monday, September 23, 2013


Today made me grateful to have the freedom of a freelance writer. After waking up way too early, I got in an hour and a half of editing before anyone else woke up.  That's more productivity than I often manage in an entire day!

Waking up early was no accident: My father called to tell me that my grandfather was dying. (He has been in the hospital for about a week with kidney failure.) I woke up my son, fed him quickly, put him in the car, drove two hours, and was able to say goodbye. My son, a bit frightened by all the tubes, machines, and beeps, stayed far away from the dear patient but blew him sweet kisses.

What's so precious about my son seeing my grandfather? This was the first time. When we adopted Samuel, he was too tiny to travel, and then school started back, and I never carved out the time. Today, I had no substitute teacher to find, no emergency lesson plans to create, and no overwhelming guilt for putting my family before my students. After 23 years of missing funerals and other family functions, I was able--without hesitation--to drop everything and go love on this man.


  1. I am so sorry about your grandfather. All of us who have missed those things for years, understand. You hit it on the head when you said 'putting our students first.' I have missed more award ceremonies, Thanksgiving feasts and authors' teas for my kids than I would care to admit. However, the moment that still makes me cringe after 10 years is when I woke up, bleeding while I was pregnant- after I had suffered a miscarried months before- and I sat there writing lesson plans before leaving for the hospital. Fortunately,Vivian was fine, but I now go to most events and remind myself that if I missed school for an emergency, they would find/assign someone to teach the kids and move on...

  2. Sharon, we can indeed be replaced. We don't like to think of ourselves that way, but it's true. You have a skill set that would be hard to duplicate, but there are five other teachers out there who can do what one Sharon does!