Sunday, February 26, 2012

Okay, I did it....

Several years ago, I told my daughter that she could double-date or go on group dates when she turned 15 and that she could actually date at 16. Up until now, that hasn't been a problem. Pickings are a bit slim at her school, so the dating scenario hasn't been an issue.

Until today.

Make that last night when she informed me that "the boy" had asked her to go to a movie with him. My first reaction was to say, "no." Just like that. But then I remembered what I had told her several years ago. When she was about 13 and asking questions about when she could date. And I realized, a bit stunned, that she is 16, and that I really didn't have a reason to say no.

So, her dad and I said yes.

And she went on her first "official" date.

When she came home, she came into the room where I was working and told me a little bit about her date. As she walked out, I actually thought I detected a whiff of ...

doll plastic, in fact

and my eyes fell on this little Madeleine.

I picked her up and sniffed her hair and remembered when tiny little hands held on to her and played with her.


Who knew it would happen so fast?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reaching Our Potential

As a teacher of 8th-graders, I always strive to make my students understand that they control their future. Each and every one has the ability and the power to achieve success in their lives, and I encourage them to work hard and to make decisions that will have a positive impact on their lives.

A couple of years ago, I interviewed an exceptional young man who has never seen himself as being disabled. Instead, he's been an athlete and a scholar. His story made me think how much we all can accomplish when we have the fortitude to tackle the challenges and climb the mountains that are laid before us. When I was working on the article, I came across a statement by Zimbabwe native and double-amputee Prudence Mabhena who said, "I want to show the world that disability does not mean inability." That quote could well define Oliver Horne on one condition - he's not out to prove anything to the world. He is simply persistent in living his life to the best of his ability.