Probably the most overused blog title on this day. So what?
We celebrated Valentine's Day in the tradition we started the night before Derek was born. It was raining hard that night. I was scheduled to be induced at 7 the next morning. We dropped Rachel, then 2.5, off with Randy's sister Amy & her family. There weren't as many places to eat around here then. We went to Red Lobster, and it was packed. We looked somewhere else, but I can't remember where. Anyway, we finally went to Cracker Barrel and they got us in. We sat at a quiet little table for two with one of those oil lamps... it was very sweet and even a little romantic.
After that, it was kind of hard to get a babysitter for Valentine's Day in the middle of the week. It was just easier to take the kids along and make it a family meal. We haven't done it every year, and Rachel couldn't be with us this year. We talked about it, but Derek was going to a competition today, and we weren't sure when he'd be home. In the meantime, she made plans to go to church tonight. It just didn't time out for us to all go together.
Well, now Randy's going to bed and I'm watching a show about a group that's working against gang violence in Chicago. When I decided to become a teacher, I didn't get into it to be a community changer. I thought I would work at Sycamore, where I could work the hours my kids were in school and be available to go to their sports events and be off when D was practicing for football. And I was, even though I didn't work at Sycamore. But I was teaching in a different universe. I was teaching in South Nashville, where I really felt like I got to know my students and I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of the kids.
I liked it, but when the opportunity to work closer to home came, I took it. I loved my new classroom, but I missed the community. I still miss it, really, but I know there are kids who need help here too. There aren't as many businesses wanting to throw money at the public school system here, but I know a lot of the kids are living in those same types of communities... kids getting shot (there were three young adults shot last semester, most known by many kids from school), kids getting killed in car accidents, kids who are being abused, neglected, you name it. It's a crazy world, and yet, if we'd lived 300 yards east of here, our kids would've been zoned for it. And even though we live 15 miles from the "hood," we only have to look out the living room window to see a lot of the same issues. Our neighbors (and I'm not just talking about the ones in the subdivision) don't look different from us, but they have family in jail, and problems. The mission field is right around me.