I have some really great bloggers lined up for you guys these next few weeks. I can already tell that Feature Friday is going to be one of my absolute favorite aspects of this blog. Introducing all of my readers to new bloggers and meeting new readers through the social media chain makes me all kinds of giddy. Do you guys remember hearing me talk about and share posts for the Be Enough Me linkups? This fabulous meme is hosted by an amazing site called Just. Be. Enough. and today’s Feature Friday Blogger is the founder of the Just. Be. Enough. website. She is one of those all around remarkable people and I knew that I just had to have her here to do a feature. Everyone, Meet Elena!
Elena is a mom. A wife. A teacher. A cancer survivor. A blogger. Life has always been a roller coaster, a bit of a magic carpet ride. There have been downs, l ike being diagnosed withHodgkin’s disease at 23, having a bone marrow transplant, getting divorced, and suffering from depression. There have also been ups, like the birth of a daughter, successfully running two marathons, and meeting & getting re-married to the love of her life. Elena writes about the magic carpet ride of life through the good, the bad, and the ugly at C.Mom, and just a few months ago founded Just.Be.Enough. where she strives to help encourage others to carry the weight of empowerment and self confidence instead of the weight of our flaws.
Teacher. That is the role that defined me for the last twelve years.
Mom. The second longest role of my adult life.
Mix the two together and you get a strange mix of worry, pride, hesitancy, and hope that my daughter will find success in school, in learning, and in become a real world thinker that is ready to tackle life.
She had a rough start to the school year, transitioning from a Montessori program to a public school first grade. She is highly creative and very verbal with a tendency to be over sensitive and a propensity to be dramatic. My biggest concern for her is that her love of learning not be squelched. But also? The mom in me…the one that wants her to grow up confident and able to tackle anything? That part of me wants to know that she is proud of herself, that she feels like she is enough having experienced a healthy balance of positive reinforcement and constructive criticism.
I know what her weaknesses are and what I will hear at her parent teacher conference in two weeks.
She is chatty.
She is creative.
She has trouble controlling her impulses.
I wish I would hear things like:
She asks good questions.
She makes good inferences.
She is kind to others.
But I know better. I know that for many teachers, appreciating her quirks is too time consuming. I know that for many teachers, her flair and independence are seen as distractions to others. I know because even as a mother, she pushes my buttons at times. But I am her mom, I love her unconditionally. Her teachers do not.
So I was very cautious when I saw her recent homework assignment. I stood back and stayed quiet as she read the directions: Write 2 things that you would like me to tell your parents about your work at school when we meet to talk about how you are doing at school.” I looked away as she started writing; not wanting to influence her in any way.
And then it happened.
My daughter reminded me that despite the difficulty of the transition and the stress that she has verbalized about not knowing how to do things in her new school, she is ok. She reminded me that her love of learning is still in tact.
Instead she made me realize that despite knowing the things she is not good at, she is also keenly aware of herself and that she is enough. She knows she is still working at learning the routines. She is still learning to manage her impulses. But she is doing her best.
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.