NAS: Children

Whoops, I had all intentions of writing a post for last week's link up with Jen and Morgan, but I completely forgot!

But jumping back into things this week because I LOVE the topic!

Do you have children in your life? What is your relationship with them like? Do you have godchildren, and how do you form a relationship with them? Does having children in (or not in) your day-to-day life make you feel happy, wistful, or wary (of having your own someday)? Thanks to Lindsay! 

I'd have to say that there are a good amount of kids in my life. Let me break it down: Family-wise I am the oldest of three siblings, the oldest of 13 cousins on my Dad's side and one of 19 cousins on my mom's side, most of whom have kids (so about 13 first-cousins once removed). So I grew up around A LOT of kids. And my career has also taken me down a path of working with a lot of children. From babysitting and teaching CCD in high school, to studying to be in a career working with children in college, to two-years of teaching 6th graders and now working on initiatives in Child and Adolescent Psychology, my career goals have always been to help better the lives of children.

My Godson!
I have a godson, who is actually my godmother's son, and he is the cutest stinking kid in the entire world. I don't see him enough and I want to learn to be a better role model to him through being his Godmother, but I'm just continuing to love the little goober and his silliness for now. 

Confirmation 201

I am also blessed to have been the confirmation sponsor of two of my cousins in the past two years, and I have been able to see them develop into such strong young men, a privilege that my geography has granted me recently.  I've learned a lot from how they view the world and am ever-blessed by their humor.
Confirmation 2013

I feel like I have a good relationship with most of the kids in my life, though my little cousins have told me on more than one occasion to stop acting like their teacher #canthelpit. Although spending all day teaching wasn't the best fit for me, the part I miss most about full-time teaching is my kids. Not my students, my kids. I realized very early on in my teaching career  how quickly I began to care for my students when I started calling them "my kids", and still refer to them that way when I talk about them (which tends to confuse some people who didn't know I was a teacher.....). I loved the times when we could just talk, where I could just hear them reflect upon their life and their hopes and dreams. While I enjoyed teaching my math and science lessons, one of the most fruitful moments in teaching came from an hour and a half long conversation I had with my class the day after Pope Francis was elected. It was fascinating, in a Catholic school that serve mostly non-Catholic students, to hear their perspective on the event (side-note: All kids think the Popemobile is cool).

I think because I come from a teaching background that I am sometimes to strict with the kids in my life, but I think it is because I've see so much potential and future hope in kids and I want them to have every opportunity to use the gifts that God has bestowed upon them. The children in my life bring me the most amount of happiness in my days, especially when they blow my mind answering questions so simply. Their unbiased innocence lends itself to that, and they show me an insight into the world and the human experience that is closer to what God intends us to see than what we necessarily see when we view the world. I see myself working with kids for as long as I can, either directly in their care or in advocacy for their rights and needs. While I don't know when it may happen, if He chooses to bless me with them, I can't wait to have kids of my own one day, in whatever way God grants them to me. 

The greatest thing that teaching has taught me is that we have a lot we can learn from them while we hope they may learn something from us.

"At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me"

Matthew 18:1-5