Right now, November 18, 2009, I am holding student conferences in the week before our Thanksgiving break. It has been rainy, cold and dreary lately, with no end in sight soon. I find myself repeating the same worn phrases to my students over and over: "Don't leave your introduction without providing a clear thesis statement. Maintain third person point of view for a more formal, academic tone. Your conclusion needs to be a separate paragraph. It needs to give the reader a sense of closure."
Last year at this time, I suspect I was uttering the same words to different kids. The year before that, third verse, same as the first.
What has changed over the years is not necessarily what I do, but how I feel and how I perceive myself and the world around me.
And Mog! Mog changes ohsoquickly. I'm afraid if I blink, I'm going to miss something. :)
Last November, he was enthralled with the mixer. And the year before that, his birth year, I was frustrated at trying to find cutesy festive outfits to dress him in.
A quick look at my photo archives reveals a little boy with long, curly wispy hair, so much darker than the short locks he sports today. The photos from 2008 and 2007 show a baby with chubby fingers and a rounded face. This month's photos show a big boy, one who's wearing underpants to daycare and brushing his own teeth, terrorizing the cat, and demanding M&M's for breakfast!
Mog 2007: Contemplating his very first biter biscuit. Note the orange cast to his complexion: nope, it wasn't my camera settings; it was too much carrots and sweet potatoes!
Mog 2008: Wearing a bandanna and a smile.
Mog 2009: Impossible to get him to look directly at the camera.
This time of year, all of us are looking forward. Anticipating or dreading the holidays, planning, thinking, and scheming. Hopefully, pausing a moment in the present, maybe to consider what we are thankful for, what we have, here and now.
It's good sometimes, though, to take a moment to look back and see where we've been. I don't know that I have any more answers here in November 2009 than I did in November 2007. I can't really pretend to be a better or wiser person. In a lot of ways, I'm still the same old Rachel I always have been. Sometimes the realization makes me cringe. Sometimes it brings comfort.
But I know that I can look at those old photos, those old blog posts, those old scrapbook pages...and they make me smile. Sometimes that's all I need.