All this week I’ve tried to take advantage of my down time during Spring Break to spend as much as I can with our 4-year old son Seely. We have played baseball, basketball, rode his new bike, read books, worked on puzzles, writing, and just hanging out.
Yesterday in the midst of a string of swings and misses while playing baseball Seely got this very determined look on his face. I’ve seen it before and it is actually very hard not to laugh at him when he does it. All the while Dana and I both were encouraging him on his swing and praising his effort. He then gripped the bat a little tighter and hunkered down as Dana prepared to toss the ball to him one more time. Just before she tossed the ball to Seely he calmly and firmly said to us “I won’t give up.”
I was caught off guard by this comment, but I was also very excited and proud to hear him say it as well. I wasn’t really surprised though. You see, Seely has been a fighter since he was born Feb. 14, 2009.
He was born 3 1/2 weeks early. He weighed in at 8lbs 6oz so he didn’t look premature at all. However, there were complications during the 25 hours of labor. He was non-responsive at birth. After allowing Dana a brief moment to hold Seely he was immediately rushed off to the NICU with me in tow. With little explanation I was asked to sign several papers giving the NICU staff permission to do whatever it took to save Seely. I was then told to go back to my family and wait.
After waiting for 4 anguishing hours, it seemed much longer, we finally were able to see Seely again just after midnight. Only this time he had multiple monitoring wires and tubes attached to his head, feet, hand, arms, belly and chest. It turns out he had lost around half of his blood supply during delivery which led to anemia. He had a fever, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck one time and he suffered from Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) aka Hyaline Membrane Disease (HMD). We were told he may never be “normal.”
Needless to say he’s a tough kiddo and as normal as any other 4-year-old boy. We were home a week later and he has continued to fight and surprise Dana and I each and every day with so many blessings.
What I have learned during my first 4 years as a father and 12 years as an educator is we can’t give up on anyone. We especially can’t give up on our students or one another.
We have the hardest job in the world bar none and the most noble of jobs in the world as well. We must lean on one another and build one another up when we are down and when the politicians and others in the public do as well.
Our job is building the future, the tomorrow, the leaders, learners, and movers and shakers of our future.
I’m proud of what I do and I know the staff I work with each day is very proud as well. I am thankful for them and also for my amazing PLN I have gained since joining Twitter two years ago. You all inspire and motivate me to be better today than I was yesterday and even better tomorrow.
I just hope I inspire others, especially our students in the same way as Seely inspires me – “I won’t give up!”
I challenge each of you reading this post to help a student that may be on the verge of giving up or has quit. We can make a difference in the life of our students at any given moment.
Don’t let the moment you have right now pass you by. Make a difference. Connect with the disengaged and shy student. Build up the struggling student with no support at home.
We may be all they have!