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Ending It Off Right
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Here we are again. We made it. We did it and it’s here.

A school year once again comes to a close and in less than three weeks each of my two babies will age by one year via birthdays.

Honestly, I’m still a bit lost as to how we landed in May so quickly. This year was drastically different in our home than the past five as mommy returned to the news desk. No longer did I show up on their campus as a regular volunteer and a good few ‘Mommy Helper’ days went missed/overlooked as I sat at my desk penning a front page piece for Oakdale on the school board meeting from the night before.

Fortunately I have a forgiving and understanding daughter who learned to laugh alongside of me as we would realize … mommy missed her day. Through this year I learned to embrace the true nature of who I am and what I model to my children, I am indeed perfectly imperfect.

The 2014-15 school year will be the one I fondly remember as the year my children learned their mommy is human and not a Super Hero. It is also the year that I learned I am raising resilient, strong and independent children.

As mindful parents we hope we’re doing it ‘right,’ guiding them down the right path and using words which will help mold them. Yet despite it all we still must dry tears, use hard words and make big decisions if we are to truly serve them as stewards and parents.

This year we scholastically faced the dragon known as Common Core. What I learned through my children is what I knew all along, children are pliable and adults are resistant to change.

Yes, I watched families struggle as their students learned how to think through problems versus use memorization. I listened as parents shared this would be yet another failure from the standpoint of our education system and I guided my own through their individual hurdles.

The lesson … no one has all the answers. We are in a time of transition and like any change some will latch on and enjoy the ride, while others struggle with the adjustment. Translation … it’s life.



This is what we learned most as a family this school year … it’s life.

Life is many things (in my opinion). Life is messy, unpredictable, stressful and challenging. Yet it is also bright, sunny, fun and amazing all at the same time. When all these things present themselves, this is when you know you are truly living.

As we now embark on summer, I know one thing for certain … it will go too fast. As my kids grow older, gone are the days that I count down until they return to school. I don’t just love my kids; I like them … as people. They are far from perfect, they get that from me, but they are incredibly cool people and I love spending time with them.

Seeing life, the world, challenges through their eyes changes me. I grow because I am their mom. I’m grateful for the few extra days I have to learn, laugh and love them. Before too long I’ll be penning about their graduations and college choices. Simply put, I’m in no hurry.

So as each of us look to summer, as our small town streets become filled once again with passers through, tourists and teens I’m just grateful.

Grateful for all the imperfection which I possess that teach my children. Grateful for a town and education system which is loyal to its students. Grateful for the opportunity to return once again to our school campuses and share what I see with our readers.

It has indeed been a memorable year. Here’s to a summer full of memories which go unrivaled. Enjoy!


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.