Saturday, April 28, 2012

the boys

There are some days when technology is annoying, time consuming, addictive, & just plain frustrating (especially when it doesn't work). But then, there are some days when technology connects people. & this is my story of how my blog connected me with this (click "this") blog.

As I started reading her words over one year ago, I felt something. Not knowing what that "something" was, I went on with my day to day life, not knowing that our paths would soon meet one day. 

When you read blogs, you start to feel like you know the person, like you could call them up and chat for an hour. You get interested in their activities, families, triumphs, set backs, & as I mentioned in an earlier post, it gives us that sense of "comfort" knowing that no ones life is 100% perfect. 

I walked in to a classroom a couple weeks ago to teach. As the students came filing through the door, I saw him. As the day went on & the lessons were taught, I knew that something special was just beginning. He sat at his desk & I watched. I can't begin to think about what he must be feeling, what he must think, how he lives a "normal" teenage boys life, is he scared? As the day ended & I waved the students out the door, I walked out of the school & thought to myself, I have to do something. I got home & left Vicky a comment on her blog. I wanted her to know that her son was such a spunky (do people still use that word?) student, such a joy to be around, & that I had hoped that I would get to teach in his classroom again.

I got called to come back to that classroom 2 more times since that 1st "meeting", & will be teaching 2 more days there in 2 weeks. Going back there for the 2nd (geez, I must like the number 2) time, it was evident that this boy didn't mind me. As the day went on, I found him saying "Miss Stavenger, come here!" much more than the other students. As I would walk over, he would talk to me about life, not school. "What's your favorite sport? Where do you live? Do you have an iPhone? Can I play with it?"

When he asked me if I wanted to come over after school & play, that's when it hit me. 

"Mom, you know Vicky? That mom I was telling you about that has breast cancer? I had her son in my class today! You know that he has a younger brother, too? I can't begin to think about their day to day thoughts. I want to do something for them but I just don't know what. Maybe I could take them to a movie or something one night?"

As I thought more about this, my "movie night" idea turned in to "hang out with them a couple times a week during the summer" idea. As I will not (or can not) be a substitute teacher this summer, I had been trying to think of another job. With weddings, bridal showers, family reunions, & a handful of other things planned, I couldn't come up with another job that would allow me to be so flexible with time off. 

Bam. It was all clear.

 I e-mailed Vicky & told her my idea. Not going to lie, it was hard to construct that e-mail. I didn't want to  say the wrong thing, I mean I didn't know what their life was like. I didn't want to assume things or make it sound like they weren't giving their kids attention. So, after many minutes of typing, deleting, typing some more, deleting some more, I pushed send & away it went.

She loved it, her husband loved it, & most importantly, her boys loved it. The following Monday I was back in Nolan's classroom. The first thing he said to me? "When can we go to Thunder Road? Can we go tonight?" (Thunder Road is kid heaven. Go karts, mini-golf, a batting cage, & arcade games). I told him no but that I would talk to his mom & we would start "planning" some activities.

Last night was our first "hang out".  I picked them up and finally got to meet Vicky & Rick. I say finally because it seems as though I have known them for a year! After talking for a bit, the boys and I headed to the Fargo Force hockey game.

Advertise placement done right
Waiting for the blimp to come their way
Over here! Keep coming! 
Finally!  I told them to pop it & see if candy would come out. In the end... no pop, no candy. 

On the edge of their seats the whole game. 

The game didn't end the way we would have liked. We lost 3-2 in OT. I knew that the boys had fun (based on laughs & smiles, oh, and Colton's dance moves), but I was wondering if they were looking forward to hanging out again as much as I was. Then these words came out of Colton's mouth:

"What are we going to do next time? Let's go bowling!"

After I dropped the boys off at home, I couldn't help but smile.
Thank you, Rick & Vicky, for sharing your boys with me! 


  1. Carrie,
    I just read your this and teared up a little bit. I worked at Reinertsen last year when Vicky found out she had breast cancer. Although I did not know the family I religiously read her blog and found myself thinking she is such a positive person and she made me look at life differently... I found myself wanting to do something for the family. I donated and bought one of her bracelets because I didn't know what else I could do. It's so great to see what you are doing with those boys! I'm sure they love it! You will be a great teacher someday! :)

  2. Carrie,
    I used to have these two in park program every summer! They are so fun! Enjoy them!

  3. Carrie, this post is so touching! It actually brought me to tears! What a blessing you are!