Thursday, August 27, 2015

For three years now, I have sat at my desk (the location of which has changed in the office) at the Advocate, writing story after story of news from our community. Good news, bad news and all that fits in between, this newspaper and the people that read it have become such a big part of my life that I consider it a privilege, not work.

I spend hours working on my stories, some have even taken weeks to put together. Yet, the thing I get the most compliments on from readers is my column. I try to write it weekly, but sometimes I run out of room, thinking that the news is more important than what’s going on in my world.

I write my column to fit the space available, writing about whatever is important to me on that particular day. I never thought about naming it, because, again, I just wrote to fill a void. But, it turns out, it was filling more that an empty space on my page. I’ve been told one of my columns was read at a funeral service, and another I received numerous emails and phone calls thanking me for being the voice of reason.

So, with all that said, I’ll do my best to save a little bit of space each week for my thoughts on community issues, national debates and, of course, updates on the cutest little boy I know. It won’t be a lot, and it probably won’t change lives, it’ll just be All That Fits.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fourth Grade

I have very clear memories from fourth grade. I remember the sound of Mrs. Fryer’s voice and I remember Mr. Grube’s class pets. During language arts that year, I remember having to give an oral book report. Mine was on a book I read about horses and I remember getting creative and videotaping myself in a sort-of interview fashion.

Fourth grade was also the year of the "missing portrait," as I like to define it. For some reason, there is only one picture of my fourth grade portrait in existence. My mom insists that I gave them all away, but I sincerely don’t know what happened to them. I remember, in full detail, getting my photo taken that year. I missed the regular picture day, and had to go in on retake day. Only two people in my class missed the first go-around: Nicole Jones and me.

Nicole and I were sent down to the gym, where the photographer was set up, and we promptly detoured into the girls’ bathroom to primp our hair. We giggled and laughed until we both felt we were as beautiful as we could manage, and we headed to our photo shoot hand-in-hand. I remember I wore a fancy green dress that day that had a shimmery skirt.

Michael, my son, began fourth grade today at Belvidere. When I asked him last week if he was ready to go back to school, he responded by saying, "I don’t really want to talk about that, but I am ready to see my friends again."

He’s looking forward to getting back into the routine that school brings and, according to him, he might even consider running for student government this year. "That is if I can convince people to vote for me. Would you vote for me?" he asked.

Of course I’d vote for Michael. I’m completely biased, but I’m fairly certain he’s the best kid for the job, whatever job he goes after. That’s the difference between him and me: he’s already focused on being a leader, where I was more concerned with who I sat by and looking cute in my school photo.

Whether I gave all my fourth grade photos away that year, or whether they were truly lost, the memories I have remain. I hope my son can hold onto some memories from the upcoming year as well.