Monday, December 25, 2006

Getting What You Want

When I was growing up, we couldn't wait for the Sears catalog to come in the mail. My Christmas list was based entirely on what was in that catalog. With five kids and the fact that my dad was laid off from his job often during my growing up, Christmas was always more about hope than reality. I made my list like this: first, the things I figured were affordable and still something I liked, then, things I wanted that I knew my parents would "try" to get, and finally, the one thing that I wanted more than anything, the thing I hoped for beyond hope and the thing that would make all my Christmas dreams comes true.

I never got that one thing that I pinned all my hopes and dreams on. Not yet anyway.

I often wish I never had to make a list. That somehow the people that cared about me would know me well enough to know what I needed and wanted. But for some reason in order to get what you want, you need to tell someone.

The students I teach right now want so much. Their lists are quite long and much of what they want is out of my price range. I'm trying to supplement what they want with what I think is a comparable offering. I'm looking for a way to give them what they NEED instead. They may not be getting the state of the art technology learning environment, but they are getting a teacher willing to listen and find out what it is that they really need. Often what they really need is someone to give them a chance.

The Rolling Stones have a song called "You Can't Always Get What You Want." The end of the refrain tells us that "You can't always get what you want. And if you try sometime you find, You get what you need."

If you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas, I encourage you to look closely and see if scattered among the debris of the holiday, you find that you got what you needed. Sometimes it shows up wrapped in a smile, a word from a faraway friend, forgiveness, a compliment, or the joy of someone that you gifted with something they wanted. Look closely. My hope for you is that you find just what you need.