I admit it. I’m having grandchild withdrawal! I spent a wonderful two weeks hosting our Colorado family and three grandkids and then was off for two and a half weeks visiting our NYC grandkids, including our latest precious addition. Edie Lou arrived on Sunday, July 22, weighing nearly nine pounds! She joins big brother Milo. I loved every second of holding Edie and inhaling her baby scent and playing with Milo who’s at that wonderful imaginative stage. Of course, I did have to have several visits with his alter ego, “Dr. Wasserman,” who insisted on giving me shots and kept having to take phone calls during appointments.
Now it’s full swing into the semester, and I’m hitting the ground running as fast as I can. The beginnings of semesters always leave me feeling a bit crazed—so much to do and so little time.
But I do have to say that teaching is my favorite way to “pay it forward.” This past week, I got an e-mail from a student I had a few semesters ago in a college English Composition class. She had confided to me that she was writing a novel and asked me if I’d be willing to look at it. I did and offered her feedback on what I thought she could work on to make it stronger, as well as lots of encouragement. Now working on her fourth draft, she said she was really happy with where her work was going. She wrote: “I really want to thank you because I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my writing for a long time. Your encouragement and the fact that you actually printed it out and read it made me really believe in myself. Getting me inspired to write again has helped me so much emotionally, and again, I have you to thank for that.”
I felt so grateful that I had made a difference in someone’s life, just as my writing mentors and teachers have made in mine. Whether in my career as a dancer/dance educator and now writer/writing teacher, I’ve found nothing beats the joy of passing on the gifts of help and encouragement. And if somehow, I can help “pay it forward” in my relationships with my grandkids, then my cup of gratitude truly will “runneth over.”