Thursday, September 17, 2009

love and tolerance of others...

... is our code. And, this was our topic last evening as I strode into my home group late, coming straight from "teaching" 15 7th graders about the Liturgy of the Catholic Mass. I don't think I need to explain the "irony" or my Higher Power's unabashed "in-my-face" attempts to help me remember the importance of being tolerant and even accepting of others and where they happen to be at any given moment. Thankfully, I hadn't just been unloading all over the kids or losing my temper with them. I just so happened to have been fairly tolerant, to a point. I had to put the smack down a couple times and even had to have a brief "I wasn't picking on you, but you really need to behave more appropriately" conversation after class with one young lady as she giggled her way past me on her way almost out the door.

We have such a great mix of people coming to my home group these days. We've got some long term sobriety, a handful of 2-8 year guys and some real newcomers. We've got loud guys, quiet guys, shy guys, pissed off guys, you name 'em, we've got 'em. We've even got a 2nd home group member, who's been setting up and charing the last few weeks in my absence. Get this, the new home group member is coming up on a year sober, he asks me about ho whe's doing with the meeting (and he's doing great, spiffed things up a bit, organized some stuff, etc). Then he asks me if he should be GSR and go to district and all that... I said "hell yea if that's what you want to do, go for it!" We are after all, an actual AA group with a number and everything. I have just been so busy, it's all I could do to get keep the doors open and coffee on. So, hell yeah, get us involved in the service structure, go for it! That was kool. And to see this particular fellow doing all of this is mind blowing. He's come so far in the two years I've know him, and put himself in some tough spots before settling in to recovery.

A REALLY neat thing happened to me at CCD last nite, as I was walking to my classroom to prepare to teach. I passed one of my soccer kids in the hallway. This girl is shy, intimidated, afraid of the ball, afraid to engage the play when it comes to her and isn't really very athletic or into soccer. I am an energetic, loud boisterous person. When I coach, I am loud, I yell to be heard above 12 2nd-3rd graders outdoors so I can only imagine how much I must bother/scare/freak her out at times. I've been trying to pull her out of her shell with lots of direction, positive (yet loud lol) encouragement and really just get her into the game. Well, I certainly don't want to be that fat noisy cigar smoking stereo-typical coach who calls everyone by their last name, or "buddy/pal." So I call her "Hannah Banana" because her name is Hannah. (I usually make up nicknames for the little ones, they dig that) ANYWAY, here's where the really kool part comes in... I hear someone say hi to me, and as I look up and come out of wherever my mind was, there's Hannah smiling at me walking by, big ole grin on her face. It was so kool. I gave her a big ole "hey girl, how ya doin' tonite?" and grinned right back at her as we passed, we both even turned to say bye... She's coming out of her shell... And thankfully, I haven't scared her. It was one of those teacher moments. Thanks HP for that.

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