This Kid is Good

By Christine Edwards, Toddler Teacher

During my trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I did a lot of things for the first time. I went on my first plane ride, rode on tramway for the first time, and attended my first conference. This experience was the best in a lifetime. I have never met so many young, powerful Native Americans. I felt very important… They way that people talked to me and looked at me… They made me feel like I was somebody. I made a lot of great friends!

My brain was filled with so much knowledge about the Ké Family Engagement Initiative and how everyone involved with the grant needs to work on and meet goals. Not only did I get to hear what my tribe / TCU was doing, but I also got to see what three other tribes / TCU’s got do with their grant. I am so grateful for the people who I have met along the way.

At the Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS) conference, I attended a workshop where I made my first basket. It took a lot of patience but at the end I was happy with my finished project. Native tradition is that you give your first creation away to someone who has great meaning in your life. I presented the basket to one of my teachers, Nahrin, who has affected my school life and personal life. I am glad with the gifting decision that I made. And I presented a workshop, for the first time, at the conference with my teacher, Shelley. It was a real eye opener. During our presentation, we shared the message that you are a good parent, even when you do not feel like it. And that is something I need to learn to accept.

Being a young, tribal mother, and being able to go on this trip opened my eyes to the perspective that I am not alone. There are people who are my age, going to school, having children, and letting their children know that it IS possible to go to college. I am letting my children know not only can you do all of this, but you can be a parent, student, and have a full-time job. My children are my inspiration to get up in the morning. Seeing their faces with a big smile makes all of this worth it. I am so glad that I have my children and giving them the life that I never had.