I will not write about this Trump
I will not write about his rump
I will not post about his tweets
I’ll post about the coming Eats!
Tomorrow. The big day of thanks. I am grateful because I get to share it with family. I am quite fortunate that the end of my relationship with my son’s other mother did not end our friendship. We worked hard to make things civil and stable for the sake of our son. The reward has been to continue our “family” and share special occasions. Families look differently these days. Two-mom families are no longer unheard of, unseen. I’m sure that with the changes in our world in general, families will continue to look differently and we won’t have to avoid conversations about our home life because of the make-up of our households, emphasis on the plural. Families are sometimes in different household. Sometimes families are in different states, different countries. (Read Families part I in my January 2016 blog.)
I am particularly grateful for my original family, the one I was born into. They looked past my crazy (but in my defense, they caused some of it) and created a stable foundation on which I could build. Even the simplest shelters built on solid ground will stay standing, despite weather, natural disasters, etc. You know where I’m going with this. At any rate, they created a safe place that was surrounded by unconditional love. A spot to which I can always return.
I was thinking of my crazy just this morning:
My parents both decided to drive me to school that day. At 7 years old I had become a handful at school. Before school, during school, thinking of school. The only part of school that didn’t bring negative physical responses was “leaving school”. So there we were, Mom, Dad, and I, parking the car in the school lot. I’m sure my parents had good advice as we sat in the car waiting to go in. I remember none of that. But I clearly remember the moment my Dad got out of the driver’s side and my mother out the passenger’s. I’m not sure if I had the conscious thought that they had just made a critical error in judgment but on some level I knew enough to lean over and lock the doors…on both sides. It was at that point my parents realized their mistake and the games began. Pleading, threatening, and waiting. None of these tactics made a difference. I knew, however, that the longer I made my parents wait outside, the scarier my life would be later. I scooted over towards the driver’s side. My father and mother were both there to grab me. On that side of the car. The passenger side was left unguarded. My 7 year old brain could find opportunities under pressure. I jumped out of the car and started to run. Now my parents only had their level of fitness to blame for my eluding them. However, I get bored easily, a major flaw really. I ended the chase and turned myself in. I share this true story to make my point that, I was not then, nor ever, a fan of going to school. Every August I would begin mourning the loss of summer and my freedom. Every August until my college graduation. No matter that a job meant working through the summer, I did not feel the dread of impending return to school.
Naturally, I found myself becoming a teacher. Thus far I have made it sound as if I had no control over my life’s direction. That could not be further by the truth. I discovered later in my career that I am a born teacher. I have been teaching informally all my life really before teaching adults. I enjoyed it very much and toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher of youths. My previous career was in criminal justice so young children didn’t scare me. Until the eve of my first day of school as a teacher. I had procedures in place, my room was set up, I practiced being firm but friendly. I read many books, but was starting to feel ill-prepared for the world of little people. The first day I broke up fights, played bouncer and went home feeling defeated. I am not a crier but I did spend many evenings crying at my incompetence. I remember bursting into tears in a colleague’s room and trying to say convincingly that I was good at some things. Really. Even brilliant in some things. Self-esteem still intact? Check. Ego still inflated? Check. My strategy became quitting my job every day at the final bell. I could walk out knowing I was done with teaching. By the next morning I would come around and remember that I needed an income and benefits. I got dressed and drove to school. That’s the trap now isn’t it? Find a job that provides some sense of stability and security, even if it takes a daily toll. With eight years in, I decided to make a change. I left the classroom to teach and support other teachers, most of them grown-ups. There are still stressful days. (I think the stress contributed to my stroke). More often than not there are uneventful, unfulfilling days. Perhaps the stroke woke up the part of me that at one time thought I would love my job so it didn’t feel like work. But walking away seems like no option as I need that pay and benefits.
As I contemplate the next few days though, I realize that I do enjoy the benefits of being off when my son is off. I can also engage with children when I want but legitimately leave the classroom knowing I don’t have to go back in tomorrow. I’m thankful for the flexibility and uniqueness of every day. I am slowly learning to be more than just “comfortable” with my vocation. Some days are still very hard. I had to learn how to adult again and I’m not great at that. Grown-ups are more challenging than little ones, maybe because we are stuck in our ways, clinging to archaic ideas and beliefs about how things look and how they should work. I push back more than I should. I push forward as much as I can as well, and try to find balance between the two. There are always breaks though. They are never long enough but they are always enough to recharge so that the time until the next break is more forward pushing and less pushing back.
Hurrah for Thanksgiving and the 4 days of rest it brings. I would thank the pilgrims except that they were the ones who started such a puritanistic education system further influenced by the industrial age of mass production. So I will thank my family, my mom and dad for talking me out of the car. I might have starved to death if they hadn’t. And I thank the turkeys who provide the source and centerpiece of this holiday.
I will also, once again, thank you the readers for hanging in there until the end of this post. What stamina and blind belief that it will get better you have!