I really don't want to jinx anything, but omg, Internet. I have a dream class this year. Even my worstest of my worstest I can totally deal with. Today, my little old man boy (who has big issues with personal space and making noises) had finally reached his limit with me. So I told him: Go move your clip down to Yellow, kid. (Yellow = Think About It...it's not even a big deal). He looked terrorized, mournful, pleading. And then he whispered to me, "Please, Ms. S. Can I have one more chance? Just one more?" And jesus god, reader(s). Yes. YES. If you ask me, if you plead with me, for just one more chance, just one more? And you do it with tears in your eyes and you look kinda sorta like a Hispanic version of Benjamin Button? God, yes. Here. You can have 10,000 extra chances. Because can I just keep you forever and ever??
So I'm feeling so much better than, say, about 2 weeks ago. Two weeks ago I was pissed off beyond belief: Why the hell am I in this job, what the hell am I doing there?? But these kids. THESE KIDS. They remind me why I became a teacher. I am still incredibly stressed out. I am still aggravated and infuriated at what's going on in public education. I am crazy busy from the time the bell rings in the morning to the time it rings to go home and I'm freaking exhausted in ways I can't even explain. I just took another beer shower because I stank of August sweat and constant kid monitoring. Right now, beer showers are giving my evenings a much needed second wind.
I am on my feet, or doing silly monster voices, or putting on crazy accents to keep their attention and delight and engagement, I am wiping tears and telling the one kid to sit DOWN for the love of all that's holy...I do NOT need to see your work every time you dot an i or cross a t. I am attending more meetings than is humanly appropriate for a career that underpays its most experienced professionals. And the testing situation. Jesus Christ, seriously. The testing situation.
But listen: when a teacher has a group of kids who love to hear and tell stories and they get your sarcasm and always laugh in the right spots of a story, and when a teacher has a group of children who don't write the F word on her materials and actually clean up their work area and for the love of all you guys CLOSE THEIR GLUE BOTTLES PROPERLY, it just...it just clears out a lot of the gunk.
So work is okay. Work is doable right now. Exhausting but doable.
I'm telling you all this, because I've been plunged to the deepest depths of despair recently, and I've been homesick beyond belief. Tonight I went to dinner at my old house. C made pasta before I took Miss M to her Open House so I could meet her teacher. Whose middle name, by the way, must be Braveheart. I mean, she runs marathons and jumps out of planes and flies seaplanes in Alaska and has a PhD in educational psychology from a highly prestigious minor Ivy League university...but you know, whatever. No pressure. I'm perfectly fine spooning up my Nutella from the jar every evening and totally content with my master's degree from a Presbyterian college in the Appalachian Mountains.
At any rate. When I walked in the door of my old house, I almost lost my collective shit. New treadmill and new stair climber in the dining room. Paint samples on the living room and kitchen walls. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to help pay $600 of an outrageous $1100 physical therapy bill?? Oh, hell no.
But then I was corrected - exercise equipment bought at a garage sale for practically nothing, painting is being done by C and a friend. So I felt dumb, because I vented about it all on Twitter. Which I shouldn't do; keep the personal quiet, Amy. Only put your own eccentricities and crazy on display whilst on Social Media. But it was also a reminder: you're just not as good at adulting as C is, Amy. You just aren't.
But then we ate pasta together, while I tried not to openly cry because every time I go over there I'm filled with nostalgia for my old house...I usually go into a bathroom and breakdown a little. Which I did do tonight. In my deepest, darkest, foulest moments of doubt I will tell you I wonder: did I do the right thing? am I going to be okay? maybe i should go back. maybe this was just me being a hot-head, per usual.
But after about 10 minutes of dinner, I spent a lot of time trying not to laugh. Because of course. This shit is why I left. For example, watching C interact with M and freak out about how she may get marinara sauce on one of the chairs.
And I can't go into anymore details than that one, because...well, divorce lawsuits and child custody. But I can just tell you: he's such a good dad. He loves Miss M so much. He's so much better at adulting than I am. But I can't live like that anymore. I can't. OCD people are just...I can't. And sooo...I did do the right thing. I am going to be okay. I should not go back. I was being a hot-head, per usual, but in this case it was probably a good thing. For all three of us.
I have Open House next week. In my About Me powerpoint slide, I can't put that I've jumped out of airplanes or that I have a PhD. But I can put that I'm a writer who once swam with sharks. It wasn't on purpose; some friends and I were standing in the Gulf of Mexico drinking bottles of beer, unaware we were smack dab in the middle of a shark highway. And when we realized it, we did everything you're NOT supposed to do when standing in the middle of a shark highway, like run toward them, and then after that we all refused to go back in the water deeper than our ankles and that was only to sit and pee.
But my sweet families don't need to know that. They just need to know I'm head over heels in love with every single one of their sweet, darling loves. That I'm really glad I get to spend Mondays through Fridays with their kids, because if I had to spend Mondays through Fridays with kids who weren't sweet, darling loves, I'd have to go work a pole or something instead.
(I'm not putting that last sentence into my Open House powerpoint, I promise.)