Today was a hair-puller. One of my students, who is always difficult to deal with, totally wigged me out during our Social Studies period.
And in retrospect, nothing he did was extraordinary. It was similar to the way he always behaves with me. Distant, disrespectful, disengaged. But today, on hump day, it seriously got under my skin. I was flustered, frustrated, and vexed. And to top it off, I felt helpless.
I mean, it is my job to reach this kid, teach this kid, engage him. And I can't seem to break past his tough outer layer to teach him Social Studies!
Seeing my distress, our team lead took me to her office and basically consoled me.
"This is normal"
"These things take a while"
and, of course..."It gets better"
While those words of encouragement certainly helped, I still was super-ready to head home. Soon after our meeting, I was unexpectedly asked to handle the instructional writing period for our youngest student. Now this kid can be quite a handful. While he delights in being mischievous and defiant, he also has an endearing sense of humor.
As I walking him through the writing prompt, I began to notice my shoulders loosening, and the tension leaving my face. After the period, I relayed him how upset I was earlier, but working with him had brightened my day. Instead of his usual, aggressive, "WHY!?!", he gave me the biggest Cheshire grin ever. (insert "AWWWWWWWW" here)
Still, after an impromptu team meeting, I took the scenic route home in order to give myself time to completely diffuse. Driving around the bends and curves on the road, all I could think about was how much I wanted to hug my kids and tell them I loved them; and the reasons why.
God knows, each day makes me that much more grateful to have my boys. They are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Jon may choke a turkey on a preschool field-trip (true story), but he is still emotionally developed enough to say, "I love you" and "Mom, you're the best". And Pres may experience breakdowns, but his hugs can instantly take the world off your shoulders. And then there's Marcus. Marcus can be rather reserved, but when he is engaged his conversation can be more entertaining than that of an adult.
I'm writing all this because, tonight I picked up my March copy of O magazine and came across "Chaos Theory" by Heather Havrilesky. In it she talks about how stressed she generally is. And how much she wants to be the calm, cool, and collected "glossy magazine" mom. But that is just not her reality, or personality.
Well, Heather, it isn't mine either! I worry, I over-analysis, and I ruminate.
But Ms. Havrilesky had one quote in that fantastic piece, and it straight jumped off the page at me....
"But look how hard we try, you and me, us and them, everyone. Isn't it sort of sweet, to see how determined we are to do better, to be stronger, to make sure our kids and our mothers and our partners and even our dogs know that they're loved?"
And after reading those lines a few more times, I thought...yeah, it is sweet.
Because I do try. I'm not perfect and neither is my life. But I am trying and improving, and most importantly, I'm living and taking chances. Chances that may one day pay off. So, sure I'm stressed today, but I'll just continue to tell myself....
Oh, how sweet it will be. :o)
...and Yes, how sweet it is now.