Success is Mine

I never think that I can do something until I’ve already done it, and it’s all over with.

Everything feels so huge and monumentally impossible until I’ve climbed over that mountain and reached the bottom of the other side.

 

I hate grading with a fiery passion, but I feel so accomplished when I can sit back and say, “Yes, I graded/edited 968 pages of research papers this month.”

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Hope for the Hopeless

I get all worked up about how ill prepared my students are for college and life after high school…

They don’t care. They don’t put in effort. How will that change in college? It won’t. We all know it won’t. What kind of jobs are these kids going to be able to keep when they turn in plagiarized work and sass back the teacher? None, I tell you. Haters of Obama: don’t blame the jobless rate on the economy, blame it on the lazy young people trying to get a job with a barely above average grade point average and lethargic work ethic. If coming to school high is okay, why wouldn’t they think coming to work high is okay too? Brain cells? Who needs them?! Everything is stupid. Everything is pointless. We’re all just trying to ruin their lives and ruin their fun. Copying isn’t cheating; it’s creative studying; it’s protecting one’s grade; it’s stupid busy work anyway, right? Who cares? Why do teachers care so much? It’s not THEIR grade. It’s not THEIR integrity being called into question here. Senioritis is apparently a pandemic that excuses them all from turning things in or putting in effort. The school year is only 47 school days away from ending, why care now when they haven’t cared all year? They’re accepted at colleges. They have their scholarships. No one looks at second semester grades senior year, right? College will be easy. College allows them to make their own schedule, sleep in, party hard, live life with no consequences, right? RIGHT?

Then, I remember who I was at 18…

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…and I shut my damn mouth.

We’ll be okay, right?

Our future leaders and policy makers and policemen and politicians and doctors and nurses and teachers, they’ll all grow up, just like we did, right?

Scared

I’m a pretty brave individual. I kill my own spiders. I’ve lived alone in a strange city. I’m not afraid to talk to strangers. I try new foods and go new places and am fairly adventurous. However, when my husband said to me a few days ago, “Wow. You just picked up your last pack of pills for a while, huh?” I felt a mixture of excitement and extreme panic. After skimming through the pregnancy book I bought months ago in preparation for this time, I very confidently feel like backing out of this idea that has been mainly mine for so long. What had I been thinking?

In one month we’ll stop preventing and join the cult of TTCers (that’s “trying to conceive” for those of you not thinking of joining the club yet). Suddenly, the main concern in my life will be what my basal body temperature is and what day of my cycle I’m on. While I originally somehow deluded myself into thinking I’d be able to take on this job with the ease and grace of walking down a flight of stairs in running shoes, I know that I won’t be able to just “stop preventing” and that my crazy mind will immediately shift into “trying to conceive” the day I stop taking my pills.

As I have been the one actively campaigning for this moment in our lives, I realize how suddenly unfair it is for me to have wanted my husband to be ready for this madness before this time. Now that he’s well acquainted with all of my kinds of crazy, he’s finally ready to see what kind of crazy I’ll be when you add double the amount of hormones to my system and an uncontrollable growing force in my uterus. (TMI?) Poor guy. This why I love him and want to have his babies in the first place.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that starting in April, I’ll be at the mercy of mother nature and God. I’ll try to keep my frustration at my bodily functions during the process to myself. I wouldn’t want to turn into a mommy blogger before I’m even a mommy…God, this is terrifying.

Breathing

The transparent, slate-blue curtains pull in flat against the screen of the open windows as the world outside inhales slowly, deeply, deliberately before exhaling the fluttering fabric out into billowing grey-blue clouds that toss gently back and forth against the folds. The white-gold grass jumps into stark contrast against the dark grey sky; the vision appears and disappears in snippets as my view of the front yard flits in and out of focus while the curtains rise and fall like the chest of the slowly dying old man winter. The dryer buzz startles me from my reverie, and I turn from the poetry of an early spring to focus on the never-ending to-do list that awaits me.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing for Madeline

The past 48 hours have been riddled with anxiety. One of my best friends was sitting, waiting, wishing for the opportunity to hold Maddie Marie in her arms and know for certain that she was hers forever. In the state of Indiana, a birth-mother giving her child up for adoption has 24 hours after the child is born to change her mind. After Maddie was born on Thursday at 2:31 PM, I could do nothing but worry anxiously about what might happen the following day.

Friday afternoon, my friend Stephanie and I sat outside our work in the sunshine watching the clocks on our phones, waiting to find out whether or not the birth-mother had signed the paperwork at 3:00 PM. By 4:00 PM we couldn’t take it anymore. Chests tight, adrenaline pacing through our veins, we drove in circles in the hospital parking lot, seeking a glimpse of our friend’s car; were they here? Did they know already? What would we do if the adoption fell through? How could we help? What could we say? The devastation we envisioned unfolding if the birth-mother had changed her mind twisted our stomachs with worry for our friend. Helpless to do anything more and feeling like God was trying to make a point of forcing us to be patient, we left the parking lot and headed towards a restaurant to eat. Just after we sat down and ordered our drinks, Stephanie received the text message we’d been so adamantly waiting for, “We have a baby girl!”

“She’s a mommy! Thank God, she’s a MOMMY!” I couldn’t help but cry with overwhelming joy. She and her husband had been waiting for that exquisitely sweet moment for so long. The roller coaster of emotions and obstacles they’d faced together on their adoption journey brought them to the breaking point, but the strength of their love and passion for wanting to be parents brought them to the finish line with glorious success. I know I could never face what they have faced with such strength and determination to so fiercely love and protect a child whose presence was so uncertain until yesterday evening.

Madeline,

You are so incredibly and thoroughly loved and appreciated already. I know that your mommy and daddy will do everything in their power to raise you to be an incredible little person who knows very well how to dream big and reach her goals.You are the luckiest little girl to have a mommy who will read to you and make sure you are prepared for the big wide world of education and a daddy who has already proven that your protection and well being are his first priorities.

As an honorary auntie and someone who has prayed for your existence in our lives for so long: welcome to the world Miss Maddie Marie.

Love,

Auntie Jane

 

Reflecting

Call me cliche but I love the idea of starting over on January 1.

This year I will be more realistic when it comes to my goals and more hopeful when it comes to my dreams.

1. Eat better

2. Move more

3. Photograph more

4. Listen to music more often

5. See friends more often

6. Travel more

7. be less of a procrastinator

8. be more selective when choosing outfits (i.e. feel good in what I wear)

9. do more little things to show C I love him

10. cross off at least 10 things from either list (bucket/101 in 1001)

 

What are your aspirations this year?

Thanks

I have a student who believes his 10 year old brother is truly gay and hates him for it despite how much his little brother loves him and looks up to him and seeks his approval. I think he will try to figure out a way to look past the prejudices his friends and family have blinded him with.

I have a student who slices her wrists with the needle from the pins on her bag because her father calls her a freak, and her mother doesn’t want to send her to therapy more than once a month because it’s expensive and “all for attention”, and the girl doesn’t feel like anyone cares about her existence.

I have a student who struggles with learning but has the biggest heart in the world. Girls laugh at him for the bad poetry he writes for them from the very depths of his soul. They talk about him behind his back and call him stupid.

I have a student who can’t read, but her father just believes she is “lazy” when it comes to schoolwork.

I have a student who takes so many anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications that she shakes constantly, and her “friends” tease her behind her back for wearing too much make up.

I have a student who has been disowned by his father, and gets in trouble for having a sharp temper.

I have a friend who will be the world’s greatest mother, but who has been stripped of her ability to experience pregnancy for reasons beyond her control.

I have a friend who lays her life down every day for the students she works for, who has been denied the help and support she needs to continue to help kids to learn and grown and survive high school.

I have a friend who finds the light and life in everyone she meets, who is constantly ignored by the one she loves most in the world.

I have a friend who always accommodates those around her, who never wants to cause a problem, who never wants to stir the pot, who finally was able to admit that her innocence and loving bright nature had been taken advantage of when she was molested as a child.

I have a friend who has given everything of herself to do what is right and to raise her children and teach her students what life is truly worth living for, who has sacrificed her health for the good of others, who will lose her eyesight in a few years before she gets the chance to see the world she so desperately wishes to explore during retirement.

I have a friend who is so damaged by the way society portrays beauty that she cannot see how incredible she is enough to take a chance and be loved by someone who truly deserves her.

I am surrounded by situations that are unfair. The number of things that are unfair in the lives of my students and my friends is enough to make anyone a pessimist, but I refuse to become one (at least for today). Instead of focusing on the pain and the incredibly shitty hand the universe has dealt the ones I care about so deeply, I choose to see the strength in those who continue to carry on, power through, ask for help, get help, live.

To my friends and my students: thank you for your inspiring sense of courage to continue to live in a world that has challenged you in such awful ways.

Reflection of His Eyes

It’s dark in the room, except for the glow of the computer screen, and I can hear the clock tocking on the wall (it doesn’t tick, just tocks for some reason). There are presents to be wrapped, dishes to be washed, laundry to be folded and put away, but I feel like sleeping, sitting here, pondering my existence and my purpose in life. My sister is struggling with the big “why?” question of life. I wish I had an answer for her, but I think it’s a question everyone has to find the answer to on their own.

Oprah radio the other day: “Everyone has a grand purpose. What is yours? What do you have to give to the world? To others? What were you meant to do? Who are you meant to be? How will you get to where you need to be or become who you are meant to be?”

My first thought was that I was meant to be a teacher. However, the more I teach, the more I realize that it’s the nurturing of the growth of my students (both educationally and as human beings) that I enjoy most. I’m meant to be a mom: master of chaos and emergencies, impeccable organization, cleaning, and cooking skills, loving, overbearing leader, educated in a random assortment of useful things, giving of all my self, energy, and soul to those I love, responsible and mature yet crazy and outgoing. If I am not a mother, I don’t have a clue as to what else I’m supposed to be.

I love being a wife. I have never experienced a love so playful and pure as the love I share with my husband. When he kisses me, my insides melt and rush heat all over my body. Everyone told us that the first year of marriage is the most difficult; yet, we barely noticed it fly by as we had adventures and snuggled in to the life we love and cherish together. When I see him smile, all I can picture is how the light from his eyes might be reflected in our little boy’s someday. How our baby’s eyes might crinkle on the sides just like his do. Will he have his skinny toes or my stubby ones? Brown eyes or hazel?  I lightly rest my hand on my stomach and wish that I could start that journey now rather than in seven months, but I know that in that time I’ll flip flop back and forth between forcing myself to focus on appreciating this time now and wasting it anticipating something that we’re not ready for just yet.

 

For some reason, I am more tired today than I was during my entire trip to NYC. On the trip, I got an average of 4 hours of sleep a night and walked what felt like a million miles each day. At home, I get 6-8 hours and don’t traverse the city on foot; yet, I’m exhausted. I have been thanking my lucky stars that I have been able to keep up with grading and have not had a major pile of essays to grade, so that I can relax when I come home (if you can call laundry, dishes, and other chores relaxing…) but the essays shall be raining down upon me like fire and brimstone as of Sunday. I can’t wait to lose sleep over caring for my child rather than being exhausted because I endlessly pour myself into the education of kids who often could care less.