My beloved friend Ruth posted on my FB wall: “Is there something in the air that speaks of almost crushing heartache right now?”
My response: “Yes. But also of healing. I see positive things on the horizon, which might also cause heartache, but for the higher good.”
As you all know, I have been immersed for the last month in professional development for the 2018-19 school year. A week ago Friday, we welcomed 100+ kindergarteners to our campus for their first day of school. It was a “trial run” of sorts. We taught them how to sit and stand in line and move back and forth between classes (we have a rotational model; separate classes for math and literacy, even in Kindergarten.) We showed them where the bathroom was, and reminded them of bathroom expectations: flush the toilet. Wash your hands. One pump of soap. One paper towel. Use the trash can. They were pretty good at it, with adult supervision.
I was on Potty Patrol, like I pretty much am every year. I guess my patter is inspiring. It’s boring as hell (for me), but I get to see all the cute faces (at least the girls) and they have their first exposure to me. I usually make at least a few friends.
Last Wednesday was the official first day of school for our entire student body. Nearly 600 children, grades K-5. What beautiful chaos! All the hugs (from the bigger ones), all the tears (from the little ones.) It was beautiful.
I spent the week with the Kindergarten students, acting as back up and enforcer. (Well, not really, more like the constant nagging reminder: Sit up straight! Raise a proud hand! Eyes on the teacher!) By the end of the week (three days, with early release) there was definite progress. Most students would respond to the teacher’s request for attention. Most students could find the bathroom all by themselves. No one got permanently lost. They did wonderfully!
We (the staff), however, were exhausted! I would wake up at 5:15, arrive before seven, and be ready to greet students at 7:30. While the students got out at two, the staff stayed until 5 (or longer) for staff meetings, lesson practice and debriefing. I went home “early” Thursday night, fell asleep at 6:00, woke up at 7:30 to make dinner, and was asleep again before nine. As someone who suffers from insomnia, I can tell you that hardly ever happens.
Despite being exhausted, and feeling a bit irritable (sorry everyone outside of work…I have to hold it in there) I managed to have a nice weekend (after a bit of a rough start.) All intentions to go to work for a few hours flew out the window, but I did get some pampering in, and my last bit of birthday shopping (Spending my annual Amazon gift card…) and some art, and a bit of writing, and this post, which may be sub par, but at least it’s here. I’m here, and that’s what matters, because this is what I do: write or die.
I feel like this year is going to bring immense change, and I’ll be called on to take things more to heart, more seriously. To care more deeply, to breathe more intentionally, and to work more diligently. I have a feeling I will be moving forward in a big way, but I am called to also slow down and appreciate every moment. To use it, whether actively or passively, with clear purpose and intent. To love. To grow. To heal. To use my gifts and my voice. To find my heart and soul again. To do all those things is often heartbreaking, but always well worth it. I can’t wait.