Update: I'm Alive

Nearly a month later, and I've tossed so many ideas around in my head.
1.) How my father has ultimately made me a good teacher. It must be the German thing?
2.) Babies. They are everywhere. And as a married person, I'm a baby conversation starter. Oi.
3.) The plight of the urban teacher as she struggles? No. As she daily, creatively, decides between being a social 27 year old and a spelling bee coordinator/mom/social worker/coach/nurse/organizational genius 60 hours/week.

Don't feel bad for me. I love it.

After this summer, I've realized that I woke up in fall with a scary sense of presence. Like, I can almost feel time just being poured out of the window, or even see it, and it's nuts the kind of perception that comes with it. This notion of being in the exact moment that you're living and seeing it from above? I think it's called mindfulness, but it's new to me and it's fantastic. It kind of makes you reassess being a babywhiner all the time because that's wasteful. I believe in conservation and preservation: of my water bottles, native plants, my positivity and my freaking time. It's all we have, right? Time?

This year, things are clearer at work. I go in honestly feeling like I need to be there and it's great. Spending so much time there lets me leave it there, most of the time, a luxury I didn't know how to use last year. So much is different that I feel like I am doing something completely different in a completely different location. It's all I've ever wanted.

Not to say that there aren't rough days, but I think there are rough days everywhere. It's what you do with the rough days that define how you live your life. I struggle, but try to remember this when I'm whining about something. It helps.

I told a teacher, after being in her wonderful classroom, that she was fantastic and she cried and hugged me. I gave one of my 1st graders a dinosaur sticker for attempting to walk to reading (it's scary for him) and he said "bye muss nuh-no'" for the first time and it was magical. I try to remember back to last year and swear that there are more and better successful stories this year already, but maybe I wasn't looking all the time for them like I am now. It helps.

In other news, 2 pregnant teachers are left and there are 4 new babies since May. That's a lot, I think. It's such a different mind frame to think about a family instead of just us two knuckleheads running around talking about Sponge Bob episode plot twists (maybe that is a foundation for family!) Everyone always says that there's no "perfect" time, but the time is definitely not now when I'm so into my career and we aren't exactly ready to set down roots in our fantastic, but small, mayo-colored duplex. I just don't get how people do it. I see new mothers struggle so much with leaving their child and I know with my history and present levels of neuroticism that I will be a crazyhead. And then how do  you work at a place where it's hard not to leave before 6 or go in on Saturdays? And how do people afford formula and stop themselves from buying all that stupid tiny adorable stuff alllll the time? I don't have a baby and that tiny stuff can be irresistible to me, too! Maybe you just do it and figure it out then, but the whole scene makes me so nervous, a future nervous. Maybe I should just send the nervous to the future and stop thinking about it.....maybe?

And, finally, my father. You know, I see these teen mom shows and think back to when I was a bratty teenager and it makes me sick to think how horrible I was to my dad. I know it's something everyone "goes" through, but now, seeing all of these kids growing up at school, I just wish there was something anyone could say that would make them less crazy to their parents as they grow up. Like, "Hey, there will be this one day where this switch gets hit and you will no longer care about anything besides crushing on people and chapstick and the mall. And anything that gets in your way of that will be destroyed, including relationships and medium-sized animals." But nope, they won't care. It's hard to gain insight to that until you can see it from ten years later. But I think how strict and direct he was really gave me a basis for being a good teacher with follow-through that doesn't let her emotions run the show. If a kid is throwing chairs at the wall, it's amazing how I can fake not freaking out and that faking it always diffuses a situation that could be escalated. It's all because of pops. I bet he did that ten thousand times, based on how much I whine as an adult. You want that Micky Mouse poster? Get a job. You want to skip school with your friends to go to Cedar Point? Never in your life. Thanks Dad. That extra day of English prepared me to be half of the grammar police at school. Bulletin boards and their font choices are safer.