This is going to be a short one. I’m in the midst of marking tests, writing report card comments, and finalizing field trip details. Our hot water heater had to be replaced on Friday and I know there is a skunk living in our backyard. I have a list with 14 items on it to be done this week, most of it in preparation for our son’s grad on Thursday.
So, I’m a bit of an emotional trainwreck right now, cars off the tracks and buckling one after another. The caboose just hasn’t felt it yet, but it’s coming.
Not sleeping. Up at 4am most mornings, not able to talk down the stressors sounding off in my mind. Making lists. In my head and on paper!
June is usually an intense time of year, but this one is exceptionally tough.
I found myself with tears at the Pride parade on Saturday, seeing some of my students walking, and former students and colleagues too. I think it just overwhelmed me, the pride part for sure. So happy we live in a place that people can be who they are. Love who they want.
And then thinking about people in other countries who don’t have those same rights. Which starts me thinking about the kids incarcerated in the USA who aren’t being given soap or toothbrushes…or access to their families. Kids forcibly separated and isolated.
And then I think of our own SK kids in poverty and our foster kids and the article about babies being taken right from the hospital and about how lucky our own two children have been and how we’ve tried to raise two good humans and how lucky I've been that they were so easy to raise….and then a full-speed-ahead emotional runaway begins.
It’s a good thing holidays are coming, because as the expression goes, when it rains it pours. I’ve felt that literally and figuratively recently. (And if it does rain on Thursday, that’s another worry as we live in sand and our road will be impassable for family to come and visit…argh!!)
We had grad set-up for several hours today. I think I’m in denial and am trying not to think about it, but it’s not a great strategy. Because as we set up the stage and the decorating committee started to do their thing, I could see it coming together.
I thought of how cute they were.
I thought of how much these guys have grown. What they've accomplished. Where they are headed.
I thought of the little curly-haired girl who isn’t going to be there. How her future was cut short and how much that still makes me sad and angry and so so so helpless.
I know it’s going to hit me hard that day if I don’t let myself have a few tears beforehand.
Plus, he’s my baby. How can I not?
And that’s not the only chapter that’s ending. But I can’t think about that yet either.
Nope, not right now. Because I’m going to hit send on this blog, confirm our numbers for the Tunnels in Moose Jaw, and then try to be in bed by midnight. 4am comes pretty early lol.
It might take till next week, but a better blog will be coming at some point. Hang in there everyone and enjoy these last few days with our colleagues and kids!
I've literally written and tossed out a dozen attempts at this blog last week and tonight.
Start and stop. Start and stop.
My mind is in too many places, with too much going on. Everything is disjointed, and in an attempt to do everything and be everything for other people, it can only leave you feeling like you aren't doing enough.
Or worse, being enough.
With our son's graduation in 10 days, our daughter moving home in 5, plus every possible school commitment that June presents with field trips, assemblies, parent nights, exams, and preparing for each and every one of these....June is tough on teachers.
Throw in my birthday, and as someone who feels a lot of angst at growing older, an existential feeling of running out of time, and June is a long month for me. There's a meme that says most months have 28-31 days, except June which has 1,478. And there are days that felt like it had 1,478 hours. Which would be cool, with all of the things that need to be finished before it's all over.
So yah, this song sums up how I'm feeling right now. That's all I've got for you this week, and it's playing on repeat in my ears right now as I'm finishing up some marking and planning for the last few days.
Like a lot of you, the world isn't going to be still for me until June 29, and there are a lot of emotional peaks and valleys in between now and then. But I'm hanging on! And like the song says, if we need just enough dark to see the light poking through, that's okay, because then we know that the light is still there. This week there's a lot of good ahead: we get to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday, share the last school day for the last of our kids, and a chance to spend some time with colleagues and friends. (I just won't think about the saying goodbye part. Yet.)
Focusing on the light over me and around me this week. And love you mom!!
I'm just a dreamer but I'm hanging on
Though I am nothing big to offer
I watch the birds, how they dive and then gone
It's like nothing in this world's ever still
And I'm just a shadow of your thoughts in me
But sun is setting, shadows growing
A lone cast figure will turn into night
It's like nothing in this world ever sleeps
Oh sometimes the blues is just a passing bird
And why can't that always be?
A toss and sigh from your birch’s crown
Just enough dark to see
How you're the light over me.
When I’m out running, there are signs of things everywhere. We have had a whopping ¼” of rain this entire spring, and because we live in the sandy-forested area by Pike Lake, tracks in the sand are impeccably kept. It’s constantly surprising how many other creatures are travelling the same road I am.
I’m no expert, but there are deer, cow, horse, dog/coyote, rabbit, cat, and bird tracks, in addition to the gopher holes along the edge of the road that I try to avoid stepping in.
Sometimes their pattern makes me envision grand tales. Deep deer tracks show a quick scamper. The cows meander along the grassy edge. A horse and rider, the dog diligently in tow behind.
I swear the birds are drunk. Or they’ve had a heck of a huddle!
There are times that I stumble across the animals themselves too. The cows have been out of the pasture down the road on an almost daily basis. First it was just one. Then a couple. Tonight the whole family was out there, calves and all. Usually I just sneak slowly past, but there were a couple mamas in there that didn’t look amoosed. (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)
Lately I’ve been braver and send them scampering back to their pasture. For the most part, the animals I encounter are just as startled by me as I am of them. Like the skunk last night in the ditch beside me. I swear we made eye contact before we both jumped backward and ran the other direction…unscathed. Whew.
Thankfully, as humans, we don’t have to just read each other’s body language and look for clues in the dirt as to what we are thinking and feeling. We can just communicate.
Talk to each other.
Like, not just text. Or message. Or snap.
You mean that doesn’t happen all the time?
What possible miscommunications or misunderstandings could possibly transpire as a result?
Answering my own sarcasm: lots.
I’ll be the first to admit, I get caught in just doing the quick and easy communiqué. Literally most of my texts are just emojis and gifs! But I know that’s not enough. Sometimes we have to hear the words.
We need to hear the words.
Although I quote Brene Brown all the time, it’s usually about courage and vulnerability. But she has another idea that I keep to the forefront: clear is kind, unclear is unkind. We don’t do people any favors (our spouses, families, students, colleagues) when we don’t say what we mean or mean what we say. As we delve more into parent engagement, and I’m thinking more consciously about jargon and eduspeak, it’s something I need to continue to work on.
We also need to talk to each other to hold each other up. Because lord knows that at this time of year, we are all faltering, and likely on more than one front.
One of the popular inspirational memes that pops up periodically on social media goes something like this: a person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.
We all have people that we care about, that we know are working hard, that could use a little extra encouragement to get them through the next few weeks.
You could leave tracks in the sand per se, and leave a note. Or email.
Or say the words.
(*They’re just words. Your mouth makes more.)
But they impact the listener not just at the surface, but in their heart. Immeasurably.
My goal for the week is to be brave, and vulnerable, and each day to say the words that someone needs to hear. To use those words to lift them up. Remembering that clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. I see you. I hear you. You are powerful and amazing and talented and inspiring.
And you matter.
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