As a teacher, you aren’t supposed to cry in front of your kids. But, today was a hard day. Do you every have one of those weeks where you feel like you can’t win? Situations where you feel like you are doing everything in your power, giving 110%, but the cards are just stacked against you sometimes? One thing after another, built up to this morning, when a simple schedule change at the end of the quarter set my domino train of frustrations collapsing down. As soon as I sent my kids to their Japanese teacher, I burst out in tears, praying I could “suck it up” before my precious little Kindergarteners return. The tears weren’t for the lesson plans I had to rewrite, but for the last couple weeks where nothing could just be simple, or just work as planned. As they came back in, I got the waterworks under control and my classroom aide guided my tissue to get some stray mascara off my cheeks.
But, God sent me some needed grace today.
First, my classroom of five and six year olds, normally lagging in the morning, went through our morning routine with optimism, vigor, and enthusiasm. Dancing and singing, the kids flew through most languid part of their day. At one point during the morning, I got “hug tackled” by 18 of these crazy kids.
After working through lunch, I was again greeted by those little smiling faces. Little hints of spring are coming up around our playground. Teeny tiny flowers are growing in the grass, and my class ran into the room to show me these microscopic bouquets they picked for me during their recess break. I tell you what, a bouquet of weeds from these little ones shows more love than a dozen roses (unless you’re my husband reading this, then yes, I would like flowers please 😉 ) .
This afternoon, my boisterous class and I made a deal. If they were whisper-quiet, I would play Star Wars music during their math stations. On a rainy Friday afternoon, listening to some John Williams and having your 5-year olds work in peace and productivity, was truly a godsend.
Driving home on this dank and dreary afternoon, my eyes spotted little cherry blossoms budding. Here in Japan, that means a magical season of cotton candy colored trees is ahead. Today, in my dreary and despondent mood, I was blessed by simple kindness of my children. Like the cherry blossom buds, it was a little sign of hope that winter isn’t forever. Spring is coming.
At work this week, I had to clean up someone else’s poop.
It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. No, I’m not a custodian (the unspoken heroes of our building), but a Kindergarten teacher. As we dealt with the situation at hand, I thought in my head with a smirk, “You’re lucky I love you!” I adore my students, easily and ardently I love them. Quite literally, this teacher would do anything for them. But what about those who aren’t so easy to love?
Monday of Mondays!!! I was already rushing, trying to get out the door early so I could drive through a blizzard to get to work. I’m running around trying to find some dress pants… I had done laundry on Friday, so I know they were clean, just missing! So on my second lap around the house trying to find clothes to throw on, I meander into the laundry room. My eyes are immediately drawn to the washer light flashing. [Side Note: our washer is the worst…we have to sit on it during the spin cycle, otherwise the load gets uneven and stops]. I open the lid and to my dismay, the sum of my work clothes are soaking wet, sitting in a pool of water in the washer. YUCK.
Okay. So it’s the season of resolution slacking and post holiday snacking. The kids are back at school after a long break and a month of in school holiday parties. We are back from travel, cleaned up from hosting, and getting back into the swing of “real life”. So how now, that the lights and hubbub are down do we not only reenter our everyday with the gumption to rock our goals for the new year? The key is learning the skill of being “consistent”.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought you had forgiven someone, and then they do something bone-headed again and your old feelings come surging back ? Forgiveness is a powerful force that is contradictory to human nature. It has the ability to change the course of events and is a catalyst in the hearts of those who choose to embrace this gift. However, those who are not able to master this skill are fated to have lives tainted with bitterness and unrest.
I fell a twinge of guilt as I close my weekend, wondering how I was productive… and in all honesty, I wasn’t. It was wonderful. As I lay for a midmorning nap on Saturday, listening to the rain on the tin roof and cars driving through puddles outside, it dawned on me how long it had been since I allowed myself a purely lazy weekend. Today I mirrored the languid pace of yesterday, listening to the crunching leaves under my feet on a warm walk and coming back to a cozy couch and coffee. Tomorrow, Monday and real life approaches, but taking a break from it all will make it easier to jump in full force.
Here’s hoping you treasure and make time for quiet moments on the sweet autumn weekends 🙂