I think, given the option to do otherwise, that I’d rather be the imperfect, sometimes-over-sharing, willing-to-admit-I’m-wrong-and-apologize-with-sincerity-regardless-of-that-apology’s-reception kind of person who owns her feelings and who tries not to make excuses and who tries to have an open heart and hope for the best, even in the face of the possibility of failure, and even after making a whole passel of mistakes.
It’s messier emotionally, but I’ve tried the perfectionist route, and only heartache lies that way.
So I’ll take the silences when they happen as answers unto themselves, and try to forgive myself and not worry so much about what other people think of me.
And no matter how delightful it might be to be universally loved and treasured, I value the small number of people who know me well enough to like me, flaws and all, and who weigh the balance of our time together versus the moments of doubt and come out in favor of our friendship, knowing that I’d do the same for them, too.
It’s already hot enough here so that I want to avoid heating up the kitchen and the rest of the house as much as possible. This is where I’d totally hug my grill if it wasn’t 600 degrees. Though the hickory smoke perfume I’m wearing says that things went really well with dinner tonight.
Sometimes my prowess as resident grill master astonishes even me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the $7.99 Pinot Noir (go to Trader Joe’s, everybody. Buy this wine, and its amazingly crisp Sauvignon Blanc counterpart for the same price. Heck, buy a case) and the tasty sauce I finished the chicken with which has notes of tomato and spice and sweet chili.
In case you were wondering, but were afraid to ask (girlwithalessonplan and writteninthekitchensink, this is for you in particular, and anyone else who’s been wondering and worried). I’ll put this after the cut, since longer text pieces can be annoying and I don’t want to totally monopolize your dash. If anyone has questions about anything, just drop me a line; I’m happy to help, if I can.
I second guess myself so much more now that I’m a parent than I did when I was a teacher.
When I was a teacher, I was confident (rightly or wrongly) that I knew what I was doing about 95% of the time. Now that I’m a parent, I’m confident about what I’m doing far, far less than that, even when the evidence is in my favor.
girlwithalessonplan, that’s not to say that teachers who aren’t parents don’t have a sense of doubt about how they’re affecting the lives of their students, but it seems more high stakes now that I’ve got a puppy in the fight, now that I’m on the other side of the desk.
I’m sorry those parents said you just didn’t get it. Maybe that was their own doubt about their abilities as parents surfacing, as they see how good you are with their children and they think about the struggles they have with those same children at home, and they worry about how they will be and are judged all the time (again, rightly or wrongly) by how their children behave, perform, and generally turn out. And maybe that all spilled over on you. Either way, I’m sorry it happened. I can see it from both sides.
I’d like to recommend taking as many pictures of your baby with your phone as possible.
It’s not just that it makes sending them to family easier, it’s that when things are bad, and when the days are full of screaming or no naps, or when things generally go wrong, it’s nice to be able to thumb through them (when both hands are full of the thrashing baby and all you’ve got is your thumb) and look at that sweet face all full of smiles and laughter and know what’s possible and what will happen again.
(it’s like keeping a stack of letters and cards from old students to look at on bad days at school; they make all the difference between walking out and never coming back, and waking up ready to try again)
At first, I couldn’t figure out why The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stayed with me. I sat there, weeping happy tears, and then went to bed. And I thought that was the end.
But stick in my brain, it did. The scenery is breath-taking, the people are real, and the soundtrack is carefully crafted.
This song, in particular, in its simplicity and beauty, in its poetry and quietness, is restful in the way that the movie as a whole is. You know everything will end up okay. You know that the moment the story begins, and you know it when he takes her hand at the end.
It’s when he reaches out for her fingers while they walk through the crowd, that has been most prominent in my memory.
That, in that single moment, is everything that I believe about love: love is a hand to hold, love is quiet, love doesn’t shout. It’s there, present, ready, and waiting, and steady.
All of which is summed up in this song, which I’ve had on repeat since I started dinner two hours ago.
In the morning by the sea As the fog clears from the sand I have no money in my hand I have no home, I have no land
But it doesn’t trouble me As I lay beside the fire I am easy to inspire There is little I require
I wasn’t yours and you weren’t mine Though I’ve wished from time to time We had found a common ground Your voice was such a welcome sound
How the emptiness would fill With the waves and with your song People find where they belong Or keep on
Through the never-ending maze Where the way is seldom clear There is no map or compass near I drive a ship I cannot steer
Through the bleak and early morn Where a stronger will is sworn Where the moments move so slow And seem to never let you go
When my hands are old and ache And my memory flickers dim And my bones don’t hold my skin There’s no place I haven’t been
I recall the days were few That is all that I can do Feel the carvings in the tree That gives shade for you and me