I am now entering my third week of school (teaching high school English), and contending with a level of exhaustion beyond Willy Wonka’s pure imagination… I am surprised I was even able to form a sentence with punctuation. Please don’t check for proper placement; I have to save my brain for the children. Incidentally, the said “children” to whom I’m referring, my eleventh graders, are actually young adults and pretty cool thus far. I know, I know, it’s early yet. But to date, even my knuckle-heads are endearing.
I have three classes, one honors and two regular, for a total of 64 juniors. Considering I have had three classes totaling 90+ in previous semesters, this is none too shabby. So why so tired if my kids are few and actually good this year? That’s just it… when they’re good, you want to give them as much of you as you can in a day. You have only so much of their time to make Hester Prynne come alive… to make persuasive writing techniques matter… to make a teachable moment out of a rogue fart. And when you have a room full of bright, witty, eager (or at least willing), TEACHABLE young people looking back at you, you feel compelled to put on a good show.
And so I’m beat by 9:00 most nights… and by 9, I mean 7 tops. But I hang in there till 9:00. Because the other thing that goes along with giving other people’s little cherubs my time and energy all day long, is that my time and energy for my Zac is short, and so even more crucial in the few brief hours between 4:00 and bedtime. So on afternoons like today (and yesterday too, truthfully), when Zac is in full-on terrible-two-year-old (read: demon) mode, I feel guilty for wishing bedtime would hurry up. Yesterday there wasn’t a tantrum (or item in my kitchen) he didn’t throw. He was argumentative, sassy, and downright atrocious. Right until the second he hushed on to sleep. Today we were invited to our friends’ house down the street for dinner and playtime with their little one… and I am pretty sure I apologized on behalf of my child at least a dozen times in two hours. The little shit.
My point? (At least I think I’m making a point… like I said, I’m STOOPID tired.) Tomorrow is going to fly by just as quickly as today did. Even when it’s slow, it’s fast. You look away for one minute, and that class of less than stellar day-wreckers are accomplished seniors and moving on… or that two year old is 16 and wants your car keys for a date <shudder>. And so even when it sucks, I’m trying to savor it. Even when I don’t want Zac sleeping in my bed at night, it’s hard not to adore that little arm draped over me and him saying, “I cudda you, mommy?” Sweet sugar angel muffin, you could stab me if you do it with that voice. Even when I am really ready to pack up and head home, it’s hard not to appreciate the willingness to try and to learn –“Mrs. Perry, can you stay after today and show me the thing with the conclusion paragraph again?” Damn right I can.
And so even when I am ready to fall over and I’m not even sure I’m doing it right… a little voice in my head says, “Keep doing it.” …..Not the same voice that tells me to wear yoga pants to work and eat jelly beans for lunch. That voice is stupid.