If you’re paying attention, I’ve been away for a couple weeks. Lemme e’splain…
I got a message from an old friend and colleague who is a principal of an elementary school. One of his teachers was on medical leave, and he needed a substitute to replace the other substitute. It was only to get the class learning and behaving up until Christmas, and the regular teacher should be back when school reopens in January.
It was everything I loved and everything I hated about teaching in a little 2 1/2 week package. I fell in love with 18 5th graders. I fell in love with 27 4th graders that I only saw for 30-45 minutes a day. They were fun, and smart, and frustrating, and ridiculous.
So now I’m on their substitute list. Because not only do they need a certified teacher who will keep their education going when their regular teacher isn’t well… but because I miss them, too.
Here’s to those moments where you get reminded about what made you love your career.
19. Five fears that you have
- Being in a car and not driving it. Ever since I had my kids, I cannot trust others to drive, even though I’m rationally aware that other people are good drivers, probably even better than me. If I’m in the front passenger seat, I’m holding on to that “oh shit” handle on the door for dear life. I’m applying the “fake brake” constantly. I’m looking out the side window so I don’t have to look at the other cars on the road that I also am not in control of. I’m better if I’m in the backseat…but not by much.
- That I’m doing the “wife-and-mom” thing wrong. It’s highly likely that every wife and mom has that fear, and I don’t wish to delve into the self-deprecation that makes the Mommy Wars continue. But sometimes…. am I making the wrong decisions for their sake? Work/don’t work? A little pressure/a lot of pressure/ no pressure at all? Are they in the right sports? Am I supporting my husband’s choices enough? Is he supporting mine enough? The struggle is real.
- That I’m a horrible friend. I’m not fishing for a compliment (because I know a couple of my friends read my blog). I’ve always had this problem. I’m really good at forgetting things that are important to other people, and I’m also really good at not telling other people what is important to me– in some ways, that’s because I just don’t know. I have a good core group of friends, but many circumstances have made connections to that group difficult in the past year. I’ve made some new friends, but I want that core group back. I tell myself that it’s temporary and we will come back together, but in the meantime I’m not going to lie– it’s sad.
- That I come on way too strong. I want to have a lot of friends. I really do share interests with a lot of different people. But maybe other people don’t like that so much. I’m one of those people who once heard people I thought liked me talk about me behind my back, and realized that can happen at any time. I make a concerted effort to never do that to anyone else, but there is no guarantee others are doing the same.
What? I don’t have to explain that. Bears are scary.
Here’s to facing your fears. It’s worth the effort.
18. Your favorite color and why
When I was a kid, my favorite color was red. I couldn’t tell you why– I guess I was askedin Kindergarten and it was the first color to come to mind. I probably really liked a red dress I had (even though to this day I remember my favorite dress as being yellow).
(Maaaaaaybe not as high-risk a situation in my case…)
Then, by high school, I started opting for purple. It was more subdued than red, and better with my changing complexion. I was one of those girls who “did my color wheel” to find the best colors for me (I’m an Autumn).
My mother taught me purple
Although she never wore it.
Wash-grey was her circle,
The tenement her orbit.
My mother taught me golden
And held me up to see it,
Above the broken moldings,
Beyond the filthy street.
My mother reached for beauty
And for its lack she died,
Who knew so much of duty
She could not teach me pride.
I remember learning about this poem in high school, but I probably haven’t read it since. Looking at it now… I know why it stuck. Purple is the color of royalty– for very practical reasons: it was a difficult and expensive color to acquire and use in the age of kings. So purple was something special. In the poem, we see that being “something special” is not limited to those of financial means. People need to be reminded of this… that we are more than our individual circumstances and our voices should not be ignored because we’re not wearing designer clothes. (The tenement was never my orbit, however. I comprehend and appreciate my privilege, especially as a Hispanic American.)
In college, I was invited to join a sorority. Sigma Sigma Sigma International Sorority kind of sealed the deal for me in terms of loving purple.
Today I still gravitate towards purple, even though there’s a solid amount of red in my wardrobe again. Here’s to coloring our world in every way possible.