Our first two weeks of school have been behind-kickingly hard. You wake up and you take the dog on a run and you come home and try desperately to stop sweating even after dashing through a cold shower so you can get your clothes on and then you grab your lunch and instrument and yoghurt and stumble out to the car so you can drive 45 minutes and listen to the mandatory 2nd grade reading /flash cards for the mandatory number of minutes and then arrive at school in time to start the day at 8:00 am. 6 people do this. Although only I walk the dog.
I’m exhausted and it’s only 8:00 am. Is this normal? It helps me to feel normal to tell myself it is. Ahem. The teacher I work for as an aide does twice as much as I do. If you look up hardworking in the dictionary her picture is right beside it. It’s possible she feels exhausted sometimes but she keeps the pace right up until the last child and the last minute of the day. I like that about her.
But being here with my own kids and lots of other people’s kids is amazing. There are days when I feel like it’s really hard and sometimes I ask Lucy to come with me, to help me see her face in their faces. (That’s a little pathetic, to find 36 hours a week with people half my size really hard. Life is really hard, though. And all of these small people are very honest and aware of what is hard for them.)
Today we shouldered myriad bags and dragged out to the car in the mid-afternoon heat at 3:30 to go home. There was sniping and complaining about too much to carry. Somebody whacked somebody else with their bag climbing into the car. The intelligent among us demanded to know why Mom always parks the Suburban in the HOTTEST spot in the entire lot. Seriously, Mom? Seriously?
And I looked up from the back of the car where I was trying to wedge a full-sized violin safely on top of 5 backpacks and saw Abbey holding Helen in a cradle hold beside the car, pausing in the act of putting her into her car seat. You know that hold? The one where you lay a baby in your arms so you can look into his face? I couldn’t hear her but she was murmuring or singing to Helen, bending her face a little lower and the wind blowing both their dirty blonde mops in the same direction. Helen paused with her thumb in her mouth and one finger wound up twirling her hair, smiling a quirky half-smile and enjoying the sweetness of being held and loved.
If I wasn’t there? Working in the place they all go every day? I would have missed it. Lucky me. – Katie