Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let Me Not Become Weary

So, perhaps God is letting me know that I have made the correct decision in retiring. 
Tuesday and Wednesday were two of "those" days.  The kids are suffering raging cases of Spring Fever and the "newest" kid fake cried for the last half hour of both days because he didn't want to write in his journal.  Knocked the whole tub of crayons on the floor right before I had to take a group to the gym for dismissal.  When I came back he had to pick them up...rather unwillingly.  Then he had to finish writing in his journal...rather unwillingly.  By the time he needed to leave for the day, I had him calmed and smiling, but I was SO tired.  Two days in a row!
I have been cranky and crying for unusual reasons.  We have been watching a live eagle cam of a nest in Virginia with 3 eaglets...the mother got killed yesterday and I cried while I watched them rescue the eaglets.  A kind comment from a colleague = tears.
The horrible storms which have only barely glanced us, have kept my 90 pound lap dog in a constant state of and night.
The State Department of Education does not like the amazing program Stevie and I have developed and run for the last 12 years with tremendous success.  All they can say is, "Well, yes, but the law says...."
We have been busy trying to fix it for them without breaking it for the kids.
My sweet little niece, Ana, a freshman at WVU, called today and asked me to take her to Med Express.  I did, and was happy to be able to help.  I was sad to see that for a college town, they didn't treat this little college kid very nicely.  She got some medicine and I am praying she is well soon.  Finals are in just a few days.
Spring orders are due for a class I won't be teaching next year.  Class placements for next year are looming....with a new system to learn and implement.
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, when all I want is to enjoy my last few weeks.
A friend sent me this scripture at just the right time:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.     Galatians 6:9
Amen and amen.


  1. Okay, I can see that I chose the wrong time to let my head slip under the water. Wish I'd seen this when you wrote it.

    Back when I was in college, I was an actress. A fairly good one. I was cast in some big productions (never as a lead, thank heaven) and in some smaller, grad ones and independent theater ones (where I was, surprising to me now, often a strong lead). Months of rehearsal. Then a week or two of run. And here is the thing: I was always stunned at the end, when it was all over and we were breaking down the sets - stunned at the deep sense of loss I felt when it was all over.

    You immerse yourself in something, sink your passion into it, become attached to people you work with every day - because it is the every day working together that actually is the heart and soul of "family" - and then - it's over? Just like that? You see it coming. You know it's coming. But you never know how much something was built right into you, the direction, meaning and structure of your life - regardless of the cost of the investment, regardless of how tired it makes you - you never realize how much it has become your meaning - till it just stops.

    I used to tell my seniors - you are ready to be out of here. You are ready to be free of school. but for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, you will never again pass fifty friends in the hall on your way ANYWHERE. In real life, your actual social interaction will be very small - six, ten, maybe twenty even semi-regular people in your life. It will be different. It will be empty feeling.

    One of the guys at church who had served as a Bishop to our ward - if I may explain - we are a lay church. Nobody gets paid for working in it. Our congregations may be anywhere from eighty or so to six hundred or so - and out of that group, one man is "called" to lead it for about seven years at a time - to be responsible for the welfare on all levels of all those people, all while he keeps his day job and his family. And he's the bishop. And he has two councilors. He organizes all the programs, the women's group, the youth and child groups - the service, the scheduling of meetings and buildings - he and his two councilors.

    It's a huge undertaking. A terrible investment of time, attention, passion, patience, self-discipline and logistics. This friend of mine, having finally been released from that mountainous calling, explained how odd it felt, not to be meeting with the two counselors who had become his best friends - not to be seeing them and working with them every day. Not to be responsible any more for the happiness and well-being of the three hundred and twenty seven people in our ward anymore. Not to have all that responsibility and pressure.

    The lack of it left him feeling a little lonely and strangely isolated. Even though he still had his regular life in full.

    So many years of standing in front of a classroom of free radical children. So very many years of dreaming up themes and projects. Of teaching morals and mores and vision and critical thinking and art and discipline and - so many years of reaching down inside of each child and pulling their souls closer to the light of day.

    It will not be easy to walk away from this.

  2. When women are pregnant, they cry over nothing. I used to cry over even stupid TV commercials. Once, I cried for three hours straight without any idea why. It was because my self was so taxed with submerged meaning - bringing forth life. I didn't have the resilience to field anything more. And here you are, just finishing up a decades-long pregnancy - having birthed so many into the next stages of their lives - how can you be surprised that you are crying at the least little thing?

    And children: I used to sit on the edge of Gin's bed when she was tiny - after she'd gone to sleep. I felt awful. All I had done all day was chase her and say - no no no NO. And she was a sweet, quiet child. And I loved her so much. And all I really wanted to do was just hold her and tell her I loved her and not have to lift and carry and guide and discipline. I was always tempted to pick her up right there, all warm and sleeping, and hold her in my arms. But I knew it would wake her, and the first thing she'd do is slither out of my arms and take off again -

    The advantage I have is that now that she's thirty one, I CAN just sit with her and not have to do any of those chasing things.

    It's complicated, relationships with children. My luxury is that I had only four I had to entertain every day, and the further luxury of having them grow up and lessen my load every year. Your job has been miles harder - so many of them, and always the same age - your children, always five.

    The Department - you won't have to mess with THAT stupid mess. And there's no nostalgia there. Idiots. Do they interview people to find the least imaginative, least child-understanding idiots they can find? REALLY?? But you have to let go. You did your bit. You gave your widow's mite, but it was actually a HUGE amount. And you can't be responsible for the lives of all the kids on the planet - not even all the kids in WV, though I will say that if I were God, I would definitely make you immortal and run EVERY KID IN MORTALITY through your class to guarantee them a chance to have a mind that is laced with lively curiosity and life.

    I have worried about you every time I've heard the news. But was comforted that there didn't seem to be a lot of twisters in your state. I think that worry was part of the wave that broke over my head at the end of April - too much to do, too much worry over what I couldn't control, too much movement. But you are safe. And I rejoice.

    Weary not of well-doing. King James. Yes.

    You are a blessed woman.

    my security word was FOOFIE

  3. Thank you for hearing what is being said even when I don't know I am saying it for sure.
    I am sure that retirement is right for me, but I am equally sure that if I let myself think too much about the warm fuzziness of helping a kid who is not in my class with a problem, or complimenting the one who looks lost and afraid of being seen, or seeing the school busses, or the hugs from my "old" kids, or...OK. Gotta stop that. It is time for me to find my next life and I LOVE mornings or adventures. I am sure of this...
    A slightly new complication in all of this is that my dad is starting to show signs of was just "forgetfulness", but now seems more and my brother at home is growing weary his own self.
    Ahh. Life.