I'm working in a new place this year. I worked really hard to get the job. I gave up a large portion of my salary in order to give up almost three hours a day in the car. The daily trips to Warren and back and watching the "Deaths on Michigan Highways" sign click up day by day and trip by trip were worth it. Some major perks of the job:
* Ten minute drive
* Same school as my children
* Nice coworkers
* Opportunity to work with former students and the kids in MY community again
* 6th graders do not ask me to wipe their butt, nor are they likely to sneeze in my face
* We have to be on committees. I know this should seem like a drawback, BUT my committee team totally rocks and we named ourselves Matt and The Plastics. We even all wear pink on Wednesdays. Even Matt.
Then there are the drawbacks
* Driving my kids to school (Did my siblings and I seriously wake up and start fighting the MOMENT our eyes opened? If so... sorry Mom! Paybacks ARE Hell!!!)
* Driving home with my kids, or arguing with them about why they CAN NOT stay with me after school. (See above.. and again, SORRY MOM! Please lift the curse!)
* My new school is very detail oriented. As in, please submit the paperwork to provide data on your paperwork an hour before you got to work two weeks ago last Tuesday kind of detail oriented. We have a LOT of meetings about all this paperwork. It's exhausting! Paperwork is NOT my strong suit. Those of you who know me well are not shocked by this revelation. My brain just doesn't work that way. It's not that I don't WANT to do the paperwork... I'm just too busy doing other stuff to get it done. Clara pointed this out to me. She told me, "Mom.. you never just sit at your desk, you are always teaching." I'm pretty sure she meant it as a compliment. I felt better for a minute or two but then I went back to work and realized I had more paperwork to do which immediately freaked me out again. I am pretty much perpetually stressed out. I've cried a lot this year. I feel like a first year teacher again, and honestly that kind of sucks. I pep talked myself the other day. I'll have to try it again on Monday to see if it works. Here's my video:
I kind of doubt it will help, but if Ellen or Blake Shelton, or heck even Chris Harrison of The Bachelor franchise ever wind up reading my blog maybe they will decide to knock a few things off my bucket list. I should mention that it's really hard to stand on the sink and cheer yourself on when you are afraid you are going to fall off the counter and break your neck.
I almost forgot one more non-perk. I am old enough to be almost everybody's mother. Seriously, I could BE many of the other teacher's mothers, and not even as a teen mom. #Iamolderthandirt
So now that I'm done WHINING I can update you on the good stuff. Alyssa is sober and has a good job. Addiction sucks, and I'm still waiting to exhale, but I'm still eternally grateful to my friends and family who helped get her on the road to recovery. I pray daily that the choices she makes will lead her down the right path.
Noah is getting ready to GRADUATE from high school! How did this happen? I swear it seems like just yesterday I was freaking out in the hospital trying to figure out WHY they were going to trust ME to take this baby home, and WHAT was I going to do with him once I got there. I guess I figured it out. He has applied to several colleges and is anxiously checking the mail every day looking for acceptance letters. I have no idea how we are going to pay for it, but I'm determined to make it happen. He's looking forward to getting back to playing ball his senior year of high school and somehow managed to get his coach to let him be #69. You can file that under #proudmommymoments. I will not be wearing his number on the back of any sparkle shirts. (Just in case you were wondering!)
Ricky started high school and is towering over me. We got his progress report the other day and we totally thought he was practically failing high school and made him sit through lectures about responsibility and threats of taking away his phone, his video games and life as he knew it only to go to conferences to find out they CHANGED THE WAY THEY DO THE GRADING BUT NOT THE FREAKING PARENT PORTAL so he's not really practically failing. He's pretty much got all A's. One of the 20 something teachers mentioned that the new grading system was "in the syllabus you signed at the beginning of the year" and the highlight of my night quickly went from relief over realizing Ricky is not failing to not choking the life out of her. I guess that is another one that can be filed under #proudmommymoments, or maybe #itisalwaystheteacherskid.
Speaking of the teacher's kid. Matthew is IN sixth grade and I teach 6th grade so once a day he's in my class for social studies. It's a lot of fun most days. I love watching him interact with his friends, and I'm impressed by his kindness and his willingness to try pretty much anything. He played soccer this year. He tried out, started as the manager, and wound up getting to play on the team! He's convinced I have "spies" because I always know all of his business (which pretty much involves who he likes) but all I have to do is watch him. I don't REALLY need spies...besides the sixth graders never stop talking. Who needs spies when you have hall duty? #sixthgradersneverstoptalking
Clara managed to help me convince Brian we needed another dog. I'm so glad she did. Hazel is a constant happy place in both of our hearts. Unless it's time to pick up dog poop... then we are not so happy but the joy outweighs the poop and don't tell my husband but if we wait long enough my husband usually steps in dog poop, gets mad at us and picks it up himself! (We are GENIUSES!) She is probably the most enthusiastic about having me working at her school even though she claims I am "so embarrassing." I'm trying to convince her to try out for the basketball team at school, I think she'd be great. Of course I'm always trying to convince her to do things and she's always shooting me down! Just last night I tried to convince her to join a bowling league. She's much happier just doing her own thing when she feels like doing whatever it is. I suppose she may be trying to save me from myself. When would I get her to bowling leagues, besides... we have dog poop to pick up.
Ruby is dancing up a storm! She's going to be in the Nutcracker again this year and will be an angel and an elf! I get to be in the show with her this year. (Feel free to come cheer us both on!) She tried out for cheerleading recently and didn't make the team but handled it with such dignity and grace I couldn't be prouder if she HAD made it. After a brief moment of sadness she looked right at me and said, "Well, I know what I need to work on if I want to make the team next year" then jumped in the car to go to dance class. We must be doing something right!
So all in all, life here is pretty good. We don't always have it all together, we forget about paperwork,we forget to pick up dog poop, juggle the bills here and there, and probably mess up a lot of other stuff but we are blessed to have one another. I hope someday my kids read all of this and remember how much I love them. I'm blessed to be their mommy and there isn't anything I wouldn't do to help them reach their dreams. (Even if it does involve driving to bowling.)
God is good.
All the time.