Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver

15 June, 2014


I am talking to one of the other teachers.

"Vivian is so bossy," she says, and rolls her eyes.

"Andrew is too sensitive."

I listen to her complaints.

Xavier won't keep up.  Adam doesn't like to play with others.

Over and over, she turns what could be their greatest strengths into weaknesses.

Adam doesn't like to play with others.  Adam is independent.

Xavier won't keep up.  But Xavier wants to stop because he's curious.  He wants to stop so he can investigate his world.

Andrew is too sensitive.  I love Andrew's tender heart because it's just like mine.

Vivian is so bossy.  Vivian is smart and ambitious and she knows what she wants.  And she's not afraid to ask for it.  I wish I was more like her.

I hear all this negativity and frustration and part of me understands that spending your day with a big group of one-year-olds is exhausting.

But mostly I'm just angry.

31 May, 2014

On growing up and leaving me. Stop it right now.

There are these kids who I babysit.  I've known them since they were 13 weeks old and started in the infant room at my job.  I love them.  I love how accustomed we are to each other. The kind of comfortable intimacy that only comes from spending so much time together.

How when I hold him, even though his body is so much longer now, he drapes so familiarly across me.  His face buries in my neck and his small hand sneaks across my collar bone and into my shirt to grasp my bra strap as it did so many times when I held him on my chest and sang him to sleep. He drifts off with the same soft grunts, lifting his head only once to look at me and smile through his pacifier with sleepy eyes.

Or her. How after her chirping requests for more stories end, her head finds its place snuggled underneath my chin and her right thumb still goes immediately into her mouth. She still twists and turns and talks and sings before she settles in to rest, but now instead of rubbing the back of her tiny bald head, I brush her bangs away from her eyes and tuck her hair behind her ear so I can kiss her temple. 

I think about how I won't be theirs one day. It's something that is well on its way to happening. Has already happened. But they will always be mine.

Even if they don't know it.

21 May, 2014

Personal Monologue

I had a homework assignment to write a thing.  So I wrote it.  And now I'm typing it and putting it on the internet.  I don't know why.  Well, actually, I do.  Anyway, this is pretty much it:

I sit down to write this on Sunday afternoon, but when words fail to magically appear from behind the blinking cursor on my computer screen, I watch an episode of "House" on Netflix instead.  I sit down again on Tuesday evening and face the same dilemma and at this rate will have worked through all eight seasons of "House" in no time at all.  Finally, at 11:48 pm on Wednesday, the day before my assignment is due, I crawl into bed with a notebook and pen and think "What the hell am I going to write about?"  I could tell them, I think, about my job related anxiety.  How I worry so for my kids when they aren't in my classroom anymore and how I'm quite confident that no one else will ever be good enough - appreciative enough - to take care of them.  But no, they'll be bored stiff.  I talk about work all the time and who wants to hear stories about some stranger's kids?  Ok, fine.  Not work.  What about this idiotic, unrequited crush I'm nursing right now?  Nope.  Nope.  No.  No.  No no no no no no no.  Noooooope.  No.  I'm actually just embarrassed that I typed that and I'm considering deleting it before I click publish.  We'll see.  Because that topic would be juvenile and ridiculous, and I'm a grown up, damn it.  I'm think about these things that I don't want to share with my lovely, attentive class and I wonder: why, when I think seeing someone display genuine vulnerability is one of the most beautiful things in the world, am I so hesitant to do that myself.  And then I think it's because everything I have considered writing about feels silly and inadequate.  And there are big, real problems in the world to keep my up at night (and they do), so I shouldn't waste my time worrying about these insignificant, irrelevant things.  And before I know it I am in full on existential crisis mode, struggling to find the balance between wanting to feel validated and important, but knowing that in the infinite, unfathomable chaos of the universe I am not.