Today is the first day of spring break. Sometimes I wonder what in the world was I thinking when I decided to stay in high school for the rest of my life. Then I get a random week off in April and it all starts to make sense again.
For my first day of spring break I mostly hung out with June. We went to the library and got more books. (The lady who checked us out raised her eyebrows at me, "You do know you have 23 items checked out, right?" Yes, ma'am. We know.) We stopped by Swig and got a soda. Well I got a soda. June got water because she's a baby. I went to an appointment this afternoon while June napped and then when I came home we ate pizza and went to Grease Monkey to get the oil changed in our car. June rearranged the furniture in the waiting room. I read my book. It was good.
When we came home June destroyed the downstairs while I tried to fold laundry upstairs. Having a toddler is a study in counter production. I clean up one mess while she makes another. I should have realized after about 20 minutes of uninterrupted folding that it was too good to be true. June wandered upstairs and before she was even in the room I could smell it. Peanut butter. June had had her way with a jar of peanut butter. It was in her hair, all over her face, her clothes, the floor, the counter, you name it.
So it was bath time and jammies and I put her to bed and I looked at her grown up toddler body and was so happy to be her mom and so sad that she is growing up so darn fast on me and so grateful that of all the babies she's the one who came to me.
June is my gift. Being her mom is the most satisfying and joy filled thing I have ever done with my life. Sometimes I feel like I should hide how much I enjoy being her mom. But that's just nonsense. I struggle in so many areas in my life and there are so many things that suck about this world that we live in that I am going to enjoy being her mom without apology.
My dad died one month before I started my student teaching. It was a really sucky, hard time in my life. I missed my dad fiercely. I didn't think my heart would ever heal. I was dating a dud who never made time for me. I was getting Cs on final projects because all of a sudden 8 page papers on efficient rubrics seemed so pointless.
I had heard endless horror stories of student teaching. How hard it was, how the kids don't respect you, how lesson planning takes hours, how you won't have time for anything else in your life. (Good thing my boyfriend didn't take up too much of my time. HA!) I was ready for it. But student teaching wasn't any of those things for me. I loved it. The kids were funny and smart and sometimes perfectly inappropriate. My mentor teacher was the ideal fit for me; he wandered in and out of the classroom letting me have as much creative freedom as I wanted. My student teaching experience meant everything to me. I loved that classroom and I felt myself begin to heal as I learned to teach those hormone-filled fifteen year olds. I remember ending my student teaching experience and looking back on those 11 weeks and realizing, "That was a gift. That was God saying, 'I'm going to make a bunch of stuff really hard for you right now. And you're going to wonder why and you're probably going to hate me some days. But I'm going to give you the student teaching as a gift to get you through all the other crap. This will be the one perfect thing in your otherwise very imperfect life."
I can't even write about student teaching without tearing up. It was the rock that I needed during that time to steady me, to get me through the hard stuff. I don't know what I would have done without those teenagers who were waiting for me at 7:20 am to teach them Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Six years later, I realize that God has done the same thing. But now June is my student teaching. God looked at this time of my life and said again, "I'm going to throw some really hard stuff at you. And you're going to wonder why and you're probably going to hate me some days. But I'm going to give you June to get you through all the other crap. She will be the one perfect thing in your otherwise very imperfect life."
I can't be more grateful.
June is my gift.