Friday, December 26, 2008

December: One for the Books

This month is not even over, but I can tell you that is has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions. I've held off writing about whats going on in my head for awhile because I was unable to wrap my mind around it, but I will make my best attempt.

Teaching is hard - that's all there is to it. I have never been so ready for a break in my life! I honestly don't know how I made it through that last week; I was beyond even running on caffiene. In my first half-year of teaching, I have learned that teaching is a profession of BUTS...teaching is incredibly fun and rewarding, BUT it's exhausting and thankless in a way that is hard to explain to someone not involved in education. My students make me laugh and love every day, BUT they also make me want to scream sometimes. Who in the world thought that I was qualified to profoundly influence 20 young lives, anyway?!? I have the unique opportunity to work with and observe some parents who show me how I want to raise my kids someday, BUT I also see some parents who have absolutely no business having kids. I come home each day too tired to do anything but collapse in bed (and there have been days where I've gone straight from the car to bed!), BUT I am still glad I am a teacher. I cannot imagine myself being satisfied in any other career other than full-time motherhood. I guess I've always been one of those people who is never satisfied unless I have given everything I have, and I can say that I have put everything I have into my first semester. I don't think I've done any permanent damage to any of my kids, so I guess you can say that my first semester was a success!

In other news, Sophie has been sick for several weeks. We spent the night of Mike's birthday, December 8th, in the doggie ER, and we're still not quite sure what's wrong with her. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that my dog, whom in many ways I consider to be my child, has been a very sick doggie. She is finally starting to act like she feels better, but the hardest part of all this has been coming to terms with the fact that someday I will lose her. I think that every time a person gets a young dog, they spend the first few years of the pet's life in a sort of denial, thinking that the animal will live forever. You know in your head that, at best, you've only got 14 or 15 years, but your heard holds out hope that YOUR baby will be the exception, even though that makes absolutely no sense. But there comes a time when you have to buck up and accept the mortality of a being that has completely stolen your heart. I've been through this once before, and this time was no less heart-wrenching. In many ways, this coincides with what I've been feeling about Nils lately - he's been here for almost 4 months now, and I can no longer pretend that he's going to be with us forever - he's going to have to go home this summer, and it will probably be one of the hardest things I have ever done to let him go. And yet I knew I would go through this when I signed up to get a foreign exchange student, and I wouldn't go back on it if I had the chance.

This may just be the longest post I have ever written. I wonder if there's a way to check on that. I think that having time to actually collect my thoughts has done me a world of good, but all of them have been pouring out of me at warp speed over the past couple of days! I realize that this post makes me seem like a whiny whimp who spends much of her time in denial, but I'll keep it real here and post it anyway.


Anonymous said...

You don't sound like a whiney whimp at all. You sound like a person with a big heart and finding out that the world has really wonderful parts and a few that can make you so incredibly sad.

I remember a time when I thought all children in our neighborhood lived like Stephen. I knew there were hungry kids and abused kids and kids that didn't get the love they deserved, but I thought they were out THERE!! Certainly not in our school.

When I started substitute teaching ... boy did I get my eyes opened. It was heartbreaking on one hand. On the other, I knew that school (and sometimes my class) was the haven they needed. In my class they new that they had one place where they were important.

I know that's what you bring to your class. Hang in there! {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Melissa said...

You're not a whiny wimp at all! You are recognizing that you can love your profession BUT. Working with kids can be hard and thankless, BUT what a wonderful job to have - to see kids learn and grow throughout the year, and appreciate their honesty and quirks and the joy they bring to your day. Joy and exhaustion :)

As for Nils and Sophie, it's going to be hard to let them go when the time comes. But what you've shared in the meantime is priceless. I'm glad to hear Sophie is feeling better!

I hope you had a great Christmas. All the best in the new year, Jacki.

Lynn said...

I knew teachers had to deal with alot but until I started to volunteer in my kids' classrooms, I never realized how much the teacher goes thru in a day. I couldn't do it. And that is why I try to help the teachers as much as possible. A happy teacher is a better teacher. And I think you are doing a fantastic job!!

As far as the animals, I'm right there with you. It's VERY hard to lose an animal, esp one you have had for a long time. My Sheba was almost 20 when I had to have her put to sleep, and it was the hardest thing I had to do. I was literally sad for a full week. I've had cats put to sleep in the past, and while I've been sad, I've been able to keep my emotions in tact. Not with Sheba. I was just so sad. She was the cat that turned the IO into a cat lover and also the one we got our first year of marriage. Considering we had her past our 20th anniversary shows how long we had her. It's hard, but you do have your other pets to help with grieving. Regardless, you still have Sophie so enjoy her as much as possible. Same with Nils. A year is a long time to have a *guest* and he truly is a family member. However with Nils, you now have a place to visit!!!!

Now go enjoy your vacation because school starts back up in a week!