Sunday, November 17, 2013

Life is...

…realizing that you haven't posted to your once-regularly-updated blog in nearly three months and feeling guilt and overwhelming shame.

…having the existence of your blog brought to your attention again by a college student, because guess what: the internet works. (Note: If you are one of my students, you should be working on your paper and group project. Now. Because remember: What if you are hit by a truck tomorrow?)

…teaching, yes. And sort of surprisingly enjoying it. Surprisingly because teaching high school was something I would never go back to, and high school and college students are really not far removed from one another at all. But the issue with teaching high school was bureaucracy and lack of freedom and pressure to get my students to pass a freakishly backward standardized test when they had bigger issues, like abusive homes. And third grade reading levels. And poverty. And unwanted pregnancies. And apathy. College students might have crazy big issues, too, but they are not in college against their will, and teaching them affords more freedom than teaching high schoolers, and you can always use "You are paying $40,000 a year to skip class, you moron" as leverage. Plus college students have a lot of energy, and as an extrovert, I just hoover that up, y'all.

I'm liking it a lot, and I'm signed up for next semester, too. But that's enough about teaching, since my students can Google.

…looking over at The Baby, who is of course still The Baby (that is how I see H's name in my head: The Baby), but somehow doing things like talking and dancing and giggling and arguing and reasoning and copying and learning, and realizing how short, how heart-meltingly short, this Baby time really is. Everyone says it. Every random grandma walking down the street stops me by placing a hand on my arm and another hand on her heart and then by very dramatically intoning, "Savor this. Remember it. Cherish it. It goes so quickly." And I just roll my eyes and say, "Okay, thanks, that's helpful, could you please take this bag of groceries? Because, you see, my toddler just sat down in the parking lot to prove a point and the other three are in a wrestling match in the cart corral and fuzzy, dramatic predictions about THE FUTURE are not helpful, but grocery-grabbing would be."

But you guys. That random nana is right. So right.

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First he's a squalling, life-disrupting, scrunchy newborn who makes everything so doggone difficult. And then you blink (yes, blink, it's truly very dramatic) and he's a two-year-old in a pumpkin costume standing up at the dinner table shouting "SHAKE YOUR BOOTY" and then falling (due to the booty-shaking) and sobbing and running to Mama and saying, "Kiss da boo-boo, Mama" and then, upon receiving the kiss, sobbing some more and saying, "Not DERE, HAAARRRRRR" because Mom. Seriously. That's not the boo-boo spot. It's haaaarrrrrr.

That's it. That's what it is.

I have never kissed anyone as much as I kiss H's chubby face. True fact. He cannot grow up.

…cheering on The Professor as he takes this entire academic year to write his dissertation. And man, you guys, he is kicking that dissertation's bottom. I really didn't expect any less, since he is the Most Driven Person in the Universe, but seriously, his progress is amazing. He has half of his dissertation written, about 1/3 of it reviewed and revised, and all of it mapped out. He's cleared for crucial research in Texas in the spring. He has grand plans on defending in the summer, and he'll definitely be back to full-time teaching at Olivet in the fall, just four years after starting graduate school from scratch. He does all of this while running the planetarium, continuing his research assistantship at the Adler, working on publications (both academic and fiction), and being an awesome husband and dad. If you see him, give him many high-fives. He deserves them. And probably also a nap.

…watching my three big kids flourish and thrive in school. We are so happy with our district's magnet programs, and we are extra super happy with the magnets our kids are in and with their teachers and aides and principles and support staff. Seriously, so many awesome, dedicated people work their hardest to make sure my children are engaged and learning and safe and healthy, and you know what? When I watch King Peter the Boy lean in reeaaaallll close to her adored kindergarten teacher and whisper "I love you" and stroke her teacher's hair, I can't help but think we're in a good place. Many high fives to my awesome community. Also, her teacher has pretty awesome hair, so this is all very understandable behavior on KPtB's part. Also, her teacher loves horses, so they're pretty much BFF.

…being really positive. How do dramatic, pessimistic people make it through life?

…admitting that it's not all roses. Fine. I'm really positive, but geez, you guys, my kids DRIVE ME CRAZY sometimes. Today was one of those days. Mr. Case and I yelled a lot at the big ones, because they fight and tease and punch each other and lie (yep) and throw fits and cry and generally do a great job of getting on our nerves a lot of the time. We essentially have three kids who are all the same age. And it is an immature and ouchy age, filled with a lot of arguing and disagreeing and exasperating. The winter weather makes it all the harder, as our house is small and there isn't a lot of room for thundering elephant children who really need to run around the block five times backwards to get out all of their energy. Some days, like today, are really hard and discouraging. And yes, random nana. This too shall pass. But don't tell me to cherish this, because I won't. I'll cherish the hugs, the cuddles, the quiet talks, the "I love Mom" cards, and family jokes, but I refuse to cherish B punching his sister in the face because she called him a "Brainiac." I will not.

(Don't you put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby.)

So that's life. Some of it. A general picture of it. We're busy, but not too busy. The kids fight, but not all the time. Sometimes it snows in early November; sometimes we get tornadoes in late November (that was today.) It's changing all the time, but for the most part I can fake like I know what I'm doing and convince those around me I have everything under control. If I'm smart I'm actually cowering in the corner shouting "JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!" but no one here ever hears me, and my husband thinks I'm a hero.

Basically, life and I are on good terms.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

I loved reading this. It made me happy and brought me back to the real world. I miss your blog posts, but can only imagine what all you have going on (other than blog posts).