When Ryley was just hating her diving class this summer, she told me that she developed a trick for getting through it:
“Every time I am really not enjoying it, I think to myself, ‘There will be a time when I am done with diving and in the van and on my way home. There will be a time when this is over.’ And that’s what gets me through it.”
I am trying to incorporate that same philosophy with my job these days. Here, in my comfy chair, several hours after the fact, with my husband and daughter, and the smell of fall lightly dusting our home, it becomes easier to remove myself from the stress of the day. It’s easy to think, “Wow, that was a crazy day! Why did I end up in tears again?”
But when I’m there, in the moment, with a list of angry customers I need to call back, and deadlines to meet, and insurance companies yelling at me, and angry Mexicans in my office arguing over payroll, and my e-mail not working….It’s hard to remember that anything else matters. It’s hard to get some perspective and remember that the world outside my office is so much bigger and that there will be a time later on when I am curled up on the couch watching a movie with my family and the workday is complete.
No, I shouldn’t go back to the office tonight, because being with my family is the most important thing.
And why can’t I get paid buku bucks to sit in my comfy chair and dream up stories on the computer all day long?
Last night was Back to School Night, wherein Ryan and I congregated with parents of other 4th graders and sat at our daughter’s desk to envision what her learning environment will be like for the next nine months. What camaraderie there was in discussing the weight of homework assignments on students’ grades and hearing other parents question the amount of homework given. We learned that we were not the only ones who had issues in 3rd grade. Though it felt at the time like Ryley was singled out and like she was the only one struggling, we know now (much too late) that she wasn’t alone. And now I feel more freedom to speak up to teachers and talk to other parents too, if needed, in the future.
In that moment, sitting in Ryley’s chair next to Ryan, trying to make a good impression on the teacher as “Ryley’s parents” (because first impressions are key, right?), I loved being Ryley’s mommy. I loved that behind me were Emma’s mommy and Abby’s daddy, and next to me was Jason’s mommy. All are Ryley’s good friends, and their parents are good people. We are all mommies and daddies, and we all want the best for our kids. We want our kids to be loved, appreciated, valued, and exulted over by the people that teach them. I kind of wanted to suggest a group hug at the end, but I wasn’t sure if everyone else was quite feeling the vibe I was. ;-)
And then, as everyone flocked to the gym for the principal’s Power-Point presentation of flow charts of after-school pick-up lines, Ryan and I headed for the exit. We have felt our souls die while sitting in that gym one too many times. We had done what we had come to do, and we are very happy with Ryley’s teachers, the curriculum, and the 4th grade year to be.
“We’re adults,” Ryan whispered. “They can’t make us stay!” And it was a good feeling. :-)
May the school year begin!