Friday, March 13, 2009

a knot.

it's the word that has gotten me through the last few weeks.
because, in all honesty ... i've been looking for it.

i have been overwhelmingly frustrated with a moment that will exist in the future. and it has weighed so heavily on everything i do and feel ... right now.

this is a busy time of year for special education teachers ... and specialists. we are so busy with slps and ieps and neers and ecse and thousands of other acronyms that no one really understands or cares about. i have 31 meetings scheduled between this week and last week ... of which about 20 are regular education conferences ... but still must be attended. this is the time of year that the school districts are making decisions about placements and schedules. and our school district is closing 3 schools next year due to declining enrollment ... which means that ... oh goodness ... how do i describe it? chaos city?

and more importantly than all of that work stuff ...
stella is going to be a kindergartener.

and i was (glorious word, isn't it?) so stressed out about how i was (beautiful, no?) going to make that work.

this entire year, i have found myself sliding down a rope ... failing to mention it to loved ones and friends because i didn't want to seem incompetent ...

i didn't know what was anchoring my rope from up above ... i have only been able to see the rope in front of my face and feel the burns spreading across my palms as i have tried so desperately to hang on.

those rope burns have been so evident in my ability to mommy lately.
i have yelled much more than i want to.
i have rushed and hurried, everything from ... hugs and love and ... getting out of bed and getting out the door.
i have put cereal in a cup way too often with a glass of milk on the side ... to eat in the car.
i have been too quick to get upset about silly little things.
like spilt milk.
or acting silly when we need to get. your. shoes. and. coat. on!

the rope burns are affecting my kids.

and my husband.

and me ...

i've felt happiness. but i haven't been honestly and truly happy. i've had fun. but i haven't been carefree or careless ... without putting a lot of effort into it. and that is truly exhausting.

a large part of this weight on my shoulders ... gradually pulling me down the rope ... has been next year.

how am i going to be a mommy to a kindergartener and a preschooler and get everyone to where they need to go ... when i am part-time single parenting and full time working it?
when the changes in the school district ensured that stella would not be able to attend the school right next to her daycare.
and she would not be able to attend the school that i teach at.
and she didn't get into the charter school that we were hoping for.
and she didn't get into the second choice spanish immersion school that would have picked her up from anywhere.

and i was running out of options. i was trying so hard to control it all ... that i forgot about fate. on march 3rd ... fate reared her beautiful face and manicured hand and bitch slapped me.
after that ... she looked me straight in the eys, and tied a knot in the rope (much too close to the end) ... on which to rest ...

on march 3rd ... we had to register ... irregardless of what we wanted ... at our neighborhood elementary school ... that i had tried so hard to dislike.

but loved.

... it's a sweet little gem of an elementary school ... it is the perfect size - not too big, not too small.
... there were interested and involved parents there.
... the pta has found a way to raise money to fund artists to come in and teach the children about the creation of art ... in the face of a district that can't afford to hire art teachers.
... the full day kindergarten option does not require a tuition.
... the teachers appeared lovely and friendly.
... the principal introduced herself to stella first.
... and mentioned that they haven't had a stella there in all of her years. and that she knew that.

stella told me that she loves her school.

the knot.
gave me a bit of a rest.
and finally, the strength to start climbing back up.

yesterday i reached the top. and found out that the rope was tied to a rainbow.

a rainbow insisting that i take a new position ... at the same school that stella will be at. a four day week position. and a full day to devote to making my life less stressful. a full day to ... mommy ... and keep cora home and walk stella to school and do the dishes and get out the door after the sun comes up and we've eaten a breakfast of pancakes following an uninterrupted moment episode of hugging and cuddling on the couch ...

and on the days that i do work ... stella is near me ... in my office before and after school ... finishing up on her work so that we don't have to do it at home. i can grab her for lunch occasionally ... i can be available for her and her classroom teacher. i can finally live the reason why i decided to move back to a school based position.

i'm feeling a whole new sense of clarity. and it feels really really good.

survival is such a strong word ... and many people have been forced to survive things that i'm pretty sure that i would crumble in the wake of. but this ... topic over at spriteskeeper outlined the fact that i'm surviving this thing called motherhood ... but sometimes ... i just need to realize that i am not necessarily the one in control. for more exciting stories about survival ... head on over to spriteskeeper's place.


Sprite's Keeper said...

It's like Dorothy opening the black and white door into a full Technicolor world! I hope it all works out since it would be perfect for you to be so close to Stella, but still distanced in your days. Crossing fingers! Great Spin on survival.
"i didn't know what was anchoring my rope from up above ... i have only been able to see the rope in front of my face and feel the burns spreading across my palms as i have tried so desperately to hang on."
Perfectly put.
You're linked!

Staci said...

That's so wonderful that things have worked out! I could have written much of this post myself. We register on Friday, and I am terrified, and worried. But your post has given me hope that maybe things just may go smoothly! I'm so glad to have stumbled on your blog today.

Lesha said...

Isn't fate funny like that. I am so glad things have worked out for you. I can totally relate to the stress and the sliding and the not enjoying. It is wonderful that you'll have that extra day a week, and the new job and loving the school. I mean, how cool is it that you LOVE the school in your neighborhood! You'll get to know all the parents and they're kids and they'll live relatively close for playdates and all that wonderful stuff. Horray for fate and horray for things working out. Now, if you have any to spare, can you please send some my way? My rope burns are getting sort of sore too.

Christine B. said...

Oh my God, I almost cried when I got to the bottom of your post.

I know you know I have been where you are now. I think I might *now* be where you are now, only under different circumstances. Sometimes the Universe just turns the right way and you get what you need, especially when you think you can't hang on just. one. more. second.

I can't tell you how completely thrilled I am for you. The scenario just sounds wonderful, and you will enjoy your life much more with just that little bit of extra time each week.

Hugs to you and your girls...happy, happy, happy day!

Trailing Mira said...

Another perfect example of how things usually work out in the end :)

I am so glad you are able to use the past tense when speaking about your stress! Being able to relieve yourself of stress is always such a treat ;) wishing you a great weekend... one without cereal-eating-in-moving-vehicles haha! :)

3 Peas in a Pod said...

Wow that's great that it all fell into place. Fate is a good thing but easy to forget. I love a happy ending. Or beginning depending on how you choose to look at it. You can breathe a big sigh of relief now. :-)

Much love from NJ,

Shangrila said...

OH! I am SO HAPPY that Fate came and worked her magic for you! I know what it is to feel that fear and dread and the belief that it's all on your shoulders. I have had days, weeks, months filled with too much scolding and "getting by". Your girls and your students are lucky to have you! :)

Casey said...

Wow, that is perfect! I can't believe a position just opened up for you, it must be fate. I'm glad things fell into place and you're not going to be so stressed out next year. I'm keeping my teaching position open (I'll take my 2nd year of maternity leave next year) in case I decide to go back. Hopefully it'll work out as well as your situation did.

steenky bee said...

So. Beautiful. (as always) This tale of worry was told so elequently. This was the best thing for me to read before bedtime. Thanks for that.

A Buns Life said...

That is wonderful news.....and kindergarten is such an exciting new beginning. I'm so happy that it will be so positive for both of you!!

Christy said...

I am so glad everything is working out for you and Stella.

bernthis said...

I'm sitting her crying b/c I feel so out of control of my life and I know the only thing to do is to let go and trust that I when I get to the bottom of the rope there will be a knot there to save me. You line about the rope being tied to a rainbow is the part that got to me.

CDB said...

I LOVE that fate bitch-slapped you. What a power image THAT is. And absolutely perfect.

This sounds like an enormous amount of past stress, that hopefully dissolved into redemptive resolution. I'm happy to hear about your new position!

I can't believe it took me this long to figure out your daily blog vs. photo blog!! I love both!

HeatherPride said...

My oldest will be starting kindergarten as well next year, and I'm already freaking out about how we're going to do daycare drop off, and school drop off, and bus schedules and before and after care and.....UGH! I guess we'll find a way. We kind of have to, huh?

Pamela said...

What a great post. Really, really. I'm so glad to hear things have worked out.