Diapers and Dragons

Saturday, February 27, 2010


we wander through this life
never knowing
or what
will come our way
and change us for all time

i used to fear the unknowing
of what was to come
(truth be told it scares me still)
but am finding adventure
in what lies next
around the bend

tears may have been my yesterdays
and may yet drench my tomorrrows
but today i laugh
and line my soul with delight

for sorrows fade with memory
even pain dulls its edge
when moments of joy become
frequent visitors instead

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shoe Love

DraftQueen was my Valentine this year (Oh my sweet Valentine! How I miss thee! You sure you want to move to New Mexico instead of Michigan? Sigh.) and as I mentioned, we're sole sisters. We both love shoes. And while we don't always have the same taste in shoes, sometimes, well, we do.

So when we wandered into our fifth shoe store Famous Footwear during our ramblings around a very small mall (now with mall cop!!!), we both spotted the same pair of shoes and fell in love. We had to try them on. Problem was, the shoe was on clearance. There were two pairs left, but only one of us fit a pair.

Guess who that was?

LOVE means having your tootsies hugged by beauty like this all day long. And looking at this pic, wow but my feet are small. Are my ankles really that large in comparison? Sigh. I swear, I don't have cankles!

Sadly, this means we are not shoe buddies and can't, like, totally wear the same shoes on the same day! Because that would be so awesome, fer sure!

I, however, am totally rocking these shoes. And hey, my tattoo gets to come out and play!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Not Like You Didn't Know Me Well Enough By Now To Be Surprised By Posts Like This

Today was a snow day which kind of messed with my head because, you know, we just had a snow day a week and a half ago and COME ON people, this is Michigan. We get snow. It's not like we're Texas or anything. And I was a little bitter because the Powers That Be in my district apparently take pride in being the VERY LAST DISTRICT IN THE COUNTY to ever call a snow day and so the phone call came while I was already in the shower and so I couldn't go back to sleep even though I spent the next four hours in bed anyway dinking around online.

Also, my eleventh graders were supposed to take a Very Important Test today that I can't administer after this week (even make-ups) because of the upcoming Michigan Merit Exam (don't ask why this is, because it's a ridiculous reason, but then we're talking a decision made by politicians here, yo) and so now my week has gotten much Shorter and More Difficult.

Although, mind you, there was a good bit of the snow, as I discovered when I finally hauled myself back out of bed and ventured forth to hunt down some coffee, all suburban Michigander style.

snow snow snow snow

AWD FTW!!! Ah Michigan, land of vehicles that can handle the snow, even if some of the drivers can't. New Englanders all seem to drive little four-door compacts with rear-wheel drive and therefore spend enormous amounts of time in the right lane with their hazard lights on. You'd think it never snows there.

I may have then taken a little trip down to Old Navy and taken advantage of their denim sale. Just possibly. (Seriously, how awesome is it that their newish styles now fit my body?!?! I can now find jeans that fit my long legs and long lower torso and cost a fraction of what other stores demand!!! WOOT!)

My whole weekend has been ridiculously and delightfully lazy lazy lazy as I have not truly been in ages. I lay in bed for hours upon end, people, and yet also got out and about and socialized Every Single Night. I am a social butterfly flitting from flower to flower. Except hopefully longer lived, because those critters don't last long, now that I think about it. Not all that fabulous a metaphor. I mean, why can't I be a social Galapagos tortoise?

Oh. Yeah. The whole speed of movement thing. It would take me forever to get from one event to another. That could be inconvenient, I suppose.

I started this post with some point and it has now been completely lost amidst all the snark. My snark quotient has been very high the last few days, probably due to the influence of the websites I have been spending all those hours and hours perusing, often laughing until tears were (quite literally) streaming down my face. Sites like Passive Aggressive Notes and Cake Wrecks and Lovely Listing and Craftastrophe and today my new favorite Regretsy*. As one person emailed the snarktastic blogger at Regretsy, Love this site. It's like LOLcats for mean people. And ZOMG, if loving that site means that I'm a mean person, slap a big red M on my bosoms and submit the pic, because I'm there.

My friends may be suffering a bit, but hopefully they love me enough to deal. I'm doing my best to keep my snark on the right side of harsh.

Also, Pandora.com has been running nonstop on my laptop to the point where I finally ran out of free hours and had to cough up the massive 99 cents it cost to have unlimited playtime for the rest of the month. I have been playing my Death Cab for Cutie and Emptyself and Iron & Wine stations endlessly. As a result, I have discovered many new songs and artists that I love love love love and I am having to restrain myself from draining my bank account buying mp3s on Amazon. Self control FTW!!!


Oh well. Whatever I originally meant to write, this is what you're getting. It is now time for bed, because suddenly it's actually Tuesday the 23rd instead of Monday the 22nd, which is when I started this post.


My bed is calling. Well, not precisely my bed, because I'm already in it, but dreamland or whatever. Good night or good morning or whatever time it is and may your dreams be sweet and completely unhaunted by this.

You're welcome.

UPDATE: It just occured to me as I was adding links that I originally came on here TO BE SNARKY. Specifically, snarky about the random people/organizations/spammers who keep following me on Twitter even though I haven't even logged on to Twitter in months. MONTHS people, and seriously, why does it have to be the crazy spambots following me on Twitter? I would rather have real peoples follow me here. I mean, come on! Who's in charge around these here Intarwebz?!?!?

Whew. I'm glad I got that figured out. Good night/morning/whatever.

*Warning: quite a few of the posts on Regretsy.com are Not Safe For Work and potentially offensive because OMG you would not believe what people try to sell on Etsy.com. It's amazing. So please don't go there and get all shocked that I would link that site because I just checked and the very front page (on the day this is posting) may involve "art" involving nekkid boobies. And pig corpses.

I kid you not. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vulture's Prey

Many years ago there was a young girl who had very little self-confidence. She knew she was intelligent; she had a feeling she was attractive; she was fairly sure she was an interesting person. What she didn't believe was that anyone else (other than her parents, who of course didn't count) could see or value any of this. She also believed that she had enough flaws that anyone who got to know the real her would reject her. So she walled herself off from the world, sat in the corner, and watched life go by.

She was very lonely.

The girl had a few friends here and there, but because of a life spent living overseas and traveling back and forth and always saying goodbye to people, she struggled to maintain those friendships. She struggled even more to make new ones. One year when she was back in the strange unfamiliarity of Michigan, she somehow was drawn into a four-way friendship with three other misfit girls at her school. They all sat near each other in several classes due to the accident of alphabet and last names, and for some reason she never understood, they welcomed her into their little group.

Over time, the girl became increasingly close to one of the girls in particular. This other girl was a rebel. She was edgy and dangerous in a sneaky sort of way. She held herself with an air of confidence and take-no-prisoners attitude that the girl envied. So the girl overlooked her friend's tendency to use her. When her friend started taking the girl's geometry homework to copy, the girl said nothing. When her friend would ditch the girl at the last minute because something else came up, the girl said nothing. When her friend would talk endlessly about her own drama and showed no interest in what the girl might be going through, the girl said nothing.

She was just grateful to have a friend.

The girl went back overseas for two years, and her friend never replied to any of the letters she sent. This wasn't anything new, however, so the girl said nothing. And when she returned to Michigan for college, she reached out to her friend once again, who was more than happy to accept the girl back into her life--without the other two friends, who had all drifted apart once the girl left.

The girl started changing, however, and started realizing that perhaps someone who was a real friend should care more about the girl herself rather than how she fit into the friend's life at her convenience. The girl started standing up for herself a little bit. She didn't drop everything at a moment's notice for her friend any more. She started making her own story and her own needs known a little more.

And her friend stopped calling. She stopped answering the phone when the girl would call. Finally, when the girl called her to ask if they could get together over a school break, the friend told the girl that she really didn't have time to see her anymore.

The girl hung up, shrugged, and never called the friend again. She realized, finally, that this other girl had never been a true friend at all.

Years and years later, when the girl had grown even more and was finally becoming the person she wanted to be, she made many true friends. One day one of the dearest of those friends sent her a song to enjoy. There was something about the song that struck a note in the girl. She would play the song again and again, caught up in the music. The lyrics, too, struck something in the girl. One day as she read them again, she realized that the lyrics were singing the song of that old, false friendship.

And she breathed a prayer of thanksgiving that she no longer thought that this sort of friendship was the most that she deserved.

Little princess, with no need for empathy when we will
gather at your feet to give you anything you need
and feel privileged
just to have you hang around
so we can look you
up and down and hope for you
to turn around and maybe notice
all the things we have inside
things that you pretend to provide
to get yourself around in life

So, sorry to get in your way
It seems that I forgot my place...
A means to your superficial ends
Here, let me scratch your back again

Little princess, how could I be any use?
Might I assist with your abuse
and whatever else you choose?
Good thing you're pretty
or else you'd be no good to me
Your fake concern is rather weak
I hear an echo when you speak
but it's ok...
Manipulate me all you need, for we are all
your currency...
even your spite is flattering

So, sorry to get in your way
It seems that I forgot my place...
A means to your superficial ends
Here, let me scratch your back again

Little doll faced vulture, circling round...
captivating as I lay on the ground
waiting for you to come swooping down
to feast on my weakness
and move on through the crowd

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm the Dark and Sinful Kind of Sweet, I Think

A very big thank you to Fraught Mummy at Brits in Bosnia for this Cake award! What a sweetie, herself. The rules are simple: post the award and then pass it on to a few other bloggers!

Now we all know that I'm not exactly a little ray of sunshine. Nor are you going to find much that's sugary sweet here. I think God ladeled the spice on a bit more in that recipe. So when Fraught Mummy gave me the option between the Icing on the Cake award or the Sunshine award...well, at first I was a little kerflummoxed. I love awards. I wanted an award. But WHICH award should I take?

I just couldn't go for the Sunshine award. But it occurred to me that cakes come in all sorts of flavors. And my favorite kind just happens to involve sinfully rich dark chocolate and the decadence of raspberry liqueur. So...I'll be THAT kind of cake. And icing. With delight and pleasure!


So thank you, Fraught Mummy! And since I can't pick you, I'll pass the award on to: Beck at Frog and Toad are Still Friends, DraftQueen at The Drafts Folder, and Monica at And I'll Raise You Five. A yummy award for yummy blogs!

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Music, Memoriam

Fraught Mummy at Brits in Bosnia started a meme ages ago, and she tagged me. She instructed us to write about "a song that reminds you of something, that has a story for you. Not necessarily your favourite song or a even a song that you love, but a song that instantly takes you back to that time and place." 

It's a meme that's perfect for me in many ways, because music connects to memory for me All The Time. I have entire soundtracks for times in my life. DraftQueen is my official LifeTrack DJ, in fact, because she always seems to find the perfect song to send me when Things Happen. The problem, therefore, is not thinking of a song, but choosing just one. 

It took me a long while to get around to this post. The timing, therefore, is choosing the song for me. And because of the nature of this post, I can't tag people the normal way. So if you are inspired to carry on this meme, please do.


Four years ago my mother sent out an email asking for some help. My aunt, her only and baby sister, was nearing the end of a long fight with leukaemia. She was in hospice. The toxic side effects of chemo and the gradual failure of her body had made her restless and highly sensitive to sound. She could no longer handle being read to for any length of time. She craved music, but only certain music was bearable. My mother, who had become her main non-medical caretaker in hospice, asked us if we could find and send CDs that were soothing, instrumental only, and uplifting.

I felt helpless, much as I had been feeling for months. I had just born my first baby, the tiny DramaBoy, a couple of months earlier. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and (unknowingly) depressed. My beloved aunt, the one after whom I was named, the one who had cared for me when I was a baby, the one who had fought so hard and so long for all five of her own beloved babes, was dying, and there was nothing I could do.

I looked through the instrumental music racks at Best Buy and Borders. I found a couple of possibilities under the New Age category, but still felt uncertain about my choices. Neither felt quite right.

At that time DramaBoy was up frequently during the night, and I had taken to tuning the satellite tv to the New Age music station. The slow-moving blue title box gave just enough light to maneuvre without waking DramaBoy's father, and the music kept me company and calm. I would sit propped against the pillows to nurse my small son, dazed and halfway dozing while the mainly instrumental music would wash over me.

One night as I stared blankly at whatever was in front of me, DramaBoy suckling peacefully at my breast, I heard a lovely piano piece begin. The melody was what snapped my head up from half-mast. I knew that song. I knew the words. And something about it spoke to me.

The title box informed me that the piece was, indeed, "As The Deer"*, the artist was named David Nevue, and the album was titled Overcome. Realizing that there was no way I would remember this by morning, I grabbed a serendipitous scrap of paper and pen and jotted down the information.

When I looked up the artist and album the next day on Amazon, I discovered, to my amazement, that Nevue (a Christian pianist who specializes in lovely inspirational albums based on hymns and psalms) had composed and recorded the album as his father was dying from cancer. I listened to the progression of songs and knew that this CD was meant for my aunt. I ordered it that day.

My mother told me later that near the end, Overcome was one of only two CDs that my aunt could listen to. Again and again she would ask for it, calling it "[my] CD", using the nickname I went by as a young girl. It was playing that day in March 2006 when she peacefully passed from this world into the next.

I am crying as I write this. My aunt's death is something I have never completely worked through. I am torn between anger that someone so young and so loved, the adoring mother of five very young children, was taken from us too soon and in such a very painful way; and joy that her life AND her death were full of meaning. She and her story touched many lives. She still does.

I could not bring myself to listen to Overcome for years, even though my mother gave me my own copy, as she did many other family members. Last year, as I was working through a different grief and different loss, I finally started listening to it, often at night as I once again struggled to sleep. And finally I was able to find peace in its lovely music rather than torment and grief.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee
*From Psalm 42

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Would Walk 500 Miles and I Would Walk 500 Hundred More*

How we actually met is somewhat of a vague mystery. We know it was last summer. We know that the fabulous Melissa B. somehow introduced us. We don't remember if we tweeted each other first or commented on each others' blogs first, but ultimately it was our blogs that drew us together. At some point we moved from merely commenting to emailing, and then we added texts and phone calls into the mix.

And somewhere along the way we fell in love.

Last Friday as soon as school was out I climbed into my trusty Saturn Vue, topped off the tank, and drove east. Well, okay, so I drove south first, but eventually once I was in Ohio I turned east. I stopped for the night with my very beloved aunt and uncle, who live near Pittsburgh, PA. The next morning, after a lovely breakfast and chat, I climbed back into my car and drove. And drove. And drove some more.

At some point I stopped for a brief nap, forgot to turn off my lights, and ended up with a dead battery. Some very friendly and very Canadian truckers got me going again (bless those Canucks!) and I drove again. Ten long hours later, I pulled up to a hotel in a tiny Massachusetts town near Boston and waited for my beloved to arrive. I had read her words and heard her voice almost every day for months, but had never seen her face.

Finally, she arrived. My own darling DraftQueen, in the flesh!

Oh, it was a wonderful evening. We dined and drank and talked until we both simply fell asleep from sheer happy exhaustion. The next day was Valentine's Day, a day I had dreaded. Instead, it was a day of joy. We breakfasted, we walked and talked, we shopped for shoes (she is a woman truly after my own sole), we spotted a mall cop wearing high water uniform pants and a bicycle helmet on a segway...what more could I ask for in a Valentine?!?

At last we parted, she to go off to provide happiness for someone else in another (far less fun) way, me to drive to Boston to see my sweet sister and her hilarious hubby for a couple of days.

My drive back on Tuesday and Wednesday was crazy (oh, the post to come from that), but I would do it all over again. (Note to self: Get a GPS. And a new battery.)

Only three months until we're reunited once again...and I'll be counting the days!

Thank you for being my Valentine, darling DraftQueen! I couldn't have asked for a better one!
*In honor of DraftQueen's ongoing effort to name (almost) every post after a song title. It's only fitting. Even if I drove instead of walked and it was more like 2100 miles total instead of 1000. I think that means it evens out.

Monday, February 15, 2010


it hit me out of nowhere
and confused
i stared about as if to say
what on earth is this
and where did it come from

then looked inward
since that's where it lay
shimmering gently as if
the cold new england skies
had opened new vistas of soul

it should have been the worst of days
misery and pain and loss
like last year
when my anguish was too great
to contain and so i spilled

and poisoned those around me
too difficult to be around those
who hurt for me
but did not hurt like me
and could walk hand in hand

a mere year later
there has been more pain
there has been more loss
and only days ago i found myself
in tears upon my bed

the darkness of yesteryear
was thick and dense with few
if any glimpses of light to come
i struggled to wade through it
tangible in its weight as it was

but the darkness of today
is wisps of cloud across the sun
burned through by light and love
too quickly gone to lay upon me
like a shroud

i cannot stay within the pit
for too many hands are there
waiting for my grasp
ready to pull me out to safety
poised to hold me tight

and within my own soul i heard
the sweet song of hope
and newly minted from the fire
i caught a glimpse of

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wellness and War

I've been doing well. Quite well, considering the hellishness of last week and the sinus infection that decided to take up residence a couple of days ago. But work has gone well, I've been remarkably social, and my students have been commenting.

I think it's a bit of a shock to their system to see me positively cheerful in class.

Yesterday I treated myself to a haircut (it's been five months, folks!) and a mani-pedi in honor of my upcoming Weekend of Fun. It had been a bit of a crazy day, what with oversleeping my alarm and wireless issues at work and so on. It was luxurious to relax for a couple of hours and just take care of myself. It's something I don't do all that often.

So why haven't I been sleeping?

Night after night I lie in the bed, tired but incapable of falling asleep. Night after night I've been forunate if I get five hours of sleep. Even more rare is a night of sleep without waking several times throughout the night. Even on my snow day on Wednesday, I woke throughout the night worried whether the automated phone caller would call the right number (it didn't) and checking online for when my district would announce it (at the last minute, hours after everyone else). Even once I knew, I only slept an hour past the time I would normally wake for work.

I've been taking some Tylenol PM at night the last few days because of this annoying sinus infection, and that has helped. A little. Last night I forgot to do so. I fell asleep, finally, sometime around 11 or so. And woke sometime around 1:45 AM.

No matter what I did (and I pulled out all my tricks), I could not fall asleep for over two hours. My shoulders and arms and neck burned with tension. My mind raced. And finally, as I buried my face in my pillow, I burst into tears.

I've been doing quite well. But underneath, there's still a churning mass of grief and fear and sorrow and anger over multiple stressors in my life: relationships (romantic and otherwise), finances, divorce, my children, my job, my future. Last night, that mass won the battle.

Somehow I have to win the war.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

They Said...

They said it couldn't happen.

They said the district is too stingy to allow it to happen.

They said things would get cleaned up in time.

They said everything would be business as usual.

They were wrong.






SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to go play. Enjoy your desk jobs, suckas!!!! This teacher is OUT!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Give Me Some Luuuuuv. Or Not. Whatever.

I used to pimp out my blog all the time. A post would go up and I'd be over on Twitter and Facebook, announcing to the world that Hey, a post is up and you should go read the awesomeness! It got a few people over here. Not many, though, and I would sigh and feel all hurt and go beg for people to leave comments because, well, um, I'm a comment whore. I crave the feedback.


In the last few months, however, I've been letting my posts speak for themselves. Twitter has not seen my tweets in...oh, I've lost track. My bloggy Facebook page has been utterly neglected. People simply have to fend for themselves in terms of finding my words of wacky weirdness wisdom.

I think this due in part to my increased sense of self-confidence and slowly growing "happiness in my own skin", as a good friend put it. I love having an audience for my writing and my thoughts, but it isn't quite as crucial to me as it was, oh, last summer.

I still like comments, though.

(Ahem, ahem!)

I am, however, feeling the need to get back into some more concentrated writing. Short stories, poetry, thoughtful essays. I have an essay brewing slowly about the power of words, as I mentioned yesterday. The question is: when the heck will I get it written down???

Life is busy. This is a good thing. I'm working hard (ACT/Michigan Merit Exam time is fast approaching--I just LOVE teaching to a test) and talking with friends and getting back into a more active social life. This weekend I'm heading off Massachusetts-wards to visit my friend DraftQueen (This could mean some serious craziness, yo), and I plan on hopping over to Boston to see my sister as well (Still need to talk to you about that, hon! I'm glad you're excited!!!). Next week is Midwinter Break, so I have the luxury of Time. February is slowly looking up. Of course, there wasn't too much further down it could have gotten, but still...

I still have my moments of sadness. This last year-plus has been extraordinarily hard on my heart. At the same time, when I look back at where I've been and how far I've come and where I'm heading...It's hard to be Dark when I see so much Light.

So who wants to leave me some love? Come on. You know you want to...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just So You Know...

I really want to write a bit long post about the power and significance of words, because I've been having fabulous discussions with my tenth graders today about that (we're gearing up for A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird), BUT

I'm busy busy busy and don't see it stopping soon.


I'm glad to report that my weekend was much improving, my cold is almost gone, my back is (finally) on the mend, and I am much more cheerful in mind and spirit. Thank God for friends, family, Getting Things Done, a very helpful former student, the prospect of a snow day, the prospect of a fabulous road trip to see a very dear friend and possibly my sister (I'll call you about that, hon!), and some very nicely timed compliments from a few good-looking men.

Chin up and carry on!

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Isn't As Depressing a Post As It May Seem At First. Cross My (Fractured) Heart.

I'm not entirely sure what I did and whom I ticked off, but apparently I'm being punished this week.

At least I'm not alone: numerous friends and coworkers and students and family members have also been having a miserable week. So perhaps it's less about karma and more about...oh, I don't know, the impending doom of 2012 or some other lovely apocalyptic theory. At least we're all miserable together.

If it wasn't enough that I had my heart bruised and lost a relative, I also managed to injure my lower back. Multiple visits to the chiropractor and massage therapist have resulted in only temporary relief: this morning I tried to bend over to pull on my jeans and nearly had a coronary from the pain. Thank God my beloved brother stayed the night and was there to help me get the boys ready this morning. Okay, truth be told, he did everything from getting them dressed to buckling them into their car seats.

(You think he'd consider moving in and staying on the couch? No? Dammit.)

(I should have stayed in Detroit. I really am not fond of this birdnesting situation.)

I also have come down with the plague a horrific cold. Not only do I have the full force sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, can't-sleep-and-Nyquil-can-suck-it sort of cold; every time I hack up a portion of lung, my back goes into spasms. Oh, and of course I look just sexy as all get out, yo. Exactly the sort of thing that makes one feel just peachy when one's self-esteem has already taken a major hit.

Tuesday, which was possibly the worst day of the week (it's hard to tell right now), I lost my temper with a student and said some things I should not have said. As a result, I ended up in a sit-down with an administrator and received my first-ever write-up. I was in the wrong, so I was rather resigned and mainly angry with myself for letting myself be so unprofessional.

There have been some bright spots. Yesterday that administrator decided to change the write-up to a verbal warning, since my history has been excellent otherwise. He knows I've been going through a great deal of hardship in this last year, and he specifically mentioned in the original write-up (as well as to my face) that he is impressed with my energy and determination to continue being an effective teacher despite my personal troubles. Hey: at least I'm not disappearing off the face of the earth like I did last year.

Earlier this week I had some delightful laughs at the expense of students' inadvertent malapropisms--there were some others that wouldn't convert well to storytelling (you had to be there)--and yesterday I found another. While looking over a student's rough draft, I read this sentence: There has been a penile system in place dating all the way back to when our country was first founded.

Well, if one looks at American history from a devoutly feminist point of view, he wasn't all that off the mark.

A truly bright spot, however, appeared this morning in the form of a visit from four of my tenth grade students. They showed up in my first hour class bearing gifts: a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, a box of homemade brownies, three of my favorite chocolate bar of all time (the Dark Chocolate with Raspberry, of course), and an extremely sweet card that read:

For now,
the important thing
is to know
you are not alone--
you're surrounded
by the loving thoughts
of so many
who care about you...
...so just be sure
to take care of yourself,
and do whatever
you need to do
to feel better.

And they signed it with the words: Hope your week gets better! <3 We love you.

So am I slipping into a black hole of depression this week? No. I'm hurting, yes. My heart, head, nose, throat, chest, back, hips...I'm a wreck. But even in the loneliest times, there always seems to be someone or something to keep me from heading into despair. I'm grateful.

Besides, I already have a permanent reminder that even in the worst of times, there is hope. The bird is singing. All I have to do is listen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Yesterday was Groundhog Day. I didn't really notice at the time, what with all the depression and sadness and whatnot that happens when one's relationship comes to an end. I knew the timing for our beginning had been bad, that we had a lot of obstacles facing us, and I understand the reasons he feels he just can't be in a relationship at this point in his life, but pain doesn't care much about how logical the cause is.

I am clinging to hope rather than despair, however, and am doing whatever I can not to fall into the darkness. My friends are amazing. Add my sister in there, too, who called and talked and listened for a long time despite not feeling particularly well yesterday. I look back at last year, at the torment I was going through then as another relationship was ending (much more traumatically and messily and in a very drawn-out manner, mind you) and realize that the difference--in me, in my coping mechanisms, in the depth and breadth of my support group--is astonishing. Not that I don't feel like my heart is trying to tear itself in two, but I was actually able to laugh last night. I ate lunch today, voluntarily, for the first time in days. I made it through the workdays and functioned: my students could tell I was struggling, but I was able to be an effective teacher nonetheless. I didn't walk out. I didn't disappear. And rather than having a tiny handful of friends and family with whom to talk, I had...well, I lost count. The love floods in.

And these last four-plus months? They've been good. They've been healing. I gained confidence in myself. I learned a lot about myself, about life, about relationships. I did things I've never done before. There was stress and angst, but there was also a great deal of happiness. And ultimately, even though it's hard to feel that way right now, I do know that time was worth the pain.

Then today I heard that my great-uncle, my mother's paternal uncle, passed away after years of battling Parkinsons. It's been a long time since I saw him or his family, because they've lived in Florida for years, but I have fond memories of Great-Uncle J. I remember his amazing Donald Duck voice he'd use for all of us kids. I remember his kindness and gentle sense of humor. I only had him as a regular presence in my life for a relatively few years, but he left his mark. He will be missed.

So now I wonder: if bad news comes in threes, what more lies in wait this week?

It doesn't matter so much whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not yesterday. I'm thinking he may have had the right idea when he turned around and headed back indoors.

But I'm taking my friends with me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

At Least I Have Some Job Security

I've been having a very rough time of it lately (difficult to talk about, so I won't), but every now and then something comes along to brighten things up a bit. I got not one but two chuckles out of my day today, courtesy of students.

First, I received an email from a student:

Dear Ms. [TeacherMommy],

Hello, this is D------ from your 2nd hour English 10 class. I was sick last Friday and was not able to revive the work you passed out in class. I was wondering if you could please send me any work that was given out that day.


I may have to email him back and suggest that he renew his CPR training.

Then in my Mythology class, I asked the class to remind me which Greek gods we covered last on Friday. A student raised his hand and said, in all seriousness:

Hermaphrodite? Herpes? Asbestos?

I had to thank him for the first real laugh I'd had in four days. And then I wrote it down. I can make money off that sort of thing, know. Richard Lederer can't have all the fun.
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