So stomachs have been clenched, muscles have been knotted, and teeth have been gritted. Needless to say, tempers have also been short.
Yesterday, in fact, MTL arrived home in a horrible mood--the worst, he confessed, since we've been together. My mood wasn't sunshine and daisies either. At one point, while trying to convince the %&#()@ cabinet drawer to get back on its runner and slide back in dammit, I slid back against the opposing cabinet, lowered my head to my knees, and let the tears just flow for a little while. It's all just the buildup of everything that has been going on, especially with The Dark One, and work stress, and extended family stress, and reaching a point of Deep Core Stuff in therapy, and....yeah.
Fortunately for those around us, MTL and I are self-aware enough to clamp down on our tongues and do our damnedest to Think before we React when we're highly stressed. I won't say we didn't trip up a bit last night, but there weren't the rages or tempestuous fights or OMG EVERYONE JUST GO AWAY moments that could very well happen at times like that.
Thank God. Which I mean literally, because I believe He helped, even if it was just having our guardian angels lay a finger on our lips from time to time so they didn't open until we'd had a moment to think first. And I'm also thankful that He gave us each other, because being able to debrief with and vent to and comfort each other goes a long way toward making it all survivable.
Today...well, today is a new day. MTL didn't get much sleep again last night, but I did, so at least one of us has some renewed energy to deal with Stuff. And it's the last day of school before Winter Break. And my students are being very sweet.
You know, it tends to be elementary teachers who get the cache of holiday gifts (which reminds me--OOPS) more so than secondary, but sometimes we still get a little something here and there from kids who
But you know what my favorite gift was today? The handwritten note that accompanied the Godiva. Inside, it reads:
Dear Ms. [TeacherMommy],
So I swear to god, I'm not just kissing ass when I say this, but, thanks for being the first teacher in 5 years to make me love English again.
It used to be my favorite subject and I'm not sure what happened, but I'm actually starting to enjoy it finally.
I really need to start scrapbooking all those kinds of notes and cards and emails and whatnot. That's the sort of thing to pull out on the rough days.
Life is messy and difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but it's the little things that matter. The notes of appreciation from students, the kisses and cuddles and You're so pretty, Mommy! from my kidlets, the teasing from my stepson that says he is comfortable and affectionate with me in his own way, the I love you! on the phone from my younger stepdaughter, walking out to a car scraped off and warming up each morning thanks to MTL, the look in his eyes when he sees me, the words of appreciation and love that he gives me for the things I do to keep this crazy family up and running, laughter around the table while we eat or play UNO...
And above all, the sense that as crazy as life can be, I am Home.