Friday, January 27, 2012

Missing My Alarm Clock

There was a time when the sound of my alarm clock in morning was the most dreaded and hated sound I could imagine. This is no longer the case. I now WISH that I could hear that sound, just once or twice a week. Since going back to work after Christmas break, I haven't heard that sound. Instead I wake up to "Momma"...."Dadda". Now this might sound like a better way to wake up, and I will admit that I would much rather trade this sound for the beeep, beeep, beeep of my alarm clock. However, the problem lies with the time that these sounds are occuring. Liam has decided that 5:00-5:15am is a good time to wake up. My alarm clock isn't set to go off until 5:45am.
I know that this doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is for me! That extra 30-45 minutes is now a treasured period of time that I miss. What makes this even worse is that I like to take my time in the morning and relax a bit before heading off on my busy way, so at 5:45am when the alarm is supposed to go off, I have given myself an hour and 15 minutes to get ready. Add on the extra time when Liam is ready to go, and I have about two hours to entertain, feed, dress, and change his diaper, when all I want to do is make a pot of coffee and watch the news.
Today, being a furlough day, should have been a sleep-in day. But oh no! That doesn't work in our house anymore. Liam was up at his usual time. Unfortunately for him, mommy was not ready, nor willing to get up. I let him stay in his bed and play, call for me, and a bit of crying for 45 minutes, at which point he went back to sleep. I can't believe that this worked! I actually got to sleep in (after about an hour of listening to the monitor) unitl 7am! I even had to go check that he was still breathing, which is what actually woke him up.
This won't work on a work day, because he can hear me getting ready and just gets more agitated, but at least I know there is hope that one day he will just go back to sleep. So for now, beeep, beeep, beeep is charished and missed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting Things Because I Lack Hair

A couple of years ago I was driving my sisters home, and I'll admit, I was driving well above the speed limit. Of course, I was pulled over. I was fairly nervous considering this was only the second time I had been pulled over. When the cop came to the window he asked me the usual questions "Do you know why I pulled you over?", "Do you know how fast YOU were going?", etc. I answered truthfully and told him that I absolutely knew why, and that yes, I knew how fast I was going. He took my license and registration and went back to his car.
As I waited, completely embarrassed to have my little sister see this, I knew that a ticket would be coming with him. When he returned to my car, he handed me my information and told me "Well, since you were honest with me, I'll let you go with a warning." It wasn't until this morning that it dawned on me how many times things like this have happened to me. Going to a restaurant where they give us something for free, at a club where a man randomly gave me a rose, on vacation when a complete stranger handed me a souvenir, people on the cruise ship secretly sprinkling me with holy water, and the day when our new neighbor mowed our lawn for no reason (they could have just been tired of seeing it get taller and taller). What is it with people? Oh wait! I have "cancer" right? I guess instead of a ticket, having to pay for my dinner and my souvenirs, I get to get away with everything! Would it be horrible of me to use it?
Yes, I know it would be. I don't have cancer and I'm not going through anything remotely like what people with cancer deal with, but am I going to randomly say "I don't have cancer." when a complete stranger assumes and does something nice for me based on that assumption. Yes, if I know that is what they are thinking. But I will not tell a police officer "I don't have cancer." without a reason when he tries to hand me a warning. Not because I want to take advantage, but because I think, if they assume I have cancer, but refuse to ask me, I should just assume that they know its alopecia and are just trying to be friendly.
Moral of the story: Ask!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Email

I spent the past two and a half weeks with my son enjoying the holidays. It wasn't until driving home from our New Year's weekend at the beach, that I realized that I only had one day left to be home. When I woke up yesterday, I thought about how I would actually have to set an alarm and get up when it went off, how I would have to grade papers again, and attend meetings. At that moment, I wasn't exactly thrilled. When Liam went down for his nap, I took a couple of minutes to read some of my work e-mails (knowing full well that there would be a lot of them). When I saw the long list of things that I would have to eventually read, I got overwhelmed and decided that I would just pick and choose for now.
As I scrolled down the list, I saw a distant, but familiar name. The e-mail was written by a student that I had two years ago in a reading class. I thought that this was odd, probably a chain e-mail that was mistakenly sent to me. When I look back at my time with this student, not a whole lot comes to mind. She was a sweet, quiet girl, who did her work, but never acted overly interested. So it was a total shock for me when I opened the e-mail and realized that not only was it actually written by my student, to me, but that it was a thank you letter.
As I read, I began to tear up. She told me about her love for poetry and that, until that day, she had no idea where that love came from. She proceeded to tell me that when she thought back to when her love for it began, all she could remember was the Halloween that she had spent in my classroom, and the poems that I read to her class that day. She was refering to my yearly Edgar Allen Poe day- I read The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven. She told me that she was so taken by the poems that I read that day, that she went to the library and checked out a book full of poems by Poe, which then turned into poems by Jane Austen, and then Shakespeare.
She had also added four beautiful poems that she had written to the end of the e-mail, for me to read. She explained that without me, she would never have thought of poetry in the way that she does now. She expressed a desire to write for a career and explained how much of an outlet it had become for her. Until this point, I would have never thought that she would be a student who I had an impact on. I remember talking to her about her work and the books she was reading, but she never gave any indication that she was being "inspired" while in my classroom.
This got me thinking about the hundreds of students who I have taught throughout my short teaching career thus far, and about how many students I could be reaching without ever knowing it. I also thought about how I had no idea that one day's worth of poetry reading could have this much of an impact on a student. When I got into teaching, I knew that I wouldn't be able to reach every student that walked into my classroom, but I now know that I'm reaching more than I think, and in ways I can't see.
Since having Liam, I have felt a bit of a disconnect from my work. I have always loved it, but it took a backseat to all that was going on at home. But last night when I went to bed, I couldn't sleep. Not because I was dreading the alarm clock, but because I couldn't wait to see my kiddos! I have a renewed excitment about teaching and I feel like I did my first year as an educator.
I can never thank this student enough for the gift that she has given me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Year in Review

I have spent a lot of time thinking about 2011 and the changes that it brought. There were some great changes mixed with some painful ones. Overall, I think that the past year should be labeled a "Growing Year". Not only for myself, but also for my family, friends, and specifically my baby boy (who is not much of a baby anymore). I have changed a lot in the past few years, but I think that this year in particular has been the most important. I have grown a great deal as a person, mom, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, and wife. My role has changed in each of these areas several times this year and I have learned how to change too. Not everything about this year was a positive situation, but I believe that even the worst of situations have had some sort of role in the outcome of the year and have been crucial to my personal growth.
Last year I had a resolution to be flexible and openminded to the changes that life had in store for me. I think I did a pretty good job of this. I also had a resolution to loose the baby weight and become more comfortable in my own skin. I can put a check next to each of those as well. This year, my resolutions are to really focus on my relationship with my husband which has taken a backseat to many other obligations this past year. I will also focus on continuing the personal growth that I have started to make.
This year brought the loss of my dear grandma, the first birthday of my son, a new work schedule, renewed friendships, a walking/talking child, home projects, a memorable trip to Crater Lake, several trips to the beach, a few classes, some good reads, many changes at work, and several priority shifts. It seems to be a busy year behind me, but I have a feeling this year will blow it out of the water! Hopefully in a good way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

TBA-Temporary Baby Amnesia

My husband and I love my son more than anything and anyone. We adore him and love spending every waking minute with him. Well, not every waking minute. Anyone who knows us, knows that he comes first and we are more than happy with that arrangement. But the other night we got to thinking, now that he is in our lives there is no way to go even a few hours without him dominating our thoughts and conversations. This was the case in August when Joe and I spent the night out and stayed in a hotel to celebrate our anniversary. What happened? Well we talked about Liam the whole time and still woke up early the next morning so that we could get home to him. The thought occurred to me that wouldn't it be nice if we could get TBA (or temporary baby amnesia) once in a while.

For example, if the hubby and I wanted to have a date night- go out to dinner, maybe see a movie, get a drink, it would be so nice to do all of that without the worry that is associated with being away from your baby. It would also be great if we could have a conversation with one another without the topic always being around our little guy. As I said before, I love my son more than I ever thought possible, but I also think it would be nice to take a pill and for two or three hours actually forget I have a baby boy and have a night that is once again, truly about us. Now I know that this isn't possible (at least yet) and maybe there is a good reason for that, but a mommy can dream can't she?