1.27.2010

You Win Some...

A few weeks ago I decided that I was definitely, no matter what, come what may, taking January 27 off from work.  One of my best friends was having surgery, Uno and Dos had half days at school, and I really need to go have my last name changed all official-like.  Lots to do, perfect day to miss work without guilt.  A done deal.

This past week, I realized that this was just not going to happen.  Serious work issues, then multiple coworkers out sick, one at the hospital with her son.  My team needed me.  My class needed me.  I just couldn't miss.  I could just figure out another time for the official name stuff, find rides home for the boys, and my friend was surrounded by family so I could check up with her later.  Ok.  Fine.  Work was going to win, this time.

I woke up nice-and-mind-jarringly-awake at 7:45 this morning. Seven! Forty! Five!  OH, what a great start to the day.  I leaped out of bed, ran and banged on the boys doors, and like any decent Drill Sergeant, began barking out orders.  I grabbed my phone, called the school, and informed them I was running, oh, an hour late.  They swiftly informed me there was no one to cover my class, due to all our specialists being needed for testing today.  Awesome.  That meant one thing -- my principal would be with my class until I got there.

At approximately 8:05, we ran from the house and jumped in the truck, me hoping against all odds that I could still, at the very least, save the boys from being late because I am an idiot.  Dos was my first delivery, one full minute before he was supposed to be in class. Good luck, kid, I think, as I tear off en route to Uno's school.

I'm beginning to feel a little better, knowing I have plenty of time as I round the corner to the high school, when I spot the police car sitting in the median.  Nutburgers, I think, knowing my time has run out.  My inspection is expired, and seriously, I know it's not difficult to renew, but, as stated earlier, I am an idiot, and I just haven't taken care of it.  Now, any other day, I think I may have scooted past him unnoticed.  But oh no, not today.  I drive past, and he does a slow turn around, lights blaring, and I sigh, pull over, and tell Uno, since we're sitting right in front of his school, to hop out and get to class.  He shakes his head, says, "This is not your day," and ambles off to class.

Tears are already forming.  I cannot stand being pulled over.  I hate this reaction, this stupid dumb-girl overspill of emotion, but, there it is.  The officer comes up, talks about my inspection, and all I can do is nod and cry.  Insurance card, he asks?  Well, sure.  Oh... but... no.  I haven't put then new one in the truck, so I'm sitting with an impotent slip of paper that does me no good.  More tears.  He hands me two citations for being, what was it?  OH yes, an idiot.  And I'm free to go to work, now sobbing, because, I don't know, maybe I should have just taken the stupid day off from work and none of this would have happened to begin with!

Arriving at work, I get my dumb girly emotions in check, walk-run to my classroom as fast as I can, thinking, Okay, my kids know the routine.  They do the same thing every morning, they've got this covered.  I am going to walk in and they are going to be pleasantly hard at work, just like they do every morning.  I have taught them self-reliance.

Except, I haven't.  One of the specialists is in my room (Score! My principal didn't have to come to my class!) and my kids are noisy, wandering the room, confused.  I breeze in, asking what they are working on.  They stare at me, wide-eyed.  They do not know.  I ask what we normally do each morning, and they tell me.  Then a massive OOOHHHH from the little darlings, and they rush to get started as I unload my packmule assortment of bags I carry in each morning and the day gets started without much ado.  I thank the specialist, and off we run.  We have things to learn, thank-you-very-much.

Fifteen minutes into our morning work, my principal steps in. (Can I take back my earlier pronouncement of AWESOME, please?) She was, in fact, in my room earlier, and the kids told her all about the things we are working on, and oh, by the way, when you have a second could you please email me with a time we could meet today?  And then she was gone.

No "we must chat about your kick-butt teaching strategies" or "I can't believe you left your class hanging and lets discuss how irresponsible you are".  Just -- email me, goodbye.

Thankfully, the meeting was not a scolding for my idiocy, but a necessary discussion of things to come.  Thankfully, the rest of my day was fairly easy.  And most of all, thankfully, my amazing husband showed up at 1:00, handed me my rings that we had send off to the jeweler to have soldered together, and asked for my keys, as he was taking the truck to be inspected.  He hugged me, talked to my class, gave me his big "I love you" smile, and he was gone.

And just like always, I felt immediately better.  How is it that just being in the presence of one person can have such a calming effect on me?  As nice as it would be for me to learn some of my own self-calming techniques, if I could bottle what he does to me, I would be a freaking billionaire.

I ended my evening by taking some dinner to my friend in the hospital with her son, calling my other friend that had surgery today and making sure she was well taken care of, calling my mom and telling her about the coin drive I organized for the relief fund to Haiti, and soaking in a hot bath.

So all in all?  Not a bad day.  Not bad at all.  Sometimes, in the climax of all the turmoil that surrounds me, when I am freaking smooth out, as I am prone to do, I really need to just take a step back and remember how blessed I am.  My children are healthy, my husband is amazing, my class is growing daily, and I am much stronger than I give myself credit for.

And with that, I believe sleep is in order.  Must remember to set my alarm clock...

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