I was out visiting last night and consumed 3 shots of espresso. Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done. I was wide awake until close to two. Up again at six thirty. Am I tired? YOU BETCHA! Am I emotional? I cried openly in class today…you tell me.
Caffeine gives me energy – false energy – but I feel pumped none the less. I washed floors, I got things in order for a trip I’m taking and I checked my class assignments. My head blew off. I did very well and suddenly felt like my impending holiday would be super relaxing and fun….then I couldn’t sleep and my act fell apart. I no longer felt in control of my situation…that sucks.
The nice thing about being awake all night is I could email with my friend Bokkie in South Africa. She is taking Early Childhood Courses and that is my field so I helped out a bit. I laid in the dark letting my mind go places it shouldn’t. I was doing so great with the emotional thing…this was just a bump in the road. I needed to let it wash over me.
In the morning I needed coffee like you wouldn’t believe…yes the irony was not lost on me. My niece and favorite barista was on duty this morning and she makes a damn fine latte. It helped tremendously. I did crave chocolate all day – but resisted. I am in control except for the crying part….
I need to clarify one thing. The group of students I have this year is likely the best group I have ever had. I mean EVER! I have been doing this since 1988. 24 years of this kookiness and THIS IS THE BEST CLASS EVER! I heart them! They are 4 and 5 and will be fantastic humans. Of course they are a work in progress and are not perfect. For example, the gal I consider to be the kindest with the most potential turns out to be a playdough hoarder with a mean streak. It wasn’t pretty. I caught her at it and declared my disappointment. To her credit she felt remorse – not a usual response from 4 and 5 year olds. Then….the sobs started. She cried like I ripped her heart out of her chest with my bare hands. I am a softy when it comes to broken hearts, so I wrapped my arms around her and let her cry it out. Wr eventually moved to the couch because she was so distraught. 45 minutes later, we were finally able to reach a point where we could calmly discuss the situation, make up and be friends. Her biggest worry was she let me down. I know that feeling. Disappointing my dad was the worst! It stuck with me forever, I can still see the look in his eyes…ug… Yes I cried a bit when she told me that. Only because I was sleep deprived…I am not a baby – you are. No, YOU ARE.
The afternoon brought another heart braking incident. I am getting too old for this.
The final event shattered me. My favorite – yes I have a favorite. All teachers do, they just won’t admit it. Fairness above all else. Anyway, we were doing pet shop yoga poses and my favorite was touching the girl’s hair who was next to him. He doesn’t speak – ever. He has a couple of words he can use when it’s require, but he can communicate with gestures, kindness and expression. Did I mention he was my favorite? He has a HUGE crush on this little girl. She is kind and sweet and always has a smile for him. It was her turn to pick a partner, he held up his hand and she walked right by him and picked a girl. I watched his heart break right before my eyes. I think I could hear it too. The deadness in his eyes was obvious. I cried and covered my face to shield me from the naked pain on his little face. I wanted to run up to him and say, “It’s okay – I love you!!!!” Of course I know from experience that when the one you love doesn’t love you back, there is nothing more painful in the whole world. You want to die right then and there. You can actually feel your heart ripping from the inside of your chest and feel it scrape around your chest cavity and end up in your digestive track where the bile eats away at it until you bleed internally and die. Then all that is left is a soulless life form wandering around until that magical day when all is better once again. Of course you think it will never happen and you beg and plead with the love of your life to take you back in that pathetic embarrassing way that makes you cringe every time you look back on it.
I could see it all in his face. He stood in line, tried not to cry and became emotionless. Four years old and suffered his first major heart break. His soulless life form drifted to the snack table where he could not eat. Food tasted like sawdust in his mouth. The agony of the situation was SHE sat at his snack table. She was across from his little body, not talking because she too is unable to speak much – only she speaks another language – English is not easy yet for her. She communicates by smiling and lighting up the world – but HE couldn’t look at her, the pain was too raw. I didn’t blame him. I understood. The best thing I could do for him was take him away to a place he had never played before. He was able to move on and smile once again.
Obviously this was a sad and painful day. I look forward to next year with the hope that this is my last year in the classroom. I love my kids but chances are I will never have a year like this one again. With my luck it will be like last years group and that is enough for me to work at Tim Horton’s and serve donuts. Clearly the caffeine has done damage to my heart and soul. I need a proper sleep and become cold hearted again and resist the sweetness that can envelop me.
It’s days like this one when I wonder how am I going to make it? The pain is too deep to let it go. I think of that little face with the broken heart visible in his eyes and I hurt like it just happened to me. Oh to be 3 again and be self centered an unaware of others. being 4 is too complicated. Being 44 isn’t much better.
Bring on the happy place, a full nights sleep and a dole whip…and maybe Tarzan walking around in his loin cloth…its all good.