Do you ever wonder how your life turned out the way it did? I mean, how did it get so different from what you envisioned as a bright eyed teenager. I never really wanted to marry and have children. That is not to say that I did not want to marry and I did not want to have children. It simply means my desires were different than some. I believed then, and still to some extent, that I could change the world.
My father warned me to not go into education. But, I followed his lead more than his words. I wanted to teach. Really I always wanted to teach. When I was an elementary age girl I would offer classes to the neighbor children in our basement. Our basement was complete with chalkboard and table and chairs. I told people I wanted to be a teacher.
I wanted to be just like my dad. My mother was the artist, the singer, the beauty. I admired and loved her very much. But how I wanted to be like my father. He was soooooo smart. A bit lazy, and soooo smart. Yes, I could see myself in him.
Early college years were hard. He and I were quick to disagree on everything. We fought (as I was told by my mom) like he fought with his mother. We disagreed on everything. He was a republican, I was a democrat. He said the sky was blue, I said no way. But, in all of that we loved each other very much, and I did become like him. Although he died when I was just 20 I went on to finish my BS in Mathematics Education and my MA in Mathematics Education a few years later. (Thankfully before the boys were born.)
As a young teacher (just 22 when I started) I knew I could change the world. I would try anything that research showed worked. I loved being in the classroom. And, was even accused of being the biggest math nerd in the math department when I was about 28. Yea, not so much. But I was sure glad my boss saw it that way.
I did it all. I became the youngest department chair the district had ever employed. A department of 15 people was not small. And, of course, they were mostly older than me... even the newer teachers! I wrote curriculum, I was a mentor. I was on hiring committees. I just knew that I could change the future of math education.
When Alec was 1 and I was pregnant with Casey my perspective started to change. I hated that I had no power over my childcare. I had Alec in the best situation at the time, but I really was powerless over her. And, we all knew it. Another young teacher had her daughter there too. She was there less time than me because my career was so important. But, as the year went on the shift came.
I am not sure when it happened exactly, but I decided that being a stay at home mom was the way to go. So when we moved to Oregon in 1999 I stayed at home. Those were the days. Casey, then 3, did not like going to preschool. He loved it once he was there, but getting him to stay was always a struggle. That was Alec's Kindergarten year,where he learned to read. I thank God about once a week for Jean Newton, who was the teacher that taught them both to read.
About 2nd grade was when we noticed that Alec was very unhappy. He complained often that he had no friends. It was the first time I took him to the doctor and found a counselor. Needless to say that has gone on and on through many counselors to this day. It was only last year (around 20 months ago) that we finally found a GREAT counselor who understood Alec. Well, maybe she didn't completely understand Alec (I don't think anyone does) but she quit blaming us for everything that was going on with him. And, in my heart I knew something was wrong.
And then came today. Ring. Of course it is Alec from school, in tears, again. I am not sure how many times he has called in tears,but it started in 6th grade. I easily can say it has been over half of the school days in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. His counselor wasn't there today, so he felt he had no where to turn. He was being teased by the other kids, again. They do tease him, although I doubt it is truly as bad as he believes. Oh Alec, today I just wept for you. I love you so much and I don't want it to be so hard for you. I know God has a master plan for you, for me, for your father and your brother. Yet, it is so hard for all of us. The anger, the frustration, the pain you suffer is almost too much to deal with. I want it to go away. I wonder why God thought I could handle this. And, frankly, today I am not sure I can. But I love you. We came home, I ran you a hot bath. I do love you, and I want it to get easier. Maybe when the hormones quit creating chaos in your system?
Right now I feel like I don't have much fight left. But I have met me,and I know that I am a fighter. I will fight this until we all feel better. Keep on keeping on. I can do this! I hope.... I think..... I pray.... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...