I spent today crying. Happy, sad, cathartic...a whole week's worth of craziness released in sobs and sniffles.
To catch you up on my week, on Sunday I found out I had lice. I found this out when a bug fell out of my head. I teach in an elementary school, so it is probably a small miracle that this was my first (and hopefully last?) bout with the little critters. I spent most of Sunday afternoon sitting on my toilet with my hair sealed in lice-killing shampoo beneath my shower cap.
Monday I spent the day sitting at my desk talking to parents. I don't mind parent-teacher conferences, but they are emotionally draining. I know, from the parent's perspective, it is important to feel my children are in the right hands. So, I have to be "on" all day, answering questions, calming anxious feelings, explaining a quarter's worth of progress in 20 short minutes per family multiplied by 22 families.
Tuesday I had a dentist appointment. Yes, those of you who know me know that dentists are one of my anxiety triggers. Luckily, I have a wonderful hygienist named Diane who is very soothing and helpful. Unfortunately, when I showed up on Tuesday, Diane was not there. I ended up having a panic attack with a different hygienist (who, I will say, was also wonderful and did not make me feel like a total freak when I burst into tears at the mention of "panoramic x-ray." I'm pretty sure they put a note in my permanent record, though, and will give Diane a raise when she gets back.)
By Wednesday I was feeling pretty run down and started feeling downright awful. I knew I was going to have to call in sick when I lost my voice. Pretty much essential for teaching.
Whew, so you are all caught up. Today is Thursday and I did, indeed, call in sick. I spent the morning in bed reading Wonder and drinking hot tea. It was such a good book and I won't spoil it for you but I spent the last quarter of the book crying my eyes out.
The thing is, I didn't feel sad all day. The crying was more an appreciation for my life--my beautiful, wonderful, crazy, imperfect life--and all the wonderful people who love me. In the book Wonder, one of the characters plays Emily in Thorton Wilder's play "Our Town." In one of the final scenes, she says, "Good-by to clocks ticking and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you!"
That's the way I'm feeling today. Life is complicated and messy and, yes, sometimes difficult. But it is also too wonderful for anybody to realize. That's what makes it so amazing.