We are currently childless. A situation that will end any second now. The Grandparents swooped in and took the Offspring out - somewhat against their will as they were quite content to spend their Friday evening glued to their screens. They will return to us tired and filled with all kinds of delicious snacks. Although, they will deny it to save face, they will have had a perfect Friday evening - a street fair, and movie in the park.
This glorious unexpected freedom wasn't lost on the Husband and I. We ate food that no one rolled their eyes at, and I had a small piece of chocolate that no one said, "I want that. Can I have it?" We watched a tv show that we cannot watch when the children are hanging around and the Husband was able to get caught up on Narcos. The wild adventures of two pals who actually have an evening alone.
It was perfect because the day was less than perfect. The flaws of the day weren't any dramatic or horrific events, but rather the daily weight of trying to bring every single child you can to the other side of the line dividing hope from despair. It is endless work that can grind away at you. Sometimes the minutes that make up the day run smoothly, and sometimes within those minutes is a hitch or two. There is nothing in this work that gets sorted out immediately but rather it is like water wearing a way a rugged stone; things get smoothed out day by day, minute by minute and bit by bit.
Although, to be honest, sometimes I think that I am that rugged stone, and all my strange, sharp edges are what's being worn away bit by bit. There is a humbling and constant recognition of the need for patience, endurance and kindness when you spend your days with children. I am grateful for the way this life shapes and reshapes me. Another twenty years in the classroom and I might become a truly kind and decent person.
Speaking of twenty years, we bid adieu to some pretty awesome folks today. Our office staff and head custodian worked their last day with us today. It was hard not to be sad. They hold a dear place in our hearts, but I am so happy that they can spend so time doing whatever their hearts' desire. They deserve that and more beside. I had to miss the big send off party because I had to coach my after school club today, but I know they were well celebrated and toasted.
Keep moving forward,