The last couple of days i have had such a struggle with finding peace. I find myself staring at Cami and wondering what her future will be like. I couldn't still my heart last night as i thought about Jaely growing old in this world. Thankfully, TJ rubbed my head and sat with me on the couch as i fell asleep.
Things are so stressful at work. Our school is broke. Resources are scarce and expectations are unrealistically high. The kids are fading and in the forefront is data, cuts, meetings, unnecessary paperwork. Teachers (friends) are not going to have a job next year. I am going to make less than i did this year, which was less than i made last year. There is talk of our union taking drastic job actions. Since we are both teachers, this is a serious event. Our district is constructing a beautiful building with bond money, but doesn't have the money to staff it or maintain it. We work our asses off, but are getting the message that we are easily replaceable.
In our State
Which moves me to my worry about the condition of our state. I want our girls to grow up in Michigan. It is a wonderful place to be, but can be so scary at times. Will they have the same opportunities TJ and i had when we were growing up? How will education change as they move through the grades? It is not looking good for the education system right now. Will we be able to afford to give them a comfortable life? Will we always be able to afford this house? Will things bounce back?
In our world
I heard on the news this morning that a newborn baby was left in a dumpster in a box. She was miraculously found alive. I heard yesterday that a mother drove her minivan off of a bridge, committing suicide and killing her children. Overseas is such a mess. . . well, so are we. Gas prices are so high. Japan is scaring me. Things become much more serious in my heart when my children are involved. I was more easy going, less bothered by these kinds of things before i had kids. Maybe i was harder, colder. . . i don't know, but i do know that now that i have kids, i lose sleep a lot more easily. My heart has a harder time being still. The "what if's" occupy my mind. I hear so many sad stories about cancer invading young families, especially in the White Lake Area and it is a reminder of how fragile life is- How your three year old can seem like a perfectly healthy happy girl, and then a year later you can be told she has a fatal disease. That a 10 year old's knees can be sore, but not with growing pains, with cancer. That is the world we live in. I know there are many amazing, miraculous things that happen every day. I am not saying that everything is horrible. I am just reminded so many times recently that life is fragile. That we live in a very broken world. That i can have all the love for my husband and all the love for my daughters, but sometimes that isn't enough to protect them from everything. I've felt tremendous pain in the past and because of that, i think i am scared of feeling it again.
Jaelynne had TJ and i laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. She is so innocent, so fragile. I hate knowing that i can't protect her from everything. I need to just let that go. I love that my days are filled with kids, happy and healthy for the most part. I try not to concentrate on all the disturbing things- like a student whose mother steals her ADHD medication so she has to take it at school, or the student who comes to school with a cigarette burn on her cheek, or the student whose mother is in jail for repeatedly stabbing another person in front of the child. I try not to ponder those too much. Instead, i think of a group of girls running a mile and a half after school last night with Girls on the Run, or the huge amount of money that was donated for a needy family in our community, or those hugs i get every morning from students that are excited to come to school, or the pictures the nine year olds draw me, or their corny but funny jokes they can't wait to tell me.
The best though. . . you want to know the best things ever? The pitter patter of running feet across our wooden floor as i open the door to the house and i hear "mama's home! mama's home!" And Jaely runs to give me a giant leg hug and starts talking a mile a minute about her day. Or the contagious smile i get from Cami when she sees my face after hours of beng apart. . . her legs thumping up and down on the floor. A tender kiss from the most amazing partner i could ask for in this life. And to end the night, a family of four snuggling on the couch, reading about a pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter on it. Papa doing the characters' voices, mama holding Jaely's hand as she is wedged between her parents and a squishy, sleepy five month old sitting in my lap.
Life is good.
We are blessed beyond words.