As a teacher and member of a professional community, I pass my voice… my stories… through a filter. I worry about saying too much, saying the wrong thing, coming off in a negative way. But the filter sometimes hurts, sometimes suffocates. Why write anything at all if I can’t write what I’m really feeling? I’ve been thinking about this lately… how isolating it can be when we don’t tell our truth.
Today was hard. Everything about it was hard. I felt like a rubber band about to snap for most of the day, like a juggler trying to keep many balls aloft, teetering on the edge of everything crashing down. That’s a hard place to spend 9 hours. As I packed my bag to leave to pick up the twins, I thought about how unsuccessful I felt. I rehashed every part of the day, every difficult moment replaying in my mind. This is what I do… this is how I take everything way too personally, take everything to heart.
I climb into the van and I bring work with me. I pick up Ben and Chloe and I’m focused on my day, not on their happy little faces. I’m thinking of a meeting I had earlier when Ben reaches up to hand me a little baggie filled with apple seeds. “I told Patty that I wanted to bring these seeds home to plant a tree, so she put them in this baggie for me. Look, Mommy…” and then seeing that I was distracted, “LOOK, MOMMY!” I smile, and I absentmindedly stuff the baggie into my pocket and focus back on work as I guide them to the car.
I’m thinking about that moment now, and tears are falling. I am just one person. And I am trying to be so much more. That apple seed moment, that excited look on Benny’s face… that’s something that I can never get back. I could have nurtured that moment. I could have knelt down to his level and talked about the seeds. Planned what we would do with the seeds. When we got home, we could have nurtured the seeds, and his excitement, in some way, together. But… I wasn’t present… wasn’t being Momma in that moment. I was still stuck in teacher mode, because I couldn’t let go. So now, the seeds sit in my coat pocket, and Ben’s tucked into bed, and the moment is gone. So many moments pass me by in this way.
I am just one person.