I have been back at work for two days now, no students yet, just the overwhelming amount of things to take in and prepare and adjust to. Two days of charts and data and new faces (29 new staff in our building). I remarked to a colleague that I have had a headache since last night, my first in months, and she replied, “It is from all the jaw clenching.” Sigh.
So I was feeling beside myself and exhausted and completely over my head when I pulled into the Montessori parking lot at 5:15 to pick up the kids from practice. Ms. Darlene, a toddler teacher who was amazingly supportive and wonderful during the whole Quinn ordeal, was just leaving the building as I pulled up.
I was sweaty (my room is hotter than the deepest levels of hell) and teary (I kind of flipped out on a few folks) and just feeling like giving up, second guessing myself, wondering if maybe I should not have signed a contract, wondering if maybe I should just be a mom and hope that health insurance finds its way to us. I was just dreaming of applying for a part time job at Starbucks when Ms. Darlene walked over to my open window.
There are very few people in the world that, when they call me sweetheart or honey, it is not annoying, but welcoming . . . Ms. Darlene is one of those people. She just says a deep, soft, “Aw, Hi Sugar,” and I want to crawl up on her lap and go to sleep. In fact, I wish the voice in my head sounded like her.
She asked me about Quinn and was excited to hear about how amazingly well he is doing and I told her about how my patience is being tested because I am trying to teach him to dress himself, which takes forever. I told her about school, and I know I looked pale and exhausted. About Quinn she said, “Girl, that is how you just know there is someone upstairs taking care of everything, orchestrating it all,” and about me, she said, “Honey, that is why God gave us the extra rib. He just knew we could do it.”
Of all the things people have said in attempts to inspire me these past few days, knowing that I have an extra rib is the only thing that gives me hope. I imagine it in the shape of a handle, something for me grasp onto when the real me starts to slip beneath the cracks.