“It’s pretty heavy.”
“Okay. I can do heavy.”
But I didn’t know the weight, didn’t understand the gravity that would pull me into my chair, sinking my spirit into the depths of the void from which she pulled her story. I will not share it, but I will say that kids live from and through things they never should. And as they share their weight, we come to carry their despair. And it gets heavy. After twenty-two years, I carry much, and I manage, but I wavered beneath the load a bit yesterday, for it was heavy. And for a moment, it was too heavy. But she righted me with her resilience as she lightened the load some, speaking from strength I could not have imagined. Humbled, I re-shouldered what she shared, and stood tall for her, for all my kids past, present, and future. I stood and stand strong for them. I have to. I am a teacher.
“Sy, would you read, my description?”
“Sure, Matt. Lemme take a look.”
But as I began, I became the text. Matt was reading me. I could feel his bespectacled eyes weighing my reaction, searching for hints from my face as I read, looking for affirmation, fearing rejection. I was the open book, and in that moment I was the one who would write the story that mattered. Oh, Matt’s description was great, marvelous actually, but that is not what mattered then. It was my reaction that would make or break the moment. And I delivered. Nodding, smiling, and bumping Matt’s fist, sharing in his triumph, I provided the final satisfying line to our co-authored experience. And as he walked, beaming with pride, back to his desk, I felt another familiar weight on my seasoned shoulders. The weight of my power to build or destroy. Every moment of every day, I am analyzed and scrutinized. I live on a precipice where words and looks can teeter worlds. Worlds. Their worlds. That’s a lot to carry. And here I came into it thinking that I just had to deliver content. Turns out the job’s just a little bigger than that.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…jump into prepositional and appositive phrases.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Wednesday, all. To all my teacher peeps, thanks for carrying the weight of their worlds. You are all super men and women.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.