I have had more room in my head lately.
Due to the whole damn world crashing down last month, I had to take a leave from teaching and just focus on pulling my shit together on the homefront. The only thing left to fall apart would be…well, I’ll just leave that alone for now. I’m pretty sure that this moment falls in the “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!” category. Don’t call the names of anything you don’t want to conjure, Missy.
I feel lost without the structure of teaching, but it is nice as well to not have a kajillion little “teaching-to-do’s” floating around in my head right now. It is hard to come up with lessons on the spot, day in and day out. And before you get all, “Awww, poor teachers are off for ten weeks in the summer. Cry me a river,“ I’ll just say this: STFU, friend. Foreals. I’m not listening to even 1% of your nonsense on that topic. If you perseverate on this, I’m going to have to cut you.
*knife ominously unsheathed*
*perhaps even brandished*
So. Here’s the thing: I am “officially” taking care of my mom and Mike right now, but sometimes it feels like a much lighter load than taking care of the 150 children entrusted in me by other people. And I know that my sweet students miss me. It’s flattering, but a lot to carry.
Yesterday, Courtney C. texted me on Remind.com to say “When are you coming back, Miss?” with lots of crying emoticons. And I had to be honest and just say, “November 1st and no sooner. I’m sorry, sweet girl.”
And today Shaq B. friend requested me on FB. Does he know that we can’t be “friends” until after he graduates? Of course. But the truth is that he misses his buddy, Dr. Miss, who is patient and laughs at his jokes and somehow keeps the expectations just a tiny bit higher than he thought he could reach…but he always reaches those expectations. Every time. Because that’s how things are in room 108.
Instead of breaking out in a cold sweat when the copy machine makes that ominous hum and…oh no….stops…and then something goes “clunk” inside…I’m dreading the moments when I have to listen to my mother complain. She has a broken leg and no independence. Oh – and no husband, as of quite recently. We’re talking huge, terrible life changes. It’s a lot of material for the Complaints Department.
It’s exhausting to listen to the minutiae of the complaints and to know that, in her world, she is absolutely right to be pissed off. “My breakfast is cold every single day.” “They woke me at 5AM, out of a dead sleep, to weigh me.” “That occupational therapist is nosy and dumb as dirt.”
Okay, I get it. But still.
That’s Part One of the *fasten-your-seatbelts!* challenges of this month.
Here’s Part Two:
As I’m writing this, I’m thinking to myself that Mike will be home soon. And then the dance will begin. It will be him coming home, trying to slip into his room, trying SO hard to stay off my radar so that he doesn’t hear the dreaded words:
“Leave your phone on my windowsill, please.”
And you know that, in his fourteen-year-old head, he’s all, “Shit. Every. Time. Why can’t I just have my phone while my ADHD self is doing my homework?”
I mean, right???
This boy’s mother is *the* must un-fucking-reasonable witch out there. Of all time.
(Ladies, you may have thought you were the most un-fucking-reasonable mother out there, but I am sorry to say, “NO. I’m wearing that crown, chica. Not you. Go fly your broom elsewhere, please.”)
As part of our recent struggles with him, I have had to now have him text or email me with his homework assignments during the school day.
You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that kids with ADHD should write their assignments down at the end of each class, not try to just write some shit down while on the bus ride home.
You’ll probably also not be surprised to learn that my son’s iPhone is his most prized possession, but he does not remember to take that mf-ing thing out to type out his assignments into the calendar. No matter how hard he tries….until I threaten to return the iPhone to Verizon and replace it with a clickety-clackety flip phone on par with the junior high crowd’s models instead. Then – oh, then! – he finally *remembers* to write things down at the end of the period.
Miracles, people. Fucking miracles happening here every day. Every dang day.
(Sidebar: Ah, the power of threats and manipulation. I hope like hell that he doesn’t screw up and that he manages to keep earning the privilege of having an iPhone. If I have to return it, I don’t know what my next bargaining chip will be. “That’s it! If you don’t write your assignments down, I’m taking away your….metal detector!” Um, no. Just doesn’t have the same leverage.)
And you may not be surprised to learn that when my son wrote any old thing down a few weeks ago, he forgot to study for a quiz…and failed it…and then reported feeling suicidal a few days later. And ended up in a psych ward for over a week.
Okay, maybe that last bit would be a surprise to you. It certainly was for me.
There is less in my head now. But there is far, far more there too.
This is my second attempt at blogging.
I’m writing to figure some shit out here. And it’s raw and un-fun and a big glimpse into my personal shitshow. And if you are someone from my *real* life, you’d best not be all, “Oooh, I know that you’re writing as Dr. Miss! And now I know about a lot of crap in your personal life. But you know nothing in mine because I’m a voyeuristic troll!” Sit your ass down and just keep it to yourself. I’m writing to survive. When I don’t write (or read some damn fine literature), my whole world gets a little skewed. And that’s not fun for anyone.
So if you don’t want to be party to that skewed-ness…or, better yet, find your own bad self skewered with my poison pen…keep your finger pressed on the *Best Manners* button in your head.
I’m here to write and talk about what’s happening. Feel free to comment if your shit just got real too.