Watering “Can”

Emerging from today worn out. Some days my class feels like a meticulously built house of cards. Like, other days I am well aware that it’s a game of 52 pick-up and we get through the best we can. But it’s the days I plan so hard for their success. House of cards. Then it just crumbles and burns. 

I try to helium their lead (or sharpen it, and what the what is up with all of the sudden constant deconstruction of the boxes and boxes of pencils I buy for them?) and leverage their hopes and aspirations toward lofty versions of their better angels. SEL cushions of empathy and confidence boosters for days. Trying to rocket propel them to the great heights I truly believe, and even know, they can reach. But gravity always wins. 

Today I got that red handed, deer in headlights look too many times. That response dead-eyed glance back telling me they aren’t even really here so why should they, in this very moment, be held accountable? And those vacant stares meet my own questioning, waiting gaze and behind my laser focused eyes I am trying to make decisions on how to somehow re-engage my little lovelies. Or at least not get fired for hulk-tossing my 400 pound desk from 1952 through the window and into a neighbor’s cracked polystyrene swimming pool. 

It just turned March. We have a 4 week stretch of 5 day weeks. It wears them out, too. They are (for reals) impressionable, not yet fully formed children. And I love them so. We breathe together. Our house may be cinders today and the come down from attempts at flight may leave egos and other parts bruised, but it’s all ours. The house and the failures and the trying and the flopping. Ours. They know we’re in it together and that we’ll make it through together. And we fist bump and smile at each other on the way out, and tomorrow I’ll be there with good morning affirmations and more smiles and try to build that house again and fuel the tank for maximum propulsion. I tell myself that they like that I at least try. That when the motor is whirring behind my own eyes watching the absurdity of their mischief I won’t blow through the ceiling or turn and run. 

We have such finite time together to build worlds from which to ascend transcendently past. If I didn’t believe in your ability for greatness I wouldn’t be urging you to strive for it. You want the sing-y, dance-y teacher who makes you laugh? Well, when that’s the me I get to be I always drive home smiling. Little darlings, if I could be who you wanted all the time, then I would. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next tomorrow. Either way, we’ll get there. But it sure does wear me out.

4 thoughts on “Watering “Can”

  1. I love this for so many reasons! You captured the exhaustion and the humor and the love all in one post…brilliant.

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  2. I am intrigued by this line: “If I didn’t believe in your ability for greatness I wouldn’t be urging you to strive for it.” I suspect that, on your best days, you know that they are wise fully formed beings, in young bodies. That genius, insightful, creative isn’t something to strive for, it is a place you all can come from. But oh, on say, a very windy day, they seem turned into wild things who shouldn’t be boxed up in rooms — and you are there so committed to teaching, to leading.
    Hope you find ways to recharge.

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  3. Love the title and I love the analogy to cards. Today also felt more like 52 card pick up than I’d like to admit.

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