Shhhh…don’t tell my husband or kids, but I just can’t stop the fantasy.
It all started about a month ago when I decided to clean out a box in storage. It turned out to be full of sentimental things ranging from my high school year book to my first anniversary card from Jon. And that’s when I found the letters. Just a few. But enough to get me thinking.
One letter was from Christina and it started something like this:
Dear Mrs. Zabrocki –
You are the best teacher ever! I have no idea what I”m going to do next year without you here!
Yep. I’m having fantasies about the time I used to be a teacher. *Sigh*
Why that? It isn’t just because I loved the job. Nope. It was the idea that there was a beginning of the year and then an end to the year. Student growth was not only measured, but seen. Among moans I could pull out Romeo and Juliet, and then laugh as students joyfully acted out the sword fight between Mercurio, Romeo, and Tybalt. I was given the honor of introducing the best book ever written – To Kill a Mockingbird. And at the end of 50 minutes do you know what some of the kids would say to me? “Thank you Mrs Zabrocki.”
Where’s your whiny voice proclaiming “I don’t like what you made for dinner.”?
Your roll of the eyes?!? No where to be found!
Sure, I got called a bitch once or twice. But you know what happened? They were sent to the office and I DIDN’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT!
Oh the joy.
Now I’m knee-deep in dealing with it.
My children have their wonderful moments for sure. But when the crap starts flying, I’m cleaning it up. Where in the world is my assistant principal? No, it’s not Jon because he’s busy knee-deep in another kid’s crap. We do have 5 children. Can’t my assistant principal come over and suspend some of these kids? (And by suspend I literally mean remove them for 3-5 days until they’ve learned something useful about being a butthead)
Here’s the worst part of my current job. Growth is measured in years. YEARS people!! I have no freaking idea if I’m getting this even remotely right until they turn, what, 32?
I like immediate gratification. Raising children is devoid of that. Sometimes it’s utter maddening.
I know you feel my pain. Sometimes your kids are amazing (pretend that was said in a super high sing song voice) and you’re like BAM! I did that! Yep, me too.
Then other times you see your child’s room and think Oh dear God, pleeeeeeese don’t let them ever be on Hoarders. Or they say something like “I don’t feel comfortable crossing busy streets.” when they are around, oh let’s say 14, and you think I’m so sorry. I’ve completely failed you. Completely.
My friend told me she was filling out a job application with her son when he was 18 and he said to her “What’s my DOB?” No, not What’s my date of birth? He thought it was a word. He asked What’s my dob? as in rhymes with job.
After laughing so hard I was crying, I literally RAN home to ask my 15-year-old if she knew what DOB stood for on application. She didn’t. But I managed to explain it so at least I know I covered that for her in the life skills department. Check.
Parenting is hard. Especially in the middle years when they consist mostly of hormones, annoyance, and appetite.
So I guess I’ll just keep this small fantasy going. Deep down I know that’s what it really is. No fantasy is accurately full of the glamour a person makes it out to be. That’s why they call it fantasy people.
Real life is right here. Failing sometimes and succeeding others. Never really knowing how the story is going to end until, well, the actual end. It’s where the real beauty is for sure.
But on days they pick their noses, fight about taking a shower because it hurts, ask me what a dob is, throw tomatoes into the neighbor’s yard, or tie a Nerf target on their 8-year-old sister….I’m spending some time in the fantasy.