Mondays are long and challenging and never over. That sounds like complaining and it is. It’s 4:12 p.m. and I can’t decide whether I need chocolate or coffee or to just bury myself in a book for an hour and wait for it to get dark so it might be Tuesday soon.
I am thinking back over the day at what I have collected. Why am I so exhausted? What is weighing me down? If I put it here on this page, can I let it go? Can I literally unload it and walk away unburdened?
Some of it is tangible stuff.
A pink bouncy ball that wasn’t supposed to be bounced all around the room endlessly until I had to grab it.
2 plastic guns that should never have come to school and are now living in my little file cabinet where the confiscated stuff goes because the parent I tried to return them to told me he’s never seen them. Fabulous. Can plastic guns be recycled?
A paper clip that has been fashioned into a pointy thingy and will lead to nothing good.
A file in my head of all of the tattles I wasn’t quite prepared for:
“________ stuck up the middle finger at me.”
“________ said the f word and that I was a dumb a ___.”
Auto replay of all the things I said that I didn’t really expect to say like:
“Give me the gun. Now.” (those plastic ones)
“I am going to hire a security guard for the cloakroom.” (serious thieving happens there)
“Stop stripping the books!” (One child compulsively removes book jackets to find surprises. Serves me right, I’ve taught them to do this.)
“Enough of the kook-a-mung-a-ing” (Is that a thing? It was right after recess)
The shake my head but it won’t shake out stuff that adults did or might do that I can’t even talk about. But wow does it weigh me down.
These things I have collected.
But I also have other pieces. They are sitting on the outskirts waiting for me to notice them. Can I rebuild my day into something to smile at? Tired smiles still count.
Tear traces on the shoulder of my sweater from the child that doesn’t easily cry. That tears came so soon after sadness descended is a good sign. Really.
A paper bracelet sized multiple times to my wrist and fastened with masking tape that says “I leve you” in scrawly pencil.
The “you are reading this for me,” acknowledgement from the child who realized that the picture book we read this morning really was selected for him.
I am now at the top of a hill. I place everything down and unload my bag. One deep breath. A gaze to the horizon. Repacking. Back in go those tear traces, that paper bracelet, that quiet acknowledgement.
Collections from a day.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.