Hey, H & H!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sorry regular readers, the next few posts are dedicated to a couple of guys in Westlake Village. Yes, sirs, you know who you are. It seems as though you have taken a fancy for my blog. I am flattered. Little Ole' Me, lowly schoolteacher. Single mother, with a capital S. I say capital S, because unlike some single mothers, and fathers, they have help. A weekend here or there, a little child support, health insurance. You see, I didn't have any of those. I had the unfortunate luck of falling in love at the tender age of 20, with a charming, silver tongued devil. Cute as a whip, smart as all get out. Yet, there were many secrets in his crooked smile and good intentions. After trying for a very long time, eleven years, two children, countless ups and downs, I was a Single mother, with a captial S. There was no child support. Actually, I received $30 a week for about eight weeks from his Unemployment Benefits. That was nice. It helped. 

Every time I needed a sitter for my children, I had to scramble to find someone. My job, you see, required many after hour obligations, weekend planning and week long summer intensive sessions to prepare for the next grade level. These summer conferences were often held outside of Los Angeles. I had to find someone to watch my children for a week. Now, I know H #1 has children, so he can attest that finding children a sitter for a week is sometimes difficult. This is especially true if you do not have extra income to pay for such an expense. Oh, and I forgot to mention, beginning in Fourth Grade, I was required to take my class on a week long camping trip. That meant I had to find someone to take my children for a week, and drive them to school in Altadena, make their lunches, clean up after them, make their dinner, ensure they were bathed, etc. It is a lot to ask of someone. But, I did it. Sometimes it was stressful, other times not, but I never knew. I did it because I LOVED my job and was deeply committed to the children and my task as an educator. It wasn't just the academics, or the sciences, or the arts, it was the daily lessons on how to be human. What does it mean to walk in truth, what is the benefit of good manners? We have seen several examples of poor manners of late. Mr. Wilson of South Carolina and Kanye West are just two. However, it was these lessons that filled my soul and helped me look beyond my struggles. It was easy, at first. 

Go and ask someone, ask around the Pasadena Waldorf School. I'll wait. Ask the ones who walk in truth and light. Ask the ones who are not filled with fear. There are a few there, they may not want to risk their jobs, and their health insurance...but they saw. I was a good teacher. A really good teacher. Was I perfect? Far from it. I made lots of human error. Don't you? I think you may. It is our plight as human beings to struggle with perfection, it is our blessing, our lessons. I was a good employee too. I served on many committees, often as the chair. I arranged visitors and Master Teachers, ensuring they were treated well and would have a pleasant experience at our school. I liked doing it. I felt as though I was offering some service. I was happy to do it. Was I the BEST teacher? No way. But I was good. Successful. I left school feeling fulfilled, deeply fulfilled.

When did that change you ask? I will tell you, but not today. I am tired today. I was in court with H#2. H#1, he will tell you all about it. It was messy. I was in fine form. I had hit my limit. I don't know if you know what it feels like to listen to people batter your life around like a badminton birdie. But that is what happened today. I had to listen to people throw out all kinds of partial truths. The funny thing is, the only person in that room who knew the truth, was me. Yet, I am only allowed to shed wee bits of light on a very muddy background. Then, I risk that whatever I say will be twisted in the darkness and fear and come out something TOTALLY different. It is like alchemy, I tell ya. Quite magical. Kudos.  

Oh there was one funny thing that happened to me recently. I was walking our puppy, Merry. She's a beagle. Really cute, but I digress. I was walking the dog and who should drive by? The very teacher who took my class when I was unable to return due to the severe harassment I was experiencing in my workplace as a result of my work injury. There were many times she could have chosen the high road, but she did not. Oh well. Don't ask her when you take your poll. Anyhoo, walking along, when I see said teacher, former colleague, driving down the road. When she got close enough to recognize me, her face turned to stone. Like Medusa was in the house, turned to stone. She then must have dropped something VERY important, because all of a sudden she had to reach down, under the dashboard, with her dark over glasses; you know the ones, they cover your regular glasses and wrap around  your temples. My mom has a pair. Initially, I was alarmed, maybe a plastic water bottle got caught under her brake pedal. I have always heard that can happen. It looked serious, she was seriously crouched over and intent on getting under the dashboard that instant! I was frightened for her, for me, well, because I was a pedestrian. then the thought occurred to me, maybe a can of beans didn't roll under her brake pedal? Maybe she was ashamed, you know, of something she did, like ruin a person's career when she could have acted with grace? Nah, that couldn't be it...

Tip for the day:
Watch those rolling water bottles, they can get caught under your brake pedal and then you run the risk of looking ashamed. Sleep well, H#1 and H#2. But I am sure you always do...


Christopher Guilfoil said...

You go girl! Keep your head up and walk tall. Have courage for the truth. That's all we really have. It's the source of our real freedom.

Hold tight and don't let the bed bugs bite! It's getting close to Michaelmas and you know what kind of stench lives in the shadows of that light.


Mary N said...

I'm so sorry about what you are having to go through right now. I admire your strength and your honesty.