Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hug Tightly

It seems like my FF and I are ships passing in the night. Life is SO insane that we just don't see each other. Last night, I took the night off of duties - of any kind - and made the nearly two hour ride up with him to the wake of a childhood friend from his hometown. It was just time to talk - with no muppets interrupting. N was at a JV game that they asked him to play in (Perks of being a Varisty underclassmen), girls were at judo with grandpa and I think B was just enjoying the peace and quiet of his gaming world. 

This friend had been battling cancer for nearly seven years. His family seemed almost relieved. Watching him walk in (in uniform) to a room full of firefighters from his hometown/area was interesting. Watching Dan's father tear up at the mere sight of my FF - all grown up. Listening to the stories of his childhood, I got a laugh imitating one of the old admin from the high school (I student taught there), and realizing that this is a world I will never know.  I watched some of the VFDs look at my husband in big city department uniform - trying to figure out why he was there. (He's been gone since 1997.) There was a bit of bravado. But, I was proud that my FF was just there to say goodbye. He was in uniform to say, "See you later, my friend, my brother." Nothing more, nothing less. It was a moment of bonding and not bragging. The fire family knows no borders. He will be missed by all who love him. 39. Gone far too soon.

And then the ride home, hearing about the KCFD's loss. The saves. The heroes we must now honor and the family we must now support. Firefighter Larry Leggio & Firefighter John Mesh - you will be missed.

My lunch is almost over. I will need to brighten my teary eyes and add my pictures later. But, this morning, on our way out the door together, I hugged him tightly. And then again...and again. He probably shook his head at me once he got in the car. But, tomorrow, it is not a guarantee. And this life, there is some uncertainty to it. I wanted to make sure that he was certain that he was loved.

Hug those FFs and all your family tightly. Tomorrow is not promised.

All a Matter of...




We always place things into a box that makes whatever it is feel like everything will be okay. We remind ourselves that there is always someone else who is worse off than we are. We remind ourselves that there are families that would love to have the ability to struggle with their kids over getting their rooms clean. We consider the fact that there are people literally starving, while we are complaining that there is "nothing" in the house.

I find myself doing a lot of that lately. Mostly for good cause. I need to remind myself of how good I actually have it. I need to remind myself that work is what makes it amazing. I will be missing the chaos of 4 kids going in 4 different directions sooner than I think. A year ago, I wasn't sure I would be around to complain about everything.

And I remind myself of that, daily. Sometimes hourly. 

I am still here. Exhausted. Frustrated. Loved. Here.

But I also remind myself that it is okay to be human. I don't always have to wear my Superwoman UnderRoos. Especially at work,  I really need to learn that it is okay to ask people to help you carry the load. I need to remember that I don't need to make change happen all by myself. There are a ton of people who can help make that happen. I don't have to save the world single-handedly. There are a ton of super heroes just waiting for me not to be a control freak. If I fail, I just head back to the drawing board to analyze what worked and what didn't. And from there, you build your next game plan. From there, you come back stronger.

I failed this weekend. My on-line format for my classes was going through a major update and I could not get it to play nicely until Monday morning - 2nd hour. I did not get any of the grading done that I wanted to. As a teacher I failed. I didn't understand that their update meant such a headache for me. I figured two hours of no access, in the dark of night and then all would be well with the morning light. I know better than that. It was so not the case and I failed. And yet, my classroom is still standing and my kids were still goofy. Life went on, even with my imperfection. AMAZING.
There were two TVs because we can't find the
base for the one on the stand. Sigh.
It is in a box.

But, I did get the common areas of the house unpacked and my walls are no longer bare. My lovely FF is currently working on my office (He is that amazing) AND we all got the Halloween decorations up, The kids had so much fun with that. We are taking this big (to us) house and trying turn it into our home. And that is all that matters. 

We got the curtains hung this weekend because I felt like singing
"I'll Be Watching You" in a minor key every time I walked
past the window during the dark of night.
The meetings that seem to control my day, will still be there. But my kids will not. They will move on to their lives, separate from our home. 

Home. Hopefully they will always see this house as home. Hopefully the teenagers will keep wanting to hang out here. Hopefully this will be filled with the chaos of toddlers again, someday. Home is where the heart is. Boxes and meetings, they are part of life. They keep the lights on and the comforts going. Those are just the details.  The big picture includes Ghosts in the Graveyard and giggles at the table. The big picture is what we make it and what we remember.

It is all a matter of making it memorable.  They won't remember the boxes that seemed to stay piled up forever, they will remember the movies and the giggles and the running around. Memories.

Memories make the home, not the zip code.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Free Time

There's not a lot of it at this moment in time. Kids are up at 5:30-5:45 am, so unless I want to be up at 4ish, I don't get it on the front end of the day.

I teach all day, run kids to activities - sports, debate, chess, lessons, church activities...

Come home to boxes and the remaining Muppets who rightfully seek my attention. But I am so tired, that I feel I am not giving them what they deserve. 

And now my lunch hour is being demanded...not requested, by my students. Pounding on the door. Upset when I leave to go to the bathroom, never mind that my day started with two meetings and I teach 3 classes back to back before lunch.  I find myself grumping at them. I know they need my time and love, nearly as much as my muppets. But, to demand it...  It is just not going over well with my exhaustion.

In one breath, I am saying to myself, "NO! This is my 30 minutes of freetime." I don't get it at home, I live in meetings lately (confirming my choice to NEVER go into administration) and I just need quiet. I need to quiet my head and make my lists. I need to breathe and eat my unhealthy food in my desk. Then my Catholic guilt takes over...these kids really need me. I know that they do. But there is a right way to approach things - pounding on my closed door is not it. And it is okay for me to want peace. I have an administrator who scolded me for not answering my door last week, feeding into my guilt. Sigh...I just need a time machine.

Ah well, ramblings. There are two teens in here at the moment. I tried to call my FF, but of course, they caught a run. My bell will ring, my class will come. I will tap dance through my 51 minute one woman show, before I head down to a meeting, only to complete the day with one more class. 

Then on to get the little girls - who I am keeping out of judo today because one of our Asst. Chiefs is speaking to N's football team on leadership for their dinner and I should really be there since the FireMan is on shift. Tomorrow is the Homecoming game, Saturday is the dance, although N is going to another school's HC with another FF's daughter. No rest for the wicked.

Happy Thursday! 
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