My father, in his dadly wisdom, once said, “There are only two absolutes in the world. That statement and death.” My father is not one to mince words.
I had coffee with my dad today. We talked about a lot of things. We did NOT talk about the verdict in Ferguson. (If you have been in a semi-coma or blissfully unaware-http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Ferguson-decision-leads-protesters-to-storm-St-5920240.php.)
I’m know we both have opinions and I certainly care that there is looting and riots and chaos, but I didn’t want to spend the rare quiet conversation with my dad talking about something so incendiary we truly know so little about.
I spent the rest of the day pretending to work on lesson plans. (I did actually do one for Monday, and I do have the general idea of what is going to happen the rest of the week, I just flat didn’t feel like buckling down, so don’t despair, my Drama Babies will have plenty to do and to balk at and whine about.)
I have been spending a lot of time avoiding introspection. The problem with having some free time is that I am surrounded by things I should be doing, like cleaning my house or finishing up any of the many, many projects that are surrounding me. (It’s not urgent until they fall on me.)
I am grateful for the free time and the rest and the relative freedom to enjoy myself and do what I like.
Yet I am trying not to think about so many, many things. Things like the thought that kept me from shrieking at students last week. I thought as a way to remember to cherish each moment with each child I would think, “One of them isn’t coming back after the break.” It worked. I didn’t want any child’s last memory of me to be a screaming harpy.
I hope they all come back.
I am also thinking about the one student who was the last to be picked up after school on Friday. She was waiting for her mother to come and get her. She hadn’t seen her mother in six months. Her mother was supposed to pick her up. After waiting for over an hour, she finally called her step-mother to come and get her.
The hurt and anguish on this child’s face has haunted me for days. There is no way for me to know how that turned out.
But it makes me grateful for my family and their unerring ability to know where I am.