My maternity leave ends this week. When I went back to work after Nathaniel was born, I felt very foggy, distant, easily distracted and emotional. I powered through it, being superwoman and all. I breastfed, cloth diapered, taught 20 students and just kept going on. I really don't know how I came out of all that in one piece, but I did. Nola is the same age that Nathaniel was when I went back to work, however she seems less fragile. I think it's because I am less fragile. I'm tainted and broken, so the hurt is a little further away. I've done it all before, but it still sucks. I am still allowed to hurt. What is it about being a girl, that automatically associates us with crying, and the word emotional becomes the equivalent of sad, sobbing watery eyes. Crying is not weak, although I've always felt that it was. I just wanted to be tough like one of the boys. I've learned though, I've seen through the fog. Crying is brave. It takes courage to allow yourself a break down. It takes fearless abandon to be so free that you can share your despair, hurt, dissapointment...
I cry now more that I am a mom. I always thought my mom was such a wreck because she cried so much at the littlest things. The Cotton commercial (the touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives). The movie where the guy gets the girl and the are in love. Dawson's Creek and Felicity... "Mom, are you crying?" We would always ask. I've turned into that... my husband doesn't know what to do with me. When I watch these shows where someone is overcoming a struggle, or a commerical with kids, or a singer accomplishing a dream- tears. I'm ok with it now. I'm not afraid anymore because I have children, and they give me strength. Strength to show my emotions for the good and the bad. I will not be afraid to love or fight or change anything because of them.
So, last night, when I accepted a new teaching position in a new county... I will remember my superwoman strength and for my children start anew. Leave my Grove comfort zone. I will take my fearless abandon and love for my little family and do what I need to do to make being a working mom work better for me this year. As I was not afraid to cry when sharing this news with a dear teacher friend, I will be thankful for what the Grove taught me, and what kind of teacher it has made me.
It's not every day that colleages become friends for life.