Sunday, December 30, 2012

quiet: rare commodity

Early in my teaching career, I wanted to quit. I really didn't like it. I told myself I got to work with literature and writing - two passions - but that joy didn't cut the wild frustrations of classroom management or paperwork or my own learning curve. I didn't know what teaching would really be like and I became a teacher with the idea that I would quit after a few years to pursue a masters in writing. So I began with the intent of leaving. After three or four years I felt more competent but still wanted to quit after a tough day. I started calling those tough days Cubicle Days. As in: I wish I worked in a cubicle.

And then I would go for a run or have a weekend away from students, and I would usually feel better when first bell rang.

In January, I start two online writing workshops, one focused on parenting. Writing about parenting, I'm guessing, and how to keep your writing life and be a present parent, maybe. So while I have been tracking political cultural social economic news and working my slow way to my own opinions and ideas (and sometimes surrendering to: I just don't know; and sometimes thinking I should just let the news and surrounding opinions be), I have also been thinking about this upcoming course. Writing and parenting. Writing about parenting.

In my notebook, I have made a couple of lists of topics or questions I want to write about. Some of them are prickly, like this: it's quiet now because Justin is out with the kids. Ten minutes before they left, I thought I'd turn inside out waiting for them to get out the door so the whole apartment could be quiet. And then they were at the door and I couldn't just call goodbye from the kitchen; I had to go kiss the fat baby cheeks and whisper love in their ears. The prickly part of that is how much I sometimes want the whole apartment to myself so I can be quiet alone. I want sleep in a similarly tangible way, or airplane rides without a little person on my lap.

Maybe a year ago, a friend and I were talking about parenting and selfishness. I said parenting was the ultimate lesson in selflessness. And she said that God would have taught me that in another way if I hadn't had children. So I have Cubicle Days in parenting too, when I wonder how else I might learn to be gentle with my voice or patient with routine, when I wonder why I am a mother to learn these things.

The kids are out and the apartment is quiet and I haven't worked my way to an end on this, but I'm done. I will be happy to for the noise of play, but this quiet is too sweet.

1 comment:

Steve said...

parenting is a hard job. This year so many people I know were having kids, and not all for the right reasons.

As you have to confess becoming a parent has made life which is never a picnic anyway harder.

You love your kids a ton I know, but it seems you want to spend time getting to know you too.

The balance we search for in life is beyond our grasp. All the scales of justice and the things that balance us, well that knowledge and wisdom is held by another.

It is something we can be given, but nothing we can attain on our own.

Good Luck. :)