The last few weeks have been a lot of things. Overwhelming. Painful. Emotionally exhausting. But they have definitely been humbling. I have no need to ever repeat the fast paced trip through varied surgical procedures, but I am thankful for the outpouring of love that said trip has brought.
I try pretty hard to be the person bringing a meal to people when they need it. I do it because... well, because it's what you do. I find comfort in sharing food, and it becomes the way to tell someone they are on my mind and their hard time is not something they have to endure alone. But to be the recipient of that kindness, over and over again... wow. We've had so many people stop by with dinner... dessert... to not only bring food but to also spend some time making sure we (well, ok, I) are ok. So many others have offered to bring food if we need it. To say I feel well cared for is certainly an understatement.
But yesterday, I received a card in the mail. It was sent by one of the Sunnies... and she got the whole class to sign it. And there, on print, was proof: proof that my job is more than a job, and proof that I am succeeding at it. I set out to teach my students about more than math and proper grammar; I want them to learn to be successful in this world. And reaching out to someone who has undergone a medical procedure... never mind the second in as many weeks... is part of how we define success.
My darling Sunshines work very hard to keep people and arms length. Usually they do a pretty good job. But I am lucky enough to be allowed behind the curtain, for which I am forever grateful. My life has been enriched by all of them letting me into theirs. I knew this before surgery-- but that card... well, it shows it in a way that everyone can see.
I will never look like a high achieving teacher-- I don't care about test scores even a little bit, and just don't give the kind of time to teaching kids to pass high stakes testing as I'd need to do look like a national teacher leader. Frankly, I don't want to be that kind of teacher. But I know I am really good at being the kind of teacher who loves going to work and spending her days with a bunch of teenagers. Who loves to laugh with them and celebrate their successes with them and push them to become the kind of adults they want to be. And the kind of teacher who will hang a card like this in her classroom until she retires.
Which, since we're telling the truth here, is the kind of teacher I want my own kids to have. Without the back to back abdominal surgeries. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.