This means that I am out of school all next week, because I don't have my own classroom and I am located in just about every corner of the school, the HOT HOT HOT MUGGY AXE-SMELLING school, and so am on my feet all day, carrying binders and books, running the gauntlet of summer-hyped middle schoolers who crowd the hall and whose energy is nearly visible as a cloud of hormones/summer lust above them. I can't do that when my ovaries are this swollen and I am this tired. I need to be resting. I need to be doing right by my eggles. Unfortunately, there are only two weeks left of school. So, my being out next week is a huge loss to me, and then because of transfer the following week I will only be in maybe 2 days the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL. It is entirely possible that I will miss the VERY LAST day of school with my 8th graders.
I am not going to lie, I am fairly devastated by this.
Yes, I know that I have to put my family-building first, and priorities-priorities, and a host of other cliches that have been thrown my way when I express sadness at missing this capstone moment of a really, really great year. I'd like to think that it's a GOOD THING that I have cried over this loss. You know, maybe that means that I am a dedicated, invested teacher who cares deeply for the well-being of her students and doesn't want to miss these precious last moments before they become high school students?
It makes me angry. Really, really angry...because once again infertility is stealing from me. If I was missing the end of the year because I was bringing a baby into the world I would be sad, but it would be so worth it. And it would be visible to my students why I'm leaving at the end. Instead I have this vague "medical stuff" explanation that some have inferred to be surgery, and egg retrieval is a surgical procedure so that's not entirely misleading, but it sucks. I am missing out and I don't even know if this is going to result in that happiest of happy news and inevitable maternity leave next year. It's hard to imagine that we might actually make it at this point, but we keep at it because we still have hope and this is our final year of this and maybe, just maybe, we'll get lucky. Not that my current students will know.
I spent Thursday and Friday scoring the NYS Science 8 assessment, which was nice because I was sitting in air conditioning and not on my feet (of course it was blissfully cool out the past two days, so it felt a bit like the air conditioning boon was wasted). I've spent the past two weeks getting everything together for the last two weeks of school, madly figuring out my plans and hoping that I can be there for the crucial points. Not feeling optimistic after yesterday's appointement though. Yesterday, after scoring, I went back to my school to print all the materials and make copies and make keys and put post-its on everything denoting any additional information that was probably already on the June Instructional Calendar I made for all my classes and the detailed sub plans. It took FOREVER... but now I'm done. That pile of stress is over.
Yet I still cry when I think about the time I'm missing. I have loved this class so much. And my Special Class Reading and English classes in particular are close to my heart. Mostly because I start the year hoping that I can a) change their minds about reading and open their minds to the wonders of a good reading experience, b) create deeper thinkers, and c) completely blow out the water the presumptions of what these kids, the lowest readers in the school, are truly capable of. Because they are SMART. And they have incredible insights. They are just locked up behind their dyslexia or other learning disabilities or behavioral issues that compound all of the above (or possibly have been magnified by the incredible frustration of not being able to get thoughts out on paper the way they want). I have students who swore I'd fail at finding them books they'd love and that they hated reading and that was that, and now those students are reading further books by Lois Lowry and books by Joseph Bruchac and have found genres and decided that they want to try at this whole reading thing because, yeah, I guess it can be fun. VICTORY! I have students who shut down any time there was reading in class and who shut down any time there was writing, and now they are producing writing pieces that are 2+ pages long and well-crafted with thoughts that frequently blow my mind. I cried on Wednesday when I told my students I wouldn't be back for over a week (I think I hid it decently enough though), and I cried when my most reluctant students shared songs and movie trailers that they'd found that relate to The Giver and then thoughtfully explained exactly why afterwards (Imagine Dragons' Demons, Aviccii's Wake Me Up and Hey Brother for songs, The Island starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson for movie, in case you were interested). They have grown so much. They have matured so much. I will truly, truly miss them.
So in the fervor of getting nearly TWO WEEKS of sub plans together, just in case, because who knows when transfer will be?, I felt simultaneously proud of my students, proud of my work with them, hopeful that the last two weeks will go ok without me, and completely devastated that infertility is stealing this from me. It is what it is, and I am grateful to have the flexibility to take this time off without any issues, and it will hopefully make a big difference in my stress level and my physical well-being as I head towards retrieval of my hopefully awesomesauce eggles. I just wish the timing was different. I wish that April had worked out so that June could have been just a few monitoring appointments and 3 days off for transfer. But it didn't, and I don't have a time machine or magic wand, so I have to be at peace with where we are right now. I have do that whole living in the present thing. It's just so hard when I feel that I have been robbed of so much, not to mention, you know, STILL NOT HAVING A BABY after all this.
Hopefully that's short lived. Hopefully things work out in such a way that I can be there for the last day of school. Hopefully we end June with a positive test and everything goes the way it is supposed to -- without heartbreak, without loss, without feeling further and further stuck in the mud. Let me unsanitize. Shit. I definitely feel stuck in the shit. But, as an awesome coping card that I found and will send to someone sometime in the next couple of months, "Sometimes the prettiest flowers come out of the biggest pile of shit."
And on that note, I leave you with lupines. Because no one can be sad or frustrated for long when there are gorgeous lupines to look at. And... my count is up to SIXTEEN blooms. Enjoy, and peace to all on this twisty turny road that really, really needs to come to its destination soon.
|"Peach" lupines that turned more yellow-and-violet|
|Close up on the interesting coloring of the "peach" ones|
|Both lupines in context of front/side gardens|