I’ve become the worst friend lately…..no time to breathe or give. Teaching, doctors appointments for my crushed finger, lesson plans, common core alignment, and IEPs have consumed me. But codependency? A memory at the moment. Why? A multi-factored response I suppose. I reached a student……and I don’t have to wonder if it’s real because well, he’s not a giver. He doesn’t just give affection or pretend to work and do well. At first, he couldn’t be patient enough to wait for me to help him, so he became angry and destroyed things. Now he comes in for a half-day and sits at his desk to work. He used to say NO. No. No. Now he says yes. And then I was able to get “Yes, please (my rule!!!)”. He says thank you. He smiles. He works. He eats. He’s fairly patient when I cannot get to him right away. He’s an honest reporter. He even hugs me.
So what does that have to do with codependency? Well, my life was about trying to love too much, needing too much. My job requires so much love. I love them all day and when the day is done, I’m exhausted. I have to decompress before I get my own kids, the ones I gave birth to. So I don’t have as much love to give, and I certainly don’t need love or attention in my life; my students give me love and attention all day. Ms. H, Ms. H, Ms. H. Am I cured? Nah……but certainly I’ve found a career path where I can put all my love and need to help others, to give something I was never given as a child to them. I plan to use all this love flowing back and forth to teach them to read, the one skill they need most of all. I’m humbled because teaching them to read is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best. Every single sign of progress makes me smile, makes me feel great about my day.
Teaching hasn’t just humbled me, it has changed me. Each day I feel a little different. I learned two years ago that one person cannot make you whole, that you must find that within yourself. But what about nine people? I’ve always said teachers were my daily touchstone as a child, a necessary safe place to give love and not be hurt in return. And now that I can give that same love, I do feel much more whole. My purpose, my reason for being seems clear at this point in my life journey. I am mother to two I gave birth to, and school mom to nine more. So much love, given and returned, I feel like I’m home. I found a quote that ends this entry perfectly…….