Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autobiographical Challenge: Days 17 & 18


I love teaching. But I don't have a lot of pictures that I feel Ok putting on-line. If the pictures are recent I don't want to use them, and as a special Education teacher, I don't want any that might label a particular child as being part of my Special Education Program. This is from a year that was difficult in many ways. I had two toddlers, and my Dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in April of 1996 and Died on Feb. 1, 1997. Also the schools were overcrowded and the principal had decided that making my classroom open up and also have Mrs. Horn's kindergarten in the room with us, was a great idea. It was loud and rowdy with always some student throwing objects or having explosive temper tantrums, and it was hard to communicate effectively while the room was filled with children needing attention. My principal was frustrated that I took a week off three times during that year to fly to Wyoming to my parents home, and when he decided to combine the rooms, he gave two other teachers substitutes to come into my classroom and sort my supplies to make room for the new room, without telling me until I had started class that day, when he brought them in and told them to do whatever they needed in the cupboards. He also made sure to transfer me to a middle school Severely Emotionally Disturbed Classroom when I came back the following year after 10 years in preschool. And he sent multiple copies of every memo about my desk being disorganized or my lesson plans incomplete or . . . on and on.

Needless to say, I couldn't stand that man, but fortunately I haven't seen him for years. As always, the good part of teaching was the time spent with kids, and in spite of the way we were thrown together, Mrs. Horn and I had many good months with this group of children and our assistants. We did a lot of art and field trips and having themselves immersed in a room of "Regular Children" stressed my kids but also stretched them.

I think I never quite recovered from this year. I took the next year off to stay home with my boys and then my husband took the year after that off. then I quit being a full time teacher and have substituted ever since, although subbing and writing has been wonderful and allowed me to spend a lot of time being Mom, as the boys were growing up, I know financially we would be in a much more secure place if I hadn't stopped teaching full time. I don't regret the choice I made, but I regret making it out of exhaustion and harassment instead of out of confidence and a plan.

April 1994

Because I had gone through menopause at 20, like my mother did when she had me at 24, I knew I couldn't get pregnant, but 10 years after we got Married, we managed to adopt a 14 hour old baby boy. When the adoption agency called to ask if we would be interested in a newborn, we said Yes, but when is the birth Mother due, and they said

Two Weeks Ago.

So then we had our son and it was instant love, and every moment revolved round how lucky and happy we were. And six months flew past, and we were to finalize the adoption in front of a judge but first we needed a physical for the baby to prove that he was thriving in our care. The Dr. asked how I was doing and I mentioned that I was afraid I might have breast cancer because they HURT!!!

"No," he reassured me, "breast cancer usually doesn't hurt. Go pee in a cup."

Then "Think Positive" and 18 days after my son's birthday, his baby brother was born. Look at this picture. I love it because it clearly shows, what we tend to miss. It shows how fast a baby changes between birth and 1 year old.

The day I went to the Dr. (17 days after my oldest turned 1) complaining of back pain, and figuring with 6 weeks to go I might be needing bed rest, the oldest son also had a fever and was demanding being held even more. instead of bed rest, I ended up in an ambulance to a hospital 127 miles away and my 1 year old was at the daycare Grandmas home. I was sick with HELLP syndrome but din't realize how deadly it could be, Even when I was waking up from the emergency C-section all I could think of was my feverish, 1 year old 127 miles away from me and his Daddy. I came out of the general anesthesia sobbing, "I want my Baby!"

Not surprising in a woman who has a newborn in the NICU but when the Dr. and nurses tried to reassure me, "Your baby is doing great. He's on oxygen and in an incubator and in the nursery."

I just screamed, with tears pouring down, "Not That Baby You Idiots! I want MY baby!"

the next day my husband drove the 250 miles round trip to bring back the toddler and I still hadn't been allowed to leave my recovery room to see my newborn. When the 1 year old and my husband came in, the boy took one look at his Mom, and had totally been missing me too. He sobbed "Mommy" and flew across the floor, climbed up the bed, threw his arms around my neck, kissed my cheek

and then, the only time in his life
delivered a punishment for having abandoned him.

He turned his head and bit my shoulder hard enough I still have the scar - then hugged me like he'd never let go

There was however never sibling rivalry, he was a proud, loving helpful big brother from the first moment they met.

No comments:

Post a Comment