Looking Tired

One of my favorite students walked to where I was taking attendance this morning. She wanted to show me a picture of her nephew, the son of a student I had five years ago. (Sidenote: Nothing makes a teacher feel older than having younger siblings of former students in class. In addition to that feeling, I have an artsy Christmas card on my mantel that shows two, beautiful smiles belonging to girls for whom I once changed diapers. They are 12 and 17. 12 and 17!)

My student looked up from her cell phone and held her gaze longer than normal, “Ms., you look tired”. I wanted to say, ‘You have no idea, kid,’ like the worn-out, working mama that I feel like lately. Instead I opted for a simple, “I am”, and a smile.

So in lieu of focusing on what makes me tired (i.e. the endless and uninspiring talk of data at my school, not having downtime at the end of a long day, or the incessant “no” heard from the mouth of my toddler daughter), I choose to focus on what rejuvenates me, snapshots from our weekend:

  *Snuggling with Linnea, Benners, and Howard, all in one bed, at the break of dawn (all the while doing our darndest to get a little more shut-eye with a child ready to start her day as early as possible; she was all to eager to open our advent calendar and find that creepy elf)

*Trudging through the snow with my family to find a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to Linnea’s liking (She chose one with pinecones.)

*Seeing the pure joy of Linnea’s face when we skyped with our friends, Matt and Alli (and watching her doing a bit of showing off to them)

*Savoring one-on-one conversations with my hubby

*Visiting a friend and her 2 year old daughter; catching up with hot cups of tea and stories in the trenches of parenthood

*Making plans, finding/making thoughtful gifts, talking with family and friends and focusing on the positive…

And despite feeling tired, that is what I will do; stay positive. And I will continue to say it simply and with a smile knowing that what rejuvenates me outweighs what depletes me.

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