I am a jumble of emotions lately. Rob put it best when he told the kids that I was "wound up tighter than a rubber band on a balsa wood airplane." I can't exactly pin point the exact point of origin for the stress. It's probably a combo of so many things. First of all, the past three weeks have news wise around our town have been awful (add international news to the pile as well). Two teens girls were killed in car accidents, a 79 year old woman was brutally attacked in her home (the man who did it was caught), and a 13 year old girl with developmentally disabilities was killed and left in a creek near here. The most terrible thing about that is that it was her mother who left her there. She reported the child missing and the police searched for two days. How she died is still under investigation. I am horrified and heart sick. I teach children with special needs. I am the self proclaimed PR rep for those who can't speak for themselves or don't always represent themselves in the best light. I love my students even on their most difficult days. It is a stressful job (this year has added challenges). That's probably reason number two.
Reason three is I'm also a mommy who worries for and loves her children, but at the same time they wear me out. Lily seems to have a particular talent for that, but I could never hurt them. I've been extra mindful lately of yelling. Yelling is the beginning of losing self control.
Yet in the midst of all of this I have been reminded to take a step back and allow the possibility of hope. I attend a small UU church with my parents. Yesterdays service was in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was beyond beautiful and bitter sweet. To look at the inauguration through the eyes of those who were involved in the Civil right movement (of whom our church has many) is awe inspiring. They are witnessing the culmination of a dream. Experiencing it with Caroline, who listened to the stories of segregation as if they were an impossible and evil fairytale, reminds me of how much good has come into our world. Caroline lives Dr. King's dream. She goes to school with children from all over Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, various countries in South America, the list is endless. She doesn't even consider her classmates different. They are her friends. No one told them to respect each other and value their differences. They are just together being kids. It is effortless.
After church, I went to my parent's house to celebrate Lily's and my birthday. After cake and much silliness from my brother, the beloved Uncle Ken, we watched the pre-inauguration concert on TV (there was no way we were trekking into DC even though we live so close). What a wonderful concert! One of the coolest parts was watching my friend, our music teacher, sing back up with her church choir for Bruce Springsteen. She is a huge Springsteen fan. How amazing for her. My highlight was watching U2 sing In the Name of Love on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Well it was my highlight, but then I got a surprise. For the finale, Pete Seeger came out with his grandson to sing This Land is Your Land with Bruce Springsteen. I have immense respect for Pete Seeger. I started yelling "Oh my God, it's Pete!" (how many 38 year olds are Pete Seeger groupies?), then I started to cry. I know my kids think I'm nuts, but my parents got it. Pete looked so happy and proud. Again, the culmination of a dream. Last night I was able to lay down and go to sleep without a running list of what if and how coulds. It was a really good day.