Anyone who has ever had any interaction with a teacher, knows that there are three times of the year that you engage in survival behavior. Beginning of the school year…brain is transitioning out of summer, meeting dozens of new kids and parents, a to-do list a mile long, little sleep, much caffeine. Christmas…uh, no explanation needed. End of the school year…brain is fried from testing, students are checked out, running on empty, the to-do list mentioned earlier is even longer now.
Teacher interaction during these times require only one response. Smile and nod. And maybe a cup of hot coffee. Or a bottle of wine. Follow those simple survival techniques and you will come out of these seasons unscathed, and your teacher friend will keep her sanity.
So it comes as no surprise, that one evening as my head was spinning and I was overwhelmed with the beginning of the school year and trying to put on a very fake front for my kids, my son said….So, Momma, what’s your plan??
What’s my plan? Wha? Like dinner? First day of school clothes? Laundry? Dishes? First day of school lunches? Cleaning up the puddle of pee from the puppy? Chiseling off the dried milk and cereal from two days ago on the dining room table? There is a plan?! He obviously hasn’t learned the above mentioned norms, as he dares to ask a question that involves actual brain power. Poor little guy. He doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.
As I descend upon my unsuspecting victim, eyes ablaze, fire exploding out of my mouth, smoke streaming from my ears…Plan? PLAN?! What are you TALKING about?! I don’t have time for a PLAN! The PLAN is to SURVIVE! Plan for WHAT??
He looks up and me and says, “Your fishing plan, Momma. What’s your plan for fishing?”
Oh. My heart.
Everything slipped away. My heart softened. My eyes teared.
This little seven year old boy. He knows how I best deal with stress. He recognized that I needed time. Time away. Time alone. Time outside. And he loves me enough to think of how to fix everything. Fishing.
Oh, my love, keep this tender heart of yours, it will come in handy when you grow up.
However, in the meantime, I made a plan.
- Leave the laundry on the couch.
- Leave the dishes in the sink.
- Leave the grading basket at school.
- Let’s go find some water….cause this kick ass fly rod just showed up on my doorstep.
Gotta take care of yourself before you can take care of others. And, one more thing, my kids are kinda awesome.