I know that 2020 has been a year of discomfort. And that’s not okay, but in reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, I was kindly reminded that some of the greatest opportunities for growing and learning come from uncomfortable situations.
When speaking to her students about vulnerability and shame, Brené warns them ahead of time, “If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and your’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process” (Brown 203).
This warning made me smile because it reminded me of the supply lists for incoming students to my English I class. After typing up and printing the nice, neat lists, I would carefully (in the scariest handwriting I could muster) write “FEAR” in red ink at the top of each list.
You can only imagine the delight I experienced in seeing the eager faces and ready hands grab at the waiting lists from the holder outside my classroom and then the quick flicker of surprise as that word“FEAR” registered in their already-panicking minds.
Today was the first day of school for my kiddos. My 7 year-old arrived eager, confident, and happy. She has a terrifically sunny disposition and sees good in most everything.
My 5 year-old can be a bit nervous at times, but is a lot of fun. He was soooooo ready to go to kindergarten. He smiled big and was the first one in the car.
When we pulled in the school parking lot, a switch flipped. He went so white I thought he would faint. After a very tearful departure, my day was ruined. I was terrified that my son was miserable and would never like school.
As the day progressed my fears eased and I went about my necessary tasks. Unfortunately one of the tasks brought me right past school to the post office. We live in a small town. There was no avoiding it. It was near lunch time and I just knew my son would be out at recess, see me, and take off running. What was I going to do?
I drove as quickly as was safely possible past the school, never pausing to look at the faces of the playing children. I ran in and out of the post office as quickly as possible and got the heck out of Dodge. No children came crying down the street so I felt like I bypassed that landmine and went back to my to-do list.
Getting groceries was the last thing to do on my list. After purchasing all of the things on my list, I could do one of two things.
1. Drive the four miles home, drop off the groceries, and prolong my son’s misery by not being one of the first parents at school.
2. Go sit in the parking lot and work on my coursework for the new class I start teaching next week and greet my babies with open arms as soon as they were dismissed.
Option 2 was my choice.
It turned out to be a terrifying decision. I was going to park in the back parking lot (so as to not be visible from the school), but as luck would have it, there were classes on the back playground having P.E. Continue reading “I didn’t want them to see me”→