Monday, November 14, 2011

Day Fifty-One: Praying for Humility

I wave the stack of green sheets in the air and yell something like, "I won't be giving any of these out because we have an emergency, but I am very disappointed with over half of this class. For the last ten minutes over half of you have ignored the instructions given. I'm glad you have a good relationship with Ms. Jade, but when another grown up is in charge, you have to be able to show some respect."

Ms. Jade is sick today. Green sheets are our "Behavioural Incident Tracking Form". The emergency is a girl doubled over in the hallway. When the bell rings I am kneeling with another teacher, on the phone to the ambulance. I don't get a chance to check who had skipped out early saying they were going to the bathroom, getting something from a locker, or just leaving.

The EMS team is here and has our girl on their cart, wheeling away within minutes of the bell. Her face is tear-stained, she's still doubled over, but a girlfriend, the one who had come to get me, is at her side. Her parents are on the way to meet the ambulance at the hospital.

I go back to my classroom, chairs scattered, tables askew, loose papers on a few tables, folders tossed on filing cabinets, wads of paper on the floor, binders left behind, a big book opened, another closed.

I'm angry and frustrated like that time I had the proverbial five-minutes alone with my cousin's five-year-old-terror and when I gave him the scary-mean-auntie-look he started running in circles and screaming. Now what was I supposed to do?

I'm sitting on a long, rubberized mat, dim light on the hardwood floor, incense delicious to my senses. Diana says, "Imagine you are sitting on the bottom of a beautiful pool. Wiggle into the sand. Put your thoughts in tiny bubbles and let them float to the surface."

I'm walking home in the dark and my achy-hip isn't so achy thanks to hip-opening yoga poses. For all the thought bubbles I sent to the surface, I'm still holding on to bubbles of embarrassment, shame, guilt, helplessness, anger. Headlights at my back cast my shadow forward. I turn to be sure they see my yellow vest reflective stripes. I'm on the bridge and the vehicle is approaching too fast, so I stop. It's a muscle truck, big wheels, young driver, I think, as he roars past.

It's dark, dark, with no moon as I near the orange glow of the governance tipi. I get a text message from Angela, "How's my hexidecimal?" she says, our in-joke from Banff. I try to text back, but my phone doesn't backlight the keyboard, so I keep hitting weird letters. I give up, put my phone away, and look up. A falling star trickles down the black sky like a water-drop down the window. "Thank you," I say.

My phone rings. "Mommy, where's Daddy?

"He's at a meeting, but he's picking you up, any minute now."

"Where are you? Will you be home when I get home?"

"Just passing the ski hill. I'll race you."

I pick up the pace.

Moira's home from play practice. Michael's happy about his Outreach meeting. Arwen has just shown me three notes from school: lice, Globe Theatre, and parent-teacher interviews. In her agenda she's written that project Christmas Child is due tomorrow. I've signed on the dotted lines.

I love being a mom, except when I screw up. I love being a wife, except when I'm miserable. I love being a teacher, except when I'm angry. I love yoga, except when I hold a stretch too long and my limb begins to shake and I don't think I can make it. I love being awake, except when I'm so tired my eyes strain to see.

As I close my eyes, I'm praying for that little girl in so much pain today, asking for her healing and peace. I'm sending thoughts up for wisdom and forgiveness, my very own prayer bubbles. A smile tugs on my lips. Have I been praying for humility again? I think, because today I seem to have gotten an answer.

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