You’re a new teacher. One day the bell didn’t ring and one lesson lasted 4 hours. On your second day you’re teaching the same lesson to the same group of 6-year-old kids again. You’re good at what you do. Sometimes, you get it right. You’re very confident in your subject matter. The kids respect you. They laugh when you goof off.
You’re consistently bringing home A’s in your language arts class. This is what you’ve been training for all of your life.
That would be the good stuff.
Then things start to change. You see certain students misbehaving in class and you feel like the last person on earth that is going to be able to control them. You become agitated when this happens. You get angry. Some students don’t get it. They don’t care that their behavior is inappropriate. You’ve never seen them like this before. They don’t understand what it means to have empathy. They don’t understand how their actions make other people feel. You feel helpless, frustrated and completely helpless. You feel like you are doing something right when you can create a learning environment that can, at times, be downright chaotic.
You have been living in this moment for too long. It has become your new normal.
Unfortunately, there are so many adults out there that have had to go through this.
They were like you.
They were a teacher.
Now they are raising a child.
The day after my father was taken to the hospital, a friend showed up at my door. She was crying.
For a moment, I was confused.
Then I realized I had never seen this friend without a smile on her face before. She told me that my dad passed away.
She told me she had been watching him. She said he was in pain and was afraid he was going to die.
She didn’t want him to have to go through the struggle.
What could I say to her?
It had only been 24 hours. I couldn’t possibly imagine losing my father in that amount of time. I didn’t want her to have to go through it either.
I could tell that she had been taking care of him.
She was completely consumed.
She didn’t want him to feel what she was feeling. She didn’t want him to suffer.
For the next 10 years, I lived my life like that friend in my apartment.
I was consumed by everything that was happening to my father.
I didn’t want him to have to feel what I was feeling.
I didn’t want to go through the struggle.
What I didn’t fully realize was that my friend, my parents and I were all struggling together.
When it all comes down to it, my dad was taken to the hospital by the best doctors in the world.
He was taken by people that loved him.