Not only do I want to believe it’s there, that elusive light at the end of the tunnel, I really want to embrace it with grace and gratitude.
Today was not filled with either.
Today was a day that made me want to run screaming toward that light that beckons of lazy summer days and the promise of a new and different future come fall. Today made me want to throw away eight years of professionalism just to have the satisfaction of saying what I really think. Today will not be a day I remember fondly when I write that memoir someday. Today was a day that epitomizes why I think of naming that memoir Life in the Trenches of Public Education.
Now don’t steal my title.
Today I was not full of grace. I did not turn the other cheek. I did not bow my head and ask for forgiveness because I am harboring resentment and anger right now.
Neither make a restful companion.
Today I was not filled with gratitude. I struggled to see God’s gifts all around me and instead wondered why He bothers with us, so full of ignorance are we.
I came home and made dinner and cleaned the bathroom because Belle decided to plant flowers in the sink and rocked Amelia and switched laundry and showered….and listened.
Jesus didn’t come for the saved. He came for the lost. And I haven’t spent eight years helping those who are taught at home. I’ve been saving those who aren’t.
So even though it’s not counted among the test scores or remembered in the conferences of late, I’ve done what I was called to do.
I’ve taught. We’ve read poetry and prose and realism and fantasy. Banned books and the Bible and lyrics from Switchfoot and the Indigo Girls. How to write a complete sentence, but more importantly how to know when to break the rules. How to think.
Right from wrong. Good from evil. Like and equal are not the same thing.
I haven’t always been perfect. But I’ve put books in the hands of boys who hate to read, pride in the hearts of girls who feel invisible, confidence on the shoulders of kids who still might make it if there’s someone along the way to care if they do.
I couldn’t save them all, but I think I’ve found my gratitude for today.
By God, I helped save at least one.