Generally speaking, I feel like a reasonably sane human.
I rarely foam at the mouth, and a lot of the time the words that I mumble actually make sense.
I don’t hallucinate (I don’t think…….) and I get through most days without major tantrums.
Still. I am pretty sure that I’m as nutty as a freakin’ fruitcake.
Here’s how I can tell.
#1) Every morning I wake up as a sweet, gentle, motherly lady. But as I go careening down the highway on my way to work, I turn into an evil, vicious, hateful old woman. I look in my rearview mirror, clutching the wheel in both hands as we fly along at 75 miles an hour. When I see a middle aged woman talking on her cell phone as she cradles her pug dog on her lap, I want to immediately slam on my brakes and force her to eat her steering wheel.
I become very unkind. This goes twice for the guy on the motorcycle who flips me the bird as he passes on the right. And don’t even get me started on the kid in the beatup, rusty pickup with his NRA bumper sticker, flashing his lights to pass me in the left lane.
I go insane. I become Mrs. Nut Job. I have detailed fantasies about stopping the cars and beating these people over the head with baseball bats.
See? I’m crazy.
#2) I am convinced that it is my worrying that keeps my children safe. I have three healthy, happy young adult offspring. In my crazy woman brain, though, they are three tiny helpless babies who are out there at the mercy of the big, dangerous world. As they take on terrifying adventures (like hiking, or going to a concert, or traveling to Europe), I am absolutely convinced that if I do not worry and obsess over every tiny detail, something terrible will happen.
#3) I cry for the stupidest reasons. Seriously.
I came home from work yesterday and pulled into my driveway. I looked up and saw one of our big old pine trees standing in front of me. It was the one that lost a big part of its topmost branches back in the ice storm of 2008. It was the one that we know we have to cut down before it comes crashing into the living room.
I knew that the tree man was coming by to start the prep work for taking the big tree down later in the week. I knew that its days were numbered. Still, as I pulled the car into the drive, I was shocked to see the long ropes attached to the upper limbs. I was caught off guard by their ominous length trailing down on my lawn. I looked up at the pine, standing tall and strong in the place where it has stood for the past 80 years, and I felt my eyes filling with tears. I put my hand on its bark, rested my forehead there for just a moment. “I’m so sorry”, I whispered.
I cried over a tree.
I. Am. Nuts.
#4) But the most obvious proof of my craziness is this:
I don’t actually want the school year to be over.
Now don’t get me wrong! I am exhausted. My bones hurt. My back aches. My sleep is non-existent. I am so unbelievably sick of correcting that I could just about hurl at the thought of doing more of it.
I want summer with a passion that cannot be described. I want the beach and cookouts and baseball games and kayaking and sleep and time to myself. I want summer, right now!!!
But I don’t want this class to be done. I don’t want to let go of these kids.
I will miss them more than I can say. I have spent every day, every week, every month worrying about these 25 children. I know their moods, their facial expressions, their fears and jokes and favorite color socks. They are mine. I love them.
So in spite of the fact that I want the year to end, I don’t really want the year to be over. I want to come back in September, rested and rejuvenated. And I want to see this class smiling at me and asking me about what we are going to be learning.
And that’s crazy.
See? Told ya.
28 thoughts on “How I can tell I’m crazy.”
I taught middle schoolers for 25 years, and some classes got so deep into my heart I could hardly bear to tell them good bye. I hear you, crazy lady!
Thank you! I feel like the odd one out at school…..I want the year to end, but I want my kids back, too!
Not crazy – just human.
Well. Human and probably a little crazy. Especially that part about my worries having special powers. Sheesh.
Oh, I do wish you had been my son’s teacher. I wish you had been my teacher. Oh, shit. You ARE my teacher.
All those things that make you crazy? They make you wonderful. Normal is so boring.
I think I love you!
I love you too, Moms.
I just came across an article on this book and it made me think of you. No, not because I think you’re autistic but because you think and teach and it might be an interesting book for you: http://www.the-scientist.com//?articles.view/articleNo/35712/title/Calling–em-All–em–Thinkers/
Oh, man, I LOVE Temple Grandin! I taught autistic students for many years, and I think that she is phenomenal in her insights and her purity of heart. I heard her speak, have seen films about her and have read many of her articles. Thanks for thinking of me!!!
Glad you like it! Have a great weekend — wet as ours. Sigh.,
None of it sounds crazy to me. Of course, I’m not the best judge of crazy…
But a tree? Really? I think I’m as nutty as a pecan!
No, I recently protested when one of my neighbors (a commercial property owner, who owns apartments near my house) wanted to cut down a very old Italian pine tree. I go by the tree every day when I walk my dogs and am very fond of it. The tree wasn’t unsafe, he just didn’t like having to repave a driveway because of its roots, but they are expensive apartments, so he can well afford it. I told the tree I had written a letter for it! The landlord was told he had to keep the tree. So I don’t see much difference between telling a tree you’re sorry that it’s become unsafe and telling a tree you’ve written a letter on its behalf.
You’re not crazy, honey, this is what being a woman is all about.
Heck, when I’m behind the steering wheel, I know only two speeds: peddle to the metal and stop, and then everyone else on the road around me receives a new name, like ‘TOSSER!’ or “F—WIT!” – even my fingers have been known to do some talking of their own.
Trees, I’ve cried over many times, hugged and apologized to, but don’t think for one minute they don’t hear you and feel deep appreciation for your attention. If you’re crazy, then so am I, and happy to be so.
As for offspring, those are aches and worries that never leave us. No matter how old they get, they’ll always be ‘our babies’, whether they like it or not. If we have to suffer the indignity of a lifetime of worry, then they can at least put up with knowing they’ll always be our babies.
But how lucky those mothers who have a new brood of chicklets to go back to every year, as teachers! True, more pain in saying goodbye at the end of each year, but the beginning of a new year, always brings a brand new brood to fuss and cluck over and adore 🙂
Truly, you’re not crazy, lovely. I promise.
Oh, how I want to believe you!!! Today I have a big tree coming down in the rain and I am getting into saying goodbye to my lovely class.
There are many kinds of crazy. I get road rage, I would cry over a tree (stupid humans cutting majestic trees down) and have cried over certain year groups leaving. Apart from caring deeply about things, I have rubbish hormones that don’t help with the craziness. I would suggest crazies unite the rest of the world will catch up with us eventually xxxxx
What a great plan! “Crazzies of the world, Unite!”
Life isn’t quite as much fun if you’re not at least a little crazy. Embrace it (but leave those other motorists alone!).
Actually, I was wondering how I might engineer a situation in which the falling tree lands on the annoying motorists……
I bet you are one of the BEST teachers! I know you’ll miss the kids, but you deserve lots of rest and relaxation this summer.
And I WANT that R &R for sure!
Its just that I want these kids back in the fall…
It always takes me a few weeks to get over the feeling of “Wait, YOU”RE not my kids!”
Umm….sounds normal to me…
Then you are scary.
At last! Someone who understands me! 😉
By the end of this I just wanted to hug you! I love that you have such a passion for your students, and you must be a wonderful teacher!
I’d love to think that I’m a wonderful teacher: I fear that I am just a crazy one….sigh…..But thanks for the hug! I will take it for sure!
Time to institute looping again…immediately! I cried at the cancer walk on Saturday morning when Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head played. It made me think first of my Mom and then Butch Cassidy and Etta Place and that’s Dan’s favorite movie and Dan’s gone and I wish I could see him and blah, blah, blah. See…I’ve got a little bit of crazy too. 😉
But your crazy seems so sweet! Hugs to you, me darlin’!