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.