Sometimes in this long life, you just need one of those days where you feel proud of yourself, you know?
I used to be a teacher. I taught fifth grade after years of providing speech and language therapy to kids with communication disorders. I was proud of myself back then. I was good at both jobs. I was good at connecting with kids, I was good at diagnostics, I was a fun teacher.
I used to get lots of positive feedback from kids, from colleagues, from the parents of my students. I mean, it wasn’t all good (I still wake up at night thinking of the kids I failed and the parents who were let down by my efforts.)
But I usually felt OK. I usually felt proud of what I accomplished in a year, or a month or a week of teaching.
Now I’m staying at home. I take care of the two people on this beautiful planet who I love the most. I laugh with them, I watch them eat the good food I’ve made for them, I help them to create art.
Watching my grandchildren is a gift.
But I don’t usually feel proud of my “work.” I mean, really? I peel multiple clementines, wash multiple hands and change multiple diapers. A monkey could do it.
I rock, I soothe, I sing lullabyes in my off key voice.
Proud is not one of my average adjectives.
But today was different. So different.
For the first time in MONTHS, I took both of the kids to the grocery store, to the florist and then to the hair salon while I had my head beautified.
This 63 year old Nonni put two toddlers into carseats not once, but THREE TIMES. During one of those carseat buckling events, the 22 month old had what can only be described as a takeover by an alien force. There was screaming, writhing, head swinging, teeth gnashing…. There was also a big old downpour of icy rain, so Nonni was not able to be her usual patient self (cough, cough). I wrassled that poor little tyke into that carseat, and all I had to say through my clenched teeth was “This is NOT my first toddler meltdown!”
Naturally, on the way home, said toddler fell sound asleep in his carseat. I got his sister into the house, safely debooted and dried, sucking on a lollipop (don’t judge! It was in a jar at the salon.) I brought seven bags of groceries into the house, let in the dogs, dried off the dogs.
Then I ran outside to check the sleeping baby.
Back inside, I unpacked seven bags of food and put them away. I also served two bowls of fresh blackberries to the 3 year old who had finished her pop. I gave her a string cheese. I got the dogs off the couch, pulled out lunch foods, and started to defrost dinner.
Then I ran outside into the rain to grab the now awake little one. I brought him inside, pulled off his boots, rocked him for 15 minutes while he tried to wake all the way up. I also sang “Frozen” songs to his sister, who was dancing in her blue sparkly dress. I wasn’t able to put down the cranky boy long enough to boot up the computer for the music, so I had to rely on my singing.
Luckily, she loves me. She isn’t a critic. She danced.
Finally, both kids were awake.
I served up a lunch of raisin bread and blackberries (STOP JUDGING! It’s what they wanted!)
Then I made a lovely dinner (for me) of octopus.
OK, OK, fine.
My husband is having leftover ravioli, but I am STILL very proud of me.
What a day.
Long, fun, fulfilling, challenging and in the end I get a plate full of delicious seafood.
I. Am. So. Proud. Of. Me.