Know What? I’m Proud of Me.


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.

My Johnny at the salon. String cheese in hand, new book on his lap. I freakin’ rock.

Oh, yeah.

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.

Oh, my GOD, so delicious!
Message me for the recipe.
This isn’t a food blog.
But seriously…..so so good.

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.

22 thoughts on “Know What? I’m Proud of Me.

  1. You should be proud every day. You’ve done a great job for decades — with your career, your kids, your grandkids, your marriage, the rest of your family and friends. If everyone lived his or her life as you have done, this country and the world would be a much better place. So pat yourself on the back every night before you go to bed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, now remember: I only write the good stuff! Truly….I know I’m very blessed, but I truly do miss the support and feedback that comes from working in a team. I miss my teaching days more than I can say. I’m proud of taking good care of the kids, I am. And mostly I’m just incredibly grateful for the chance. But today was a long one! I’m proud of it.

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  2. You should be proud, but octopus?! Imagine a horrified toddler face as you try to force it down my throat. I’m sorry. I wasn’t brought up on eating things with suckers. Yuck!! (It’s always good when no one else likes your favorite food.)

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  3. Karen you continue to amaze me. You should be extremely proud of yourself. How fortunate Ellie and Johnny are to have you. !!!

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  4. Nonni rocks. And Karen, the writer, rocks, too. How well I remember wrestling the kids into their carseats and heading out on errands when I took care of them — but usually it was only one at a time. So extra applause to you for doing the rounds with two in your care. Used to love to take them shopping β€” and I was always a sucker when they asked for the free pops, too. Would love your octopus recipe when you have a chance. We like it, too, but mine usually ends up rubbery. Will email you my request….cheers and keep having fun with the little guys…Jack is turning 15 on April 4 and wants to work this summer…Molly is 13 and today, Heather told me, is with a group of kids from church feeding the homeless on Boston Common and at a Cambridge soup kitchen…Claire is now 11, but more like a teen…they grow up unbelievably fast…Hugs to you!

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    • Oh, how can “my” Jack be 15???? Kate is thinking about having the kids attend school in Acton, and was talking about having them around after school. I talked about much I used to look forward to keeping an eye on Heather’s kids when she had a meeting! LOVED having them help me in my classroom! All three were so creative, fun, full of life. It sure does speed……!
      Sent you the recipe!

      Like

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