Enough

A few weeks ago, I was at my breaking point. The to-do list was long and my patience was short.

I was summoned for jury duty. I always talk up doing your civic responsibility, so I thought it might be time to put my money where my mouth was. The summons came to my old address, and I sent the paperwork back saying we had moved across county lines, but I didn't hear back from the court and I have a phobia of anything that might land me in jail.

About a month or more ago, I also found out Evan's sitter would be on a field trip and unable to watch him one single day.  She is great and she has every right in this world to go on a field trip with her child. Typically it would be no big deal. But, the universe collided and made Jury Duty Day that day.

It was ostensibly fine... Jeremy took the day off (which required a LOT of figuring things out by his colleagues) and I planned the day off from school quite a while ago.  I was even released from jury duty after they figured out that I really did move across county lines and am no longer a resident of my former county. But, not before I took the day off, my husband took the day off, and I went all the way to the courthouse-- in the rain, no less!

But, as I was planning, then re-planning, and trying to figure out everything on the fly, there was a voice inside of me which just kept saying "when is enough, enough?"

The two previous weeks in my life could best be described as a debacle. Seriously, I think the Almighty was writing a script for some insipid sitcom and wanted me to play it out in live action.

4 ultrasounds.
4 blood draws.
3 trips to Winston-Salem.
3 trips to Greensboro.
2 doctors who dealt with me at my most crazed and hormonal.
2 "customer service associates" who were told to "do your job" at least 5 times by yours truly
1 trip to Raleigh.
1 nurse who I am sure is slightly afraid of my level of crazy.
Only 1 follicle who got the gumption to grow, even with a lot of medication.
1 vial of medication which was improperly processed and not delivered on time.
The same medication improperly identified and labeled with a "signature request" for no reason, resulting in delivery delays (again.)
My body saying "nu-uh, not today" and deciding to drop E2 levels before rising again.
An IUI which felt more like a requirement than anything that would bring me hope.
7... yep 7... at home pregnancy tests which all said the exact same thing, over and over again.
1 mind left reeling and heart left ripped from my chest after yet another failure.

Simultaneously, I taught 120 seventh graders, something that is no small task as the days get warmer, fidget spinners get more popular, and young love abounds. Let's not even talk about the fact that I need to make my lessons engaging while I am "reviewing" with them for the NC EOG exams, the "most important thing the kid will do this entire year which will tell me if he or she knows everything they need to know in language arts." At least, that's what our elected representatives believe.  Don't even get me started on the standardized testing and politics.


We've also hit a moment where Evan isn't sleeping as well as he used to. According to all the books, (and I do mean ALL of them. I have read them ALL.) he is likely experiencing some separation anxiety, which is totally normal at his age. Also, his canine teeth are on a mission from Satan himself.  They start to come in, then they go away, then they reemerge, then go away again.  You know, normal baby stuff.

Normal, yes.  Easy for mom to handle? No.

So, as I sat at my computer again, prepping materials for the review contest I created to engage my students, I began to cry. It all just hit me. How can I think I can handle having another kid? I'm still having sleepless nights with the eighteen-month-old.  My kid doesn't like the texture of many foods and most of the vegetables I get him to eat are either A) in a squeeze pouch or B) sauce on pizza or spaghetti. When will I master this motherhood thing?

I've been teaching for almost a decade and I am still changing things EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. No, scratch that. EVERY SINGLE CLASS PERIOD.  I am always grading and there is always more to grade. I am always looking at student performance and there is always more to review. When will I master this teacher thing?

I also had a mental countdown to the day I was scheduled to have a pregnancy test. I try to block out the ticking of that clock, and most of the time it is drowned out by the "Hot Dog Song" or the music of some pop or hip hop star I am not cool enough to know. But, in the quiet moments, it is there, a reminder that I am supposed to be OK regardless of the outcome because "at least I have Evan."  I've dealt with infertility on and off for almost a decade. When will I master being a good infertile?

My tears dried up as I realized enough was enough. I even said the word out loud.  Well, first I whispered it, mumbled it under my breath really.

Then, as I became more resolved, I stated it aloud.... loud enough to startle the poor dog.

ENOUGH.

But, that was just the beginning. Because, in that moment, I began to realize that I really am enough.

I am enough of a teacher- regardless of the test scores, my students receive on one test on one day. I don't think their value is summed up by that score, so why should I feel as though my value as a teacher is summed up by that test, too? I know helped students understand new things, rediscover reading, grow beyond their comfort level in writing and start thinking critically about the world around them. As a teacher, I am enough.

I am enough of an infertile. I still get to hurt when things go wrong. I have the right to be said if I don't get pregnant from this treatment. Even though I have one child, I am still infertile because I can't have the family I want without medical intervention. My feelings and desires are enough. As an infertile, I am enough.

I am enough Mommy even if my kid loves Mickey Mouse and Paw Patrol and won't eat a single "raw" fruit.  We sing. We read. We dance. We run through the sprinkler on the lawn. We eat what he will eat because a fed kid is better than a hungry kid. I don't have all of the answers or even know very many of the secrets, but it doesn't even matter. For now, for me, for my kid, I am mother enough.

Will I ever be mother of the year, or teacher of the year, or anything of the year?

Probably not.

But that's ok.

Because a little boy who gives me sloppy kisses thinks what we do isn't just enough, but it is spectacular.

The 100+ seventh graders might roll their eyes and act disaffected, but I know they are excited by my silly contests, smelly highlighters and emoji erasers.

And at the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror and know I didn't only do just "enough," I did my best. I put my heart and soul out there and laid myself open.

And that, my friends, has to be enough.






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