Maybe it is my 9 years of teaching experience; or maybe it's the fact that I was raised by a teacher; but I get it. I get why you chose this profession. I get why you get up early and leave your own children for hours to attempt to make a difference in the lives of 20 to sometimes 30 kids per class. I get why you choose to coach the varsity team after a long day. I get why you battle your administration and shake your head at the mandates handed down by lawmakers who have no clue about the war zone going on on the front lines... Some of your students don't get breakfast; some of your students are afraid to go home; some of your students only see their nanny; some students don't have native English speakers to help them with their homework... I get it. I get why even though this may be your shared fate, you come back stronger the next day, prepared to face the challenges that await you after the "Pledge of Allegiance" and the lunch count is taken...
We think of the hunters a lot when we reference our primal, cultural, ancestral past. True, it takes a lot to go out and bring food back and not die in the process... But what about those mad scientists who had kids running about all day. They could've sat around doing nothing, waiting in fear for their mates to return with food... Sometimes returning empty handed. They could have sat around waiting for the next time the clan moved behind the herds. They had kids to protect from predators and old people to look after... but instead their multi-tasking, trial and error, supplemental contributions eventually influenced our move toward animal domestication and the agricultural system of human societies.
I never thought that this was possible but I'm grateful that what could have happened didn't actually happen.
We went to the bookstore to use my oldest daughter's gift certificate. I promised her for weeks that we would go and since school was done for me, naturally I had more time to fulfill all those promises I made over the 20 months of my grad program. We decided a cake pop from Starbucks was needed fuel for this expedition and stopped by the coffee shop before perusing the rest of the store... That's when I noticed him. Being one of a few black people in the store how could I not.
Something about him was a bit odd. He was an older ambiguous and greying black man. Not too dark, not too light...average height and very unassuming.
I've had 3 in diapers. Let's just say, I know how to help make it all easier...