We haven’t had a coffee date in a month! I’m very much on a French press kick right now. I am 35 and honestly had no idea what it was or how to use it until this very month. It’s life-changing. Like, if there’s a coffee shop in Heaven (*crosses fingers) this is what it would taste like. I’m in love.

So, lately things in my life have gotten very interesting. I can’t say much about much, but I am looking to really broaden my horizons, especially in exercising creativity. Our renovations have reached a lull, but Novella is going to my parents next week for fall break, so we’re hoping to pick up some momentum. I really envy people that have the forethought to take pictures of these types of things. I would make a terrible home blogger. I’m already a terrible just-because blogger. Ha!

OK, so if we were having coffee, I’d insist that you try my new boo, the French Press at my scattered home. I’m trying to give off a hygge vibe, so you can imagine…it will look and smell like I robbed a Bath and Body Works. And in the background, we’ll be listening to Tom Petty because that’s what I’ve been listening to nonstop. Here’s what I’d probably talk to you about:

I know it’s silly to be this sad about a celebrity dying. I know it. But I am. Monday was rough. I had like a fever dream and woke up early to notifications on my phone about the Las Vegas shooting. It felt very much like a bad dream. I tried to go back to sleep, but my stomach kept churning and I got physically ill. The whole day felt incredibly off. It’s also just impossible to teach seventh graders empathy in these situations; they are desensitized to these things. I don’t remember being that way. The Oklahoma City bombing happened when I was also in seventh grade, and I distinctly remember a lingering sadness. (Maybe in great part to the musical montages they would play on the radio.) But, Tom Petty dying is something exclusive from Vegas, yet it feels like I have to explain why I am so impacted by this loss. Tom Petty wrote the soundtrack to my life. Growing up, he was the one thing my entire family could agree on. Never once did we all collectively moan, “Nooooo, Dad…not Tom Petty again.” Instead, we wanted to hear him over and over and over again. On rewind, no less.

I am having a rough school year. There’s no way we’d have coffee and that wouldn’t come up. It’s not impossible to pinpoint the root of the problem, but today I swear I turned a corner. No small feat on the Friday before a weeklong break, but I am at peace for the first time in nine weeks. It’s not because of the break; it’s because I finally see the results of some serious blood, sweat, and a whole whole lot of tears. At one point, I considered ducking into the large closet in my room and crying. Luckily, I’ve never lost my sense of humor or vivid imagination. And so, I started fancying the idea of residing in said closet and acting like the Wizardess of C. Middle with exclusive and impossible accessibility.

This is in no way bragging or self-congratulatory, but it needs to be said: teachers, don’t underestimate your value and impact. I’ve went back and forth on whether or not to mention this, but transparency always wins in my book. I’ve always prided myself in the connections I have with my kids. I had a lull a few years ago, but other than that, I can honestly say the relationships I develop with my kids are far more relevant to me than any test scores. I think I may have already said this, but I have been straight up grieving the loss of the day-to-day relationships with my “last year’s kids.”

Well, I guess I kind of forgot that those relationships didn’t happen overnight. So, I had my “this year’s” students do a quick write to let me know how this school year is going, and the responses floored me. You just cannot imagine what you mean as a teacher to kids. Their responses are personal, and I won’t share them, but they will propel me through May. It won’t always be easy, but I can do it.

It’s really hard to be a working mom. And that’s been a huge culprit in my current state. I simply cannot be the mom I want to be and the teacher that I want to be. I’ve been really wrestling with this lately, and I know something will always suffer in some form or fashion. These conversations are always jarring. I straddle the fence as a teacher because I am home a lot. For me (and this is just me!), life is easier when I’m home. For everyone. This article drove home what I’ve been articulating to my closest friends. I am the keeper at home, and then I’m the keeper for the 90 students I see daily, and (often times) their parents too.

I’ve also been thinking about this gem as well. Again, I want to exercise my creative muscles far more than I have, oh since the invention of the internet? I am always, always, longing for simpler times in my soul, and for me, it begins with creativity.

I guess that’s a lot for me to talk about, and it would take hours for me to go through this whole dialogue! I am excited for this Fall Break! What would you talk to me about on our coffee date? What are you drinking?




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