Anxiously waiting for Family to arrive Coming from what, In my young heart Seemed like a Faraway place- Used to be a short walk Down the hill A knock on the door Hello! Come out and play? Now visits were Few, but precious Filled with late nights Laughter, memories Never enough time Never ready to say Goodbye… I see myself standing at The end of the sidewalk Unable to contain my tears Waving until their faces Drove out of sight- Already anticipating Our next visit
At the beginning of quarantine, we worked a couple of jigsaw puzzles at our house. A way to pass the time while keeping the brain working. It is always interesting to me to watch how tiny pieces fit together to create one big picture.
The pieces all have different colors and shapes. Each one with its own place. Only fitting together with those directly surrounding. The togetherness grows exponentially. However, if there is just one missing piece, the picture is incomplete. So frustrating.
Each of us is born into a picture. With a family that will love us and helps us grow. Sadly, that is not always the case. And the missing pieces often leave big holes.
Children especially have a difficult time finding their place when these pieces are missing. They do not understand. Whether withdrawing or acting out, they are seeking control. This is sometimes hard to remember as a teacher.
Yesterday, I reacted to certain behaviors with little thought to what was behind them. They were frustrated. I was frustrated. I kept thinking, “If only these friends would listen and follow directions like everyone else!”
This morning, I woke up thinking about those friends. I wanted to find a way to improve the situation. Find a way to encourage appropriate behavior and participation. After all, music class is supposed to be fun!
But how? One word came to mind-connections. I know that is the key. Sometimes I just need a reminder.
Today, I worked on those connections. In the process, I discovered some of the missing pieces. The death of a parent, negative influences from older siblings, family instability. These little ones are dealing with big emotions and don’t know why or how to express them.
Our time together was brief. Leaving me with more questions than answers. However, there was also a glimmer of hope. Little faces, often angry, smiling just a bit. Showing a desire to do the right thing. Even if only able for a limited amount of time.
There is no way for me to fill in those missing pieces. They are irreplaceable. All I can do is recognize and acknowledge. But maybe the edges can be blurred, and a new picture of belonging will emerge. Causing the frustrations of the missing pieces to fade.
Although I prefer to spend time in the mountains, the ocean also fascinates me. Waves come in many forms, each with its own purpose and level of intensity. We can learn so much just from observing.
Sometimes the waves are gentle, barely lapping at the sand on the beach. With little force, this wave flows over my feet, body unwavering. Sometimes the swells are playful. Just strong enough to cause the body to sway back and forth.
Other times, the waves are fierce. Swells so high, they knock over everything in their path. No point in resisting. An impossible fight.
Life feels that way sometimes.
Maybe it is a wave of emotions brought on by exhaustion. The kind of tired that knocks me off my feet. Such was the case last Friday. After finishing the third week of school, I had nothing left. I felt like waves were overtaking me. No choice but to give in to the tears already flowing, and then sleep.
Saturday morning was different. The storm had passed. Moments to relax and enjoy my morning cup of coffee were like gentle waves ushering in the day. Later, there was time for reflection to reveal the positives from the previous week.
Both waves were necessary. Sometimes rest does not come until I stop fighting and give in. Only then will I experience peaceful, renewing rest. The kind of rest that prepares me for whatever is in store.
Here’s to a new week! And all the waves it may bring-fierce, fun, or gentle.