Friday, May 25, 2012

Vagabond Days

Yesterday, I checked out of my classroom for the year. I put away all my materials, removed my personal items (photos, books, etc.), and carted them...

To my car.

The outgoing counselor still occupies my future office, and my "replacement" (how I hate that word) has already come to make my old classroom hers. I'm without a home at school.

The rest of my life feels the same... The last two weeks have been obscenely busy, what with end of the year/season parties for soccer, kindergarten (Max), and graduations. But even beyond that, I've felt like a bit of a vagabond since Aimee's death. I've been reeling, readjusting, redefining what my life is, how it will be, what paths I will walk now...

Our principal is retiring. He's had a wonderful impact on school, and I'll miss him especially because his philosophy aligns with my own. From day one, he's been about relationships--you can be the biggest "content expert" on the planet, but fail as a teacher because you fail to make a connection with your students. On Wednesday, he said, "We aren't a factory taking in raw materials and producing a single product... We take in unique materials and produce unique products." How true.

He also went "singer-songwriter" and played/sang a tune with guitar accompaniment. As an ex-band teacher, he's done this before. Sometimes, the songs have been tongue-in-cheek about the budget, angry parents, and government regulations. This time, it was serious--the chorus repeating, "will they [the students] remember my name when they tell their children the story of their lives." He choked up a little when he sang, and I appreciate his honesty.

Those words hit me in the chest, the biggest grief landmine I've found in the last two weeks. I thought of my own kids and how I'd share stories about their mother, and I couldn't stop my own tears. I wouldn't want to.

Here's the nice thing about being a vagabond: when you're on the road, you notice things you wouldn't standing still. A lot of people talk about the "next chapter" of their lives. I don't see the chapter breaks, just a hiking trail with me wondering what lies beyond the next corner. My boots are laced, my bag packed, and a song circling my head.

Let's go.

5 comments:

Barry Napier said...

Best of luck with the new position. Glad to see you're taking the change with open arms.

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, Barry. I have no choice but to open my arms--and I don't know that I'd have it any other way.

Sara said...

It's weird how sometimes it seems we are so connnected. I read how you've been feeling and oddly enough at times I'm feeling similar. I know your grief is your own and mine is mine and I would never try to compare the two. It is just weird how I will be thinking something and read your entry and our minds seem to drift to the same places. I believe strongly in connections and we had one before, but I feel like Aimee is making that connection stronger.

"Will they [the students] remember my name when they tell their children the story of their lives", replace "students" with "mommy" and that's where I have been this week too. Initially, I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that Elliot will not have one real Mommy memory of his wonderful mother and then this week I started thinking about being six and tried to remember anything I could when I was six and the list fell short. I freaked out, panicked; Max, Max, what will Max remember? Owen will remember more but still 8.5 years with your mom, a mom like Aimee, is hardly enough. She had so much more to teach them, give them, love them. I hate this. The one comfort is they have you. We have a strong family that will tell lots of stories of their mother, and that's the hand we have been dealt, we just have stories. It is a pretty lousy hand but it is how you play the hand that counts, I think, right?

Sara said...

Talked with my good friends today, Abby and Ben Jones. Ben's mom died when he was four. He remembers his mom. He told me he has two really vivid memories of her too. Thankful he shared his stories with me, gave me a little hope and hope it does you too. Love you bro!

Danielle Ferries said...

Good luck with the new position and I hope your new office is free soon. It's funny, when all is going well with my life I see it as been in chapters but when all is going bad that is when I feel like I am wandering aimlessly and have no particularly "spot" that I am in.