Friday, April 21, 2006

Getting My Wings

In May JJ (the other teacher) will be gone, and at our little co-op school it will be only me as a fulltime teacher. There will always be other teachers that will come in and teach certain things, like crafts, languages, and athletics. There will be other help, too – there’s another mom who will come in on Fridays as a sort of classroom assistant, and we are looking to train another dad as a teacher as soon as he can get the schedule arranged with his workplace.
Many of the other parents (they refer to me as part of the group of “parents” in our parent meetings – I am treated as a parent even though I am not the boys’ mom) have suggested that I try to get state certification in teaching, which sounds great, and all, but I don’t know. I don’t think I would be interested in teaching as a vocation. I think they’re trying to cover the school’s butt just in case there’s some sweeping legislative reform to clamp down on these uncertified ad-hoc home schools.
I don’t have a problem with getting certified to teach. I don’t mind working for it; I just don’t want to pay a whole lot of money for the privilege of educating children.
Maybe they’re not trying to cover anyone’s butt. Maybe they’re just being helpful. I don’t know enough about the certification of teachers to know whether or not getting certified would really make me a better teacher.
I do know that Bigglest Boy now can add two three-digit numbers in his head, in about seven seconds, e.g.:


I sure as heck can’t do that.

Meanwhile, back at home…
I have been (on occasion) e-mailing Monsieur’s mother (who, in these pages, I call Belle-Mère) and once in a while I mention that, while Monsieur and I are getting along well, I think he is a little “distant” sometimes. I mention in this blog (to the point of tears, sometimes – mine) that he doesn’t initiate sex. I have almost come to accept that. I just want a little more of the other part of him. Not that he is any worse than any other guy I’ve ever been with. In fact, in many ways, he’s way better:
  • He is kind to me, and even expresses affection: we kiss goodbye, hello, goodnight, and so forth. He leaves me notes, such as “Remember that I think of you, always” on a little sticky note in my purse.
  • He records the few TV shows I watch just for me, so that I can watch them after boys’ bedtimes, uninterrupted. (I confess I can not figure out how to set the VCR to record ahead of time.)
  • He calls me his “love”, which sends me to the ends of the sky and back: “Why don’t you take a bath, my love, while I finish the kitchen?”
  • Flowers, unexpected, occasionally appear in a vase on the bathroom vanity countertop.
  • He kills cockroaches for me. Ya, every guy does that for any girl, but – check it out: as soon as I make that high-pitched, undignified yelp that all squeamish girls make as soon as they see a cockroach, he is there, with a weapon in hand, and he waits for me to turn my eyes as he dispatches the nasty thing and removes all evidence of its corpse. OK. it’s really more the way he does it. He doesn’t patronize me in any way, he just does it, and then he says, “All gone; that’s that,” and the horrible thing is gone.
I’m sure that a lot of you women would wonder why I would be thinking that he’s a little distant; after all, many of you don’t even get this much affection from your men. I’m greedy, I will admit, and I will always want more. So I mentioned it without meaning to complain to Belle-Mère, who said, “That does not sound as if he is ready to let you truly love him yet, but I am certain that in time his reserve will lessen itself.”
Well. I don’t know what she said to him, if anything, but suddenly it was like turning on a tap, and all these little things from left field started flooding out:
I love you, [Yearning Heart]: Spelled out in block letters, in Purple Dry-Erase Marker on the bulletin board in the kitchen. Someone asked me, once, if Monsieur had ever come out and told me that he loved me. Yes, he does. Not often. I have been told that more often by guys who didn’t really love me. When it comes from Monsieur, it’s very, very sincere.
“Do you have plans for your birthday?” he asked me. My birthday is in a little more than a month.
“Why, no, Monsieur, I don’t.”
“Very good. Try not to make any plans, if you could.”
“Yes, Monsieur. No, Monsieur. I mean, all right.”
“Where,” Monsieur asked one evening this week, “would you like to be in five years?”
“I’m not sure, Monsieur,” I replied. “Do you mean what would I like to do? For a living?”
“Not only that, love, I mean, would you like to be in a creative, artistic endeavor, or would you prefer returning to school if it could be made possible?”
I told him how I thought that the pull towards graduate school hasn’t been so strong lately; also my acting fantasies have hit the wall of reality that come from having to make my way in the world.
He understood. “Do you know,” he smiled, “that I once had the idea of earning my keep as a sort of a traveling song-and-dance man?”
“You’re good on the guitar,” I said.
“You’re good on the theatrical stage,” he replied, “but talent, celebrity and success are three completely different things.” He turned to me, and asked, point-blank, “[Yearning Heart], what do you want to do?”
“Well,” I said slowly, “every time someone asks me that, I usually answer that I don’t know.”
“But do you know, or do you have some idea?” he asked.
I thought about it, for quite a few moments.
I felt cornered, but I tried to be cool. “I’d … well… I like it here,” was all I could say.
“Is this enough for you, this life?” he asked.
I looked at him, then looked away to think about it. When I look in his eyes, I tend to forget what I should be thinking about. I don’t think clearly. I lose perspective. Time for perspective, here. Time to focus. Time for an honest assessment.
“I’m really very happy here,” was all I could say.
I thought about it some more. I am still thinking about it. I still don’t think that I really have answered him.

I hadn’t been happy, I don’t think, since over a year ago, when I knew that I would graduate from college. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get into Northwestern, and then Maggie died, and then I found out I didn’t get in to Northwestern after all. I think I just continued to wallow in a depression that I wasn’t aware of. I’m sure that my awful breakup with SH was a part of that. But once I decided to come here, and once I really comitted to help if Monsieur and the boys would accept my help, I didn’t care so much about all that other ambition. I’ve been too busy to think about what I really want, other than to be with Monsieur and to take care of him and his boys. Maybe that’s what happiness is.


laurenblogs said...

As far as the teaching certification it shouldn't be to hard or to much money. The cirtificate itself is cheap, and in most states they only make you take a few classes. And no they wont make you a better teacher but they might give you ideas on how to teach better. If that makes any sense.

Romancing Simplicity said...

Okay so I just spent a little bit of time reading the archived entries (it's really confusing coming in to the beginning) and...I'm just at a loss for words...I'm really sorry about Maggie =( In a way, it seems to have turned itself all around and I'm sure that she'd be glad that you're taking such wonderful care of her husband and children and that she'd be thankful that her husband can come to love again, someone as incredible as you. But still, I'm really sorry that you lost a friend that way...

I'm amazed at Monsieur, by the way, he seems like a great man and like he cares about you a good deal.

Romancing Simplicity said...

Also, thank you so much for blogrolling me!!! It really made me smile. I'll try to keep up with the title =)

The Venting Housewife said...

I think you should definitely feel proud of taking care of the family they way you have. You such a wonderful person YH, truly.

I agree with the "I love you's", but its still really amazing to be told it...even after 8years with my husband he tells me everyday, and it still makes me smile.

introspectre said...

I think his mother is right on the money.
It's not just his heart, I imagine, but his brain as well. With Mggie gone, what might people say, or think? Does he think you're too young to decide such a huge thing yet? Perhaps he wonders if his hopes for a future with you are clouded by emotions from Maggie's death, or just his own optimism, or whatever.
(stupid stupid time)