Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Miss Honey

There's a wonderful bakery and coffee shop right across the street from my school The last couple months of school, I got into the delicious habit of walking over during my planning period 3 or 4 days a week to get a medium coffee and (this was a habit even later in the school year) a croissant with strawberry butter. Divine.

I would walk over, smiling, order my coffee and treat, smiling, fix the coffee with loads of sugar and creamer, smiling, and walk on back to school. Most of the time I would yell out, much like a five-year-old, to a stranger or friend, "I like your sweater! or I love your hair!" Compliments and smiles would abound. Okay, now I don't want to exaggerate. Sometimes I would just jam out to my "new to me" ipod, but most of the time I would be happy and engage with the world around me.

The last few weeks of school, one of the baristas at the coffee shop asked me if I'd ever read the book Matilda. Yep. Well, she explained, I reminded her of Miss Honey. It made my day. What a character! A couple days later she went on to admit that many of the regulars had nicknames, and my nickname was Miss Honey. I loved it.

Well, not always have I been Miss Honey. I have to thank chemical regulators for that help. Yep, I'm on anti-depressants, and I am not ashamed. The last few years have been difficult ones. Jack's diagnosis, Joe and my denial over his diagnosis, our cautious and secret acceptance of his diagnosis, my control mechanism (also known as National Boards) didn't last forever, Ingrid's diagnosis, Ingrid's surgery in November, and my admitting I needed help. I called my doctor and cried on the phone to her nurse. I was in to see a doctor the next day. It was the most awkard appointment I have ever had. The doctor told me it would just be a bandaid, that I needed to fight more for Jack and get a parent advocate (she had moved to Memphis from CA the month before), and I cried. Finally I walked out with a perscription in my hand. A couple months later, I saw my doctor and she listened and understood.

In November of this year, before anti-depressants, I might not have been Miss Trunchbull from Maltilda, but I was no Miss Honey. I could not rest long enough to see the positives of my life. I could not chill in order to create the comfortable environment that usually comes so early and easily in my classroom. I was off. I was angry at the world, for celebrating holidays and life in general.

I think about how quickly Jack goes to sleep at night. He has such a routine to bedtime: bath, teeth, massage, 3 books, prayer, music, and light off. Every part of his routine allows him to begin to rest, to calm, to take it easy and figure out what is important. That is what my medicine does. It allows me to finally live the serenity prayer. And I thank God for that.

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