It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.
Part of that has been the back-to-school insanity. There is a four week period every mid-August to mid-September that we affectionately (or not) dub “hell weeks”. It includes professional development days, when I’m simultaneously gearing up to get back in the classroom while also getting my 3 children ready for back-to-school, through the first week of classes (only teachers understand just how exhausting that is), to the 14+ hour days in the “meet the teacher” nights week (wearing the mom and teacher hats, depending on the day), culminating in retreat week, when my husband and I chaperone the Upper School retreats.
It’s a four week span of adrenaline fueled, sleep-deprived, body and soul sucking, grit-your-teeth and survive, marathon test of endurance.
So there was that.
I’ve also been dealing with the other stressful ongoing situation in my life. When that situation flares up, my PTSD symptoms return and I find myself shutting down to protect myself.
So I’ve gone quiet, in many ways.
The truth is, I deal with a lot of heartache, still, on a regular basis. I wish I could say my life is all shiny rainbows and unicorns and happily ever after, but I’m not a liar, nor do I believe in fake facades. The truth is, my life is hard. The reality of my day to day existence involves a type of dysfunction and disorder that most people only read about in the tabloids or see on daytime television. But it’s my, and my children’s, day to day reality. It is what it is. I accept the new normal.
But there is also joy. And because I believe, against all odds, that the joy is stronger than the pain, I’m breaking out of my cocoon of self-imposed silence to acknowledge that.
Wednesday, Sept 17th, marks four years since my husband took me out on our first date.
He took me to a local Mexican dive. It was my first “first date” in almost 15 years. I wasn’t even sure at that point if it was a “date”, because no guy in his right mind would want to take out a recently single, heartbroken, traumatized mother of 3, least of all an intelligent, handsome, seemingly well-adjusted teacher.
He asked me if I wanted to split the beef fajitas. Even though I never order fajitas, and as a general rule, hate to share my food, I thought the “right” thing to do was agree. I still wasn’t eating much at that point and time, anyway. We talked. And talked. He ate most of the fajitas.
As we left, a casual acquaintance messaged me on social media, saying she didn’t want to freak me out or bother me, but she was in the restaurant and had witnessed the date. She said I smiled. A lot. That she didn’t know who the guy was or what was going on, but that I looked happy.
We went bowling. And then, because we weren’t ready to say goodnight, for another drink.
He likes to say that he knew, even then, that I was “the one”. I think he’s full of it, but it’s a romantic sentiment.
Wednesday, Sept 17th, will be the four year anniversary of that night. I have an eye doctor appointment at 5:30pm. Our son has his rock climbing team practice from 5:30-7pm. My husband will be back at school at 6:30pm for a parent information meeting. It will be just another hectic, long day and evening, full of work and parenting and adult responsibilities. Homework. Dinner. Showers. A typical night in our busy life.
But tomorrow, Tuesday, when our children are at their Dad’s, we will return to the Mexican dive. We’ll drink margaritas and I’ll split the beef fajitas with him and he’ll tell me, once again, how he knew, even then, that I was “the one”.
And because it’s such a romantic sentiment, I’ll believe him.
the first picture of the two of us, circa October, 2010.