You guys, March isn’t my favorite. Somehow, I escaped January and February relatively unscathed by the short daylight hours and break-less teaching grind. Usually, I refer to January and February as “the dark days” when I question my sanity and my ability to persevere until Spring Break, much less June when all of the students leave and I have a reprieve.
I’ve heard that January/February dread is a common ailment, and while I’m happy to have completed these months with relatively little kvetching, I’ve got a bone to pick with March: why can’t you be short, like your February predecessor? Why must you wait until the 30th to give me Spring Break? Why must you contain state testing???
I could go on, but I won’t. These days, I teach my first period and I think, I have to teach that three more times? I’ve got a serious case of the count-the-downers instead of the blessings, so this post is about turning that around.
Among the many things for which I am thankful, I will focus on just six, because six is a multiple of three and March is the third month, and I prefer symmetry, you see. Also. Tomorrow I’m six months pregnant.
- Do you like that segue? I thought you would. I’m thankful I’m pregnant. With Henrie, I experienced the anticipation and excitement of welcoming a new person to my family and this world, but I really didn’t understand what that meant. I had an idea, but when Henrie was born, I felt like my whole world changed. My life swung into orbit around this new little planet, and my perspective completely shifted. It was good and hard and wonderful, and it was something I had to experience in order to understand. With this new baby, I understand more, and it makes me feel like my anticipation and excitement are even more genuine. I am SO excited to have another little person in this house (or another house). I am SO excited to get to know her, to love her, and to raise her. I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to be a mom to not one but two girls. I’m excited to teach them how to be strong women and to push myself to be a stronger woman for them. I’m excited to see Henrie and Billie develop a relationship of their own. There are so many things that I look forward to, and I’m thankful for that anticipation this Spring.
- I’m thankful for visitors. Part of the reason that January and February were easier this year is because I got to spend time with people I miss during the rest of the year. Yvonne and Dave came for a week in January, and their trip was followed by a short visit from Sarah. During the second week of February, Stacy and Margot stayed for a week, and after months of feeling a bit friendless, I so much enjoyed their company. Luckily, this month holds in store some more gems: Hannah is coming the third week of March, Yvonne is making a quick trip, and at the end of the month, Henrie and I will be going to Minnesota for a week.
- I’m thankful for Joshua and Henrie. After four and a half years of marriage and ten (ten?!) years of being together, Joshua is still my favorite person. I love running with him, talking with him, and just being with him. He’s the best companion. He’s also crazy ambitious and busy. I’m not sure how that happened, but I guess I’m along for the ride :) As for Henrie, the girl is pure sunshine. Her laugh makes my heart burst, and she has developed a wicked sense of humor. Each day, she’s able to interact with me and her surroundings more, and I’m having so much fun. I tell her a hundred times a day that I love her and I’m so lucky to be her mom.
- I’m thankful for running. These days, my runs are not impressive in length or speed, but my consistency, given my growing belly, still gives me that boost of confidence. For a girl who has often been plagued by feelings of self-doubt and poor esteem, running has been a touchstone. I run every day because it keeps me healthy; it keeps my body healthy, but mostly it keeps my heart and my head healthy. It’s one of the things that I feel proud of, and it’s one of the things that makes me feel strong. I run every day, rain or shine, pregnant or not, happy or sad. I have since I was 12, and not a lot of people can say that. (Hey, I need to distinguish myself in some ways, now that my husband is an ultrarunner.)
- I’m thankful for security. I’m thankful that I’ve had a job that has provided my family with the ability to travel long distances, buy a home (and maybe another), and raise a family. I’m thankful that Joshua has a job that he loves and that will continue to provide us with the ability to own a home and raise a family, even when I won’t have a salary. I’m thankful I can fill up the gas tank without worrying if I have enough money in my bank account, and I’m thankful that we can stop by Chipotle for dinner if I’m too tired to make it myself. I’m thankful that I can buy enough maternity clothes to get me through until this baby arrives, and when she does, I’m thankful that we’ll have enough resources to take care of her as well. I’m thankful that I get to dream about pursuing another career, despite the costs, and I’m thankful that I get to dream about traveling the world.
- I thankful for writing. In the past four years, I’ve written on A Carpetbagger’s Tale and now Feathered Aspen both frequently and intermittently, through teaching, moving, traveling, and raising a family. I’m thankful for the chance to process aloud, the chance to connect with my far flung friends and family. I’m thankful to flex my fingers in a way that I have always loved and continue my passion for words, sometimes eloquently and sometimes completely artlessly. Since October, I’ve begun a project that has always been on my bucket-list: writing a book. Barbara Kingsolver it is not, but I love it, and it’s giving me a sense of pride that I haven’t felt since my days of writing papers or traveling and writing every night. Excluding outlines, character synopses, and other pre-writing I did before I began, I have now written 170 pages. But don’t hold your breath; not even Joshua get’s to read it for now, maybe ever.
So these are just a few of the things for which I am thankful. Hopefully, I can ruminate on them while I’m pacing the floor, proctoring state testing.