I heard something this summer; a quote, a phrase, an idea. It hinted that "expectations are just future resentments." Today I feel the pulse of this.
I expected that I'd have the fall semester figured out by now, that I'd have my hands firmly grasped around the objectives and projects that would at most take us toward Advent. What I have is a little cup of ideas and a swelling pile of resources. This is all that I'm working with in these first days of our 10th year. I can't determine if it's unsettling or freeing. But I feel like I'm resenting
...that I'm past time for planning and am well into the time for implementing, ready or not.
...that I used to have things so prepared. My former self seems more organized than my present self.
...that we haven't been able to fall into a rhythm. Every day is still different. Shouldn't this be a blessing?
My lesson plans in this third full week are already askew. We entertained company and opted to do two field trips. I decided to do school yesterday -- on a planned holiday. We've said, "yes," to the park day, the BMX track, the lunch meeting. We're moving through the meat of our unit... and we're not sinking.
I find that I'm sitting and listening with each moment, breathing prayers for direction.
This activity might be good to put in right here. Change direction.
This child has a need I can meet. Change direction.
This resource is confusing, let's set it aside. Change direction.
Letting the children lead more, finding the moments that connect, paying attention to bodies and energies and what matters to little boys. Praying all the while.
I've never been free to ad lib so richly. My first student needed checklists, structure, plans. Now, though I'm practicing freedom I've yet to feel the shackles fall. The way we've always done this isn't the way we do it anymore. It's interesting that I sit in the midst of resentment when no wrong has actually been done.
It surprises me when I come to this conclusion: this is not resentment, but dependence. It's the groping that I used to do back in the days when God was silent and my structured school days were the only things that I knew without a doubt. Then, I was groping for God, wishing for his voice, willing him to act, waiting on him and asking him, "Am I doing this right?" Now it's turned on its head. God has spoken and continues to be present and real, but my structures are shattered and I am utterly dependent on him to create them. My focus changed but the question remains the same, "Am I doing this right?" This daily instruction, filling of a pail, lighting of a fire. Is this the best way or just the best way for today?
The things we think we should do, make us resent what we actually produce. I, this abstract sequential being, try so hard to fight against the abstract, against the very core of self. Isn't it good for me to move from shape to shape and from this color to the next? These boys are not the same, I should not be the same either. At the end of the day, what I've created should look nothing like me and everything like them.
Bending but not breaking. This is the tension where one ought to live.
Photos are from our field trip to Miramont Castle 8/25/11