kimo and the crew, sucking up the brew

I hope the tigers' housing is a little more secure than this ...

Tee hee.

I had a great talk with my partner yesterday. (The one I work with.) There's always more to a person than meets the eye in initial encounters, or even two years' worth of collaboration and articulation, especially if you only know that person as one "thing," e.g. coworker, boss, fellow club member, fellow mommy, etc. Even your sibling or domestic partner - if they were to slip you into their pocket one day and carry you around, how awed/shocked/impressed/flabbergasted at their "other selves," the stuff you don't see at home, would you be? Anyway, every once in awhile teachers let their hair down (imagine, imagine that) and talk about things other than state standards, wacked-out kids, and the like. I was telling her a funny story about buying beer from Wal*Mart (even here I feel compelled to point out IT WASN'T FOR ME) and sneaking around the aisles like some kind of freak secret agent because I always run into my students (or worse, their parents) at Wal*Mart. Now I know they know adults can legally and responsibly drink alcohol, but something about seeing a teacher buying Coors Light and a box of crayons is really off-putting. So I asked the cashier to double bag it and got the hell out of there. Anyway, we were talking about next year, and our personal lives, and it came up that she didn't know about my community involvement and I didn't know there was such depth behind her cheerful exterior. My very first memory of her is running into her in the copy room a couple of years ago (we were teaching different grades then) and asking her how her husband was. "Coming home soon," was what she said. My second memory is of a horrendous three-day math training we had to suffer through when she moved up to fifth grade. For some reason she couldn't put together her abacus (don't laugh, this is the NEW math) and I thought, oh gad, what a year it's going to be.

Yesterday after we finished cracking up about the beer and how much she wanted wanted an apple martini while the kids were working on their DARE posters, she mentioned her husband's upcoming deployment, and I thought about how amazing it is that with her husband always jetting off to this training and that ranger school and now gearing up for his second deployment to Iraq, she still comes to work smiling every day. She does her thing, almost never talks about that stuff although it must occupy such a huge space in her consciousness. She said she's not a worrier, that she has a lot of faith, and that sometime back in the fall she fell into a spell of depression where she couldn't even get out of bed, but that was the first and last time it ever happened. She's amazing. Military families, for all the bad rap they've got, are amazing simply because they can live like that. My boyfriend recently went to Vegas for five days, two of which I didn't hear from him, and I could barely sleep. If he, or my brother, or anyone I cared about and/or had the privelege of seeing on a daily basis, ever deployed to a place from which we receive daily news of combat-related injury and death, I'd be apoplectic. I told her, I don't think I could do it.

But she comes to work every day, smiling. She does her thing. She yells at her kids. She loves her kids. She gives her kids what they need, and puts herself second. She's amazing. It's nice sometimes to see beyond what we normally show each other and remember that no matter how grating we are to each other, how annoying the little things can be, how frustrating it can get to collaborate with someone you on occasion fundamentally disagree with, that everyone's human and has something great to offer and, in some way, is totally amazing. I hope that's true of everyone, because I'd like to think someone someday will say it about me.


Dan said...

sure, the beer was for "someone else" uh-huh.

and military families get a bad rap? who you talk to?

the hardest thing to accept about being a military family is just that. military comes first. family is the most important thing though. weird? yeah. being active like your 'partner' is good for her and her husband. she's keeping busy (probably not watching the news) and not having a lot of time to worry. he's more focused on staying alive than he is worrying about her (is she ok? is she worrying about me?).

it's important for military spouses to have their own lives, separate from the military and their soldier. the divorce rate is pretty high among young couples that go on active duty. because of the fact that they are forced to move somewhere where they don't have a family support structure, the soldiers are in the field alot and then get deployed? they'd be lucky to see their soldier for a whole month and then not again for 12-15 months? it puts a strain on anyone.

it's easy to put yourself in harm's way, but it's hard to sit by and worry thousands miles away about someone else.

it's why i'd rather deploy with my friends than stay here. be a good friend to her.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all you do! That's why you got to have your favorite home cooked meal the other nite.