To Keep From Crying, Simply Laugh….

ClassroomI honestly feel like this should be a “Dear Diary” post. I gave up crying today. I decided the circumstances just weren’t worth the tears or the time I’d have to spend redoing my makeup. Let’s just be honest. To keep from crying, simply laugh, right? I’ve let this be my mantra for most of my time as a 6th grade teacher. When days seem so wonky the only thing left to do sometimes is laugh right in the middle of the mess. When I say that Room 117 could be a movie – I mean it. My life for that matter could be a movie and in my opinion, it’d be one hilarious comedy. It’d probably top the charts….at least I’d like to think so!

Today is Monday and I hate to be so stereotypical, but it was bad. Mondays tend to get a bad rap anyway. Mondays and Room 117 in the life of Kindall Crummey have left quite a mark lately and today was no different. There comes a point in time when things get so bizarre that I must write them down and inevitably my thinking changes from “when will this day end” to “Hmmm. I wonder what will happen next!” I can sense the shift in my thinking. I’ve come to expect all kinds of crazy on days like today. And all kinds of crazy it was!

So, I’d like to open the door to my life for you and invite you in. It’s a party, really. Here’s a snapshot of the kind of Monday today has been. Please know that not only do I feel the need to share this with the world (because it’s posted on the blog), but I hope to someday look back on stories like these and remember why I chose to laugh.

  • My brakes died on my car. And when I say died, I mean literally DIED. So I’m driving my Mom’s car today. It’s a tank compared to my car, but I like it. Not having my car also meant that I didn’t have my keys….So….. I arrived at school and made it all the way to my classroom only to discover I had no way in. Bummer. Back up to the front office to call for a key and then back to the room to wait. In the midst of all this, I was already semi-aggravated by the 4 or so kids (former students of mine) shouting at the top of their lungs in an almost whiny, but really annoying voice, “Ms. Crummey! Ms. Crummey! We know you hear us! Hey Ms. Crummey! Look at us!” (I mean, really. How many times do I have to smile and wave before they leave me alone?!?!) So, this is how my Monday began.
  • At snack time today, a student walked out of the bathroom with a large, red hand print on his face. I asked how that got there and, of course, because he is so nice and kind he said, “Oh, we were just playing.” (I thought to myself, “No you weren’t!”) No one (and I do mean no one) saw anything wrong with this….at all. I couldn’t get help from anybody to get to the bottom of it and the only response I did get was…..”It was just an accident!” (I’ve never seen someone “accidentally” smack another kid so hard upside the face that it left a red hand print. Ever. But oh well. I lost that one.) And Monday continued to unfold.
  • I went home to grab a quick lunch only to pull into the driveway and realize that I was locked out. That’s right. Locked right out of my own house. No car keys also meant no house key. No car meant no garage door opener. Bummer. Then, I had to take the 6 minute drive to Mom’s house for a key only to realize there was one in her car all along. 12 minutes of my 30 minute lunch gone. (I normally wouldn’t complain about the time, but I was kinda in a hurry. Just keep reading.)
  • In a hurry? Yes! I had to get back to the school on time for lunch duty- every teacher’s dream, right? Lunch duty. It’s loud and messy and rather boring if you ask me unless there’s a fight. And on this day I was praying things would go smoothly and quickly so I could get on with my day. Quickly is an understatement. I made it all the way down to the cafeteria only to learn that my lunch duty had been changed and someone forgot to tell me. Wonderful! I wouldn’t have been so disappointed, but you have to understand, I’ve been preparing for this week of lunch duty for a while now. On top of the lunch duty this week, I have three meetings…intense meetings….meetings I get nervous about because I actually have to talk! One week of chaos….I can do it, right? Wrong. It never works out the way I have planned. So while I thought I could get it all over in a week, my lunch duty was moved into next week. Now I can look forward to lunch duty NEXT WEEK. (And just to clarify. I love everybody. I’m not bitter about it at all. I just wish communication was as important to everyone else as it is to me. That’s all.) Lunch was so stressful today.
  • After lunch, a student (who I’ll call “J”) informed me that she needed to go to the nurse. I went through my series of questions for her and she told me that she needed to go because every time she picked up her pencil her back hurt……I still haven’t figured that one out. She was totally hinting that she was over this day just like me. I’m sure of it.
  • “J” also told me that her best friend’s grandma only had half of a heart and if she gets stressed out one more time she’s going to heaven. (As you can see, J has lots of info to share…..) I just smiled and said I’d be praying for her. I really wanted to say, “Well, J, I have a whole heart and if I get stressed out one more time like I did today I’m gonna start getting gray hair before I’m 30, and that is not okay!” How would you respond to that? …Exactly!

There were so many other little things that happened today. I could literally share every detail, but I think you can see where this is going (and quite frankly, I’m tired). Things were just a little  off today. They were way off, actually. Nothing really worked well. It was stressful and more like a hodgepodge of mishaps than a truly productive day.  Smack dab in the middle of it all though, God reminded me to look for Him in these places where imperfection meets me head on. God is there. All along He held my hand and although today felt like a fight, I’m glad I wasn’t fighting alone. In the midst of our mishaps there’s joy. Laughter is sometimes birthed from even these moments that feel as if they were made for tears. Today I simply chose to laugh.

Have you ever had a day like this? Were you able to find joy in the struggle? Even in those times were you able to see God at work?

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