But lately I feeeeeel like crying—like when I'm listening to Dave Matthews, or when I’m hiking with my dog, or when I watch my sons studying.
Or when my students say “AHA!” or “Thank you,” or “This is so exciting!”
It feels like being pregnant, only without the vomit.
Maybe I've discovered an alternative to pregnancy--something that creates a similar amount of emotional tenderness, but doesn’t include the stress over what you’re going to be able to eat next.
I think it requires reading and discussing ideas. On a daily basis. With a bunch of sassy pants teenagers.While simultaneously not getting enough sleep.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but sometimes during my classes, I forget to look at the clock.
And sometimes I don’t wish I was the custodian.
And sometimes, when my students are interrupting each other to tell me what the sunshine represents in The Scarlet Letter, or why the ending is satisfying, I think to myself, “why did I want to get cancer again?”
Once in a while, I even think, “Why did I want my students to get cancer again?”
This I think, even if they call Hester Prynne a “Ho” or an “Idiot,” or Dimmesdale a Jerk.
I know, right? How did this happen?
Once I even thought, “If I were at home right now washing dishes and folding laundry I would have missed this conversation.”
But then I went home and we were out of clean dishes and clean socks, and I felt like crying all over again.
But I didn't.
I'm just not a crier.
Except in my sleep.
This morning I woke up and my pillow was wet. My face was wet too.
I had been dreaming that my daughter was jumping around in our driveway in Hawaii with my three sons, who had little round crew-cut heads. She was 8 years old and her hair, parted in the middle, bounced off her shoulders as she spun around, singing with her signature raspy voice. As she turned toward me I caught sight of her face, dotted with familiar freckles, and I ran to her, pulled her into my arms, and hugged her tight.
I didn't let go either.
Then I burst into tears and said to my husband, "These are the best days of my life."