I dropped the ball.” I said this to my TA (teaching assistant) in reference to my having marked attendance incorrectly the day before. “Can you pick it up?” said four-year-old Suzy Q. (obviously not her real name). “Of course you can’t,” Suzy continued to say. Suzy is wiser than the old men at the coffee shop. . Kids are always intuitive like that. She thought I meant a REAL ball…or did she?

The picture above popped up on my home screen twenty-two minutes into a PTO meeting. There were teachers, parents, and administrators from both campuses there. Baby boy had to go with me because all my trusty sitters were working. We got to the meeting thirty minutes early. I let him run around and then I put him in the stroller when the meeting started. At this point, I’d been up much of the night (not his fault), worked, then kept him entertained from 3:30 after school onward. This is code for “I’m tired”. Right after the picture popped up, I’m thinking that I’m not having a “good time ” anymore. He was being sweet but I kept having to stroll him down a hall in the cafeteria. He kept throwing his pacifier and “lovey”(stuffed dog). I stopped to the entrance to the cafeteria and stood by one of the principals. I was exhausted and leaned against the wall. The cafeteria got PITCH black. I had cut off the lights. Everyone stopped. My principal turned them back on. Good going, girl. You’re killing it.

“Yes… I’m having a ball. Let the good times roll” I thought. I tucked tail, went in the ladies room, and had a good cry. Now, I’ve said before I’m not complaining. It’s more like story-telling. See, I had one full night of sleep in four nights. A store clerk had been rude earlier, and some women that normally speak to me… well, didn’t. It hurt. The light switch thing was just the proverbial straw. By the way, after I cried for maybe a minute I started to laugh at myself. It was then that I realized that I had done my best. I came to the meeting. I was nice to the clerk. I smiled at the ladies. I’m not perfect (right now you would have food and clothes enough for a couple days in my car), but I sure as heck did my best today.The car will get clean, I’ll stop being so sensitive tomorrow, and I’ll never lean against the cafeteria wall again. I can’t lose.

Suzy Q., pass me that ball.

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