“Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum

*Disclaimer: I do NOT mean to be this dramatic. I’m just feeling all the feels. And it’s my blog, so there.

After two successful days of “full-time-working-momming” it, I had a lovely and restful weekend, totally basking in the glory-warm rays of that success. I did it. I could really DO this!

And then I woke up and today was Monday and everything SUCKED. SUUUUUUUU-UCKED. UGH.

I could list all the things that went wrong, but then you would think I was a whiny baby who didn’t appreciate the joys that accompany the suckiness of being a teacher in an elementary school (overworked, underpaid, but adequately hugged and germy). I could go on about the coffee I didn’t get to drink and the glutenous treats I didn’t indulge in or the class I missed by accident or the child who told me I still looked pregnant. I would then also have to mention the fact that I got a free and DELICIOUS lunch today, and that I pumped 10 oz of milk for my son, which will make up for both of the meals I will miss tomorrow because of stEWpid (code name for ‘work.’) I would need to offset the moments of ‘that sucked’ by also admitting that, for a first time mom who has to go back to work full time, I have it “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.” (Sorry. I’m watching a lot of Curb these days.)

I could go on about all these things, but the point is, and the real reason today SUUUUCKED above all other reasons is, I really just want to be home with my baby. I always have. In all my years playing teacher as a child to studying in college to become one, I never once envisioned myself working full time until retirement. I never fancied myself a ‘career woman.’ I was always going to stay at home with my babies, just like my mama did.

And all I get is 4 hours with him. Four. Hours.

And all day long, while managing the behaviors of hundreds of other peoples’ babies , I could only think of him and all the moments I was missing that were supposed to be ours.

I wanted to run. RUN. Like a bat out of hell. Or a kid out of skEWl (also code name for ‘work’).

Or a 33 year old woman out of her career.

I want to run.

Shouldn’t there be a natural peace and comfort in the knowledge that I am still providing for my family, even though it can’t be with the resource of time right now?

Shouldn’t there be a natural contentment that comes with all the ‘at leasts’ in this scenario I’m living?

At least I get the summers off.

At least there’s Winter and Spring Breaks.

At least I don’t have homework to grade (Spanish on a cart teacher. We don’t do homework 😉

At least I live 7 minutes from the school and can easily come home or have the baby brought to me.

At least we have great health insurance and earn a living wage.

At least there’s a healthy, happy baby to miss at all. For many hopeful mamas, there isn’t.

These are all better than some alternatives. Praise God! Truly. I know how ‘good’ I have it.

And yet.

These are all ‘leasts.’

Wasn’t I taught to dream bigger?

To expect more?

To believe I could ‘have it all?’

Ok. I don’t want it AAALLL. That would be horrible.

But I do want the TIME. I want to afford my son my presence.

I want him to have the best of my energy, my hours, my time.

And I can’t give him that. I feel like I can’t give him that while I do this incredibly insane job.

And what really boils me is, I’VE KNOWN THIS about my job. FOR YEARS.

And yet, here I am. Still teachering. On my feet. All day long.

Because of all the ‘at leasts.’

And today, instead of bravely staring these leasts in the face and saying “No, YOU suck!”, I just wanted to run away.

But I didn’t.

Because I also want my son to respect me and to know that true courage means facing not just your fears, but your “I don’t want to’s” and your “This SUCKS,” with grace and patience and HOPE.

Someday, I hope someone tells him how brave his mama was once upon a time.

Even if I’m really only brave enough to stay on the “safe” track. Whatever that means.

Right now, I guess that’s the track that keeps our bellies full and our bills paid.



Today’s Voice

Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a slow torch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning

So tired that I couldn’t even sleep
So many secrets I couldn’t keep
Promised myself I wouldn’t weep
One more promise I couldn’t keep

It seems no one can help me now
I’m in too deep
There’s no way out
This time I have really led myself astray

Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Can you help me remember how to smile
Make it somehow all seem worthwhile
How on earth did I get so jaded
Life’s mystery seems so faded

I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
Here I am just drownin’ in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

Everything is cut and dry
Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow I just don’t believe it

Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughin’ at the rain
Little out of touch, little insane
Just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train never comin’ back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Runaway train never comin’ back
Runaway train tearin’ up the track
Runaway train burnin’ in my veins
Runaway but it always seems the same




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