Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's in Your Wallet?

Two years ago, I didn’t even carry a purse. I wore cargo pants. And everything I needed was within reach in my pockets or on my belt.

Funny how things change.

I was cleaning out my purse today, and the contents really exemplify how much my life has changed, how much I have changed in the past two years. Here is what I cleaned out of my purse:

What is funny is that even though I have been teaching for quite a while now, I still have all my tech gear on a shelf in my closet, ready to spring into action, as if I might put my steel-toed boots and head lamp on at any moment and head out for a day of Deck 1 at Nemo, or even Head Rigger at Tarzan. And I COULD, I mean mentally at least, I still remember every step of both of those tech tracks, and I still, sometimes, think of myself as a tech.

The transition from tech to Kindergarten teacher was not an easy one. I wonder sometimes what my team thought of me in those initial meetings, when I was far more tech than teacher. I would come lumbering in to one of my new colleagues' abodes, dressed in blacks, tools on my belt, grease on my hands and arms, painfully aware that I had no idea what I was doing yet 100% certain that I was going to figure it out and kick its ass, even if that meant I had to wear a sweater with a teddy bear embroidered on it.

But I have noticed the tech side of me, the rough and gruff “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on” side of me, shrinking. I still curse more than anyone else on the kindergarten team, that’s for sure. And there is no “off” position on my sarcasm switch, clearly. And I actually take a lot of pride in being a “tough” teacher, it has served me really well and the kids certainly respond to my tough love approach. But still, I am softening. The contents of my purse (hell, the fact that I even use a purse) make it undeniable.

And I think, of course, about motherhood. I believe that the tough love approach that has worked for me at school will serve me well as a parent, and I certainly have had plenty of time to practice it. I wonder if it will be easier or harder with my own kids. Or will having my own spawn soften me further, perhaps rendering me unrecognizable? I don’t really want that, to be one of those moms who lost their own identity and sense of purpose in the flurry of diapers and chapped nipples and all that my life is about to contain. Those people are painfully boring to me.

Now that I am on leave from teaching, I feel another part of my identity, the Kindergarten teacher skin that I have just fully grown into, slipping away. What will my purse reveal when I clean it out next time? Who will I be? What do the contents of your purse (or pockets) say about you?

Coming soon…. 26 week belly shots and new ultrasound pics! Stay tuned.

1 comment:

gd said...

I don't think that rough-and-tumble Lindsay could change just because there are little girls in the picture...I think that if it was going to happen, it would have happened as a teacher, or when you began thinking about having kids.

I love that your personality is still snarky and hilarious, while having left behind some of the unhappiness I know prevailed through stages of our young lives. Like, I don't think we could have ever told each other, before, how much we enjoyed our friendship. You know?