Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ponyboy and that Firstborn Son

While sitting in Mr. Baudino's AP literature class in high school, I had visions of sitting in his chair instead of my own.  I had dreams of being the one to make weeping students memorize Hamlet's 'To Be or Not To Be' Soliloquy or have them scratch out drawings of Huck's adventures.

I had it all mapped out.  I was going to be an English teacher.  Students would come to love literature and realize just how much fun it could be. Years later, I finished my English degree and became certified to teach at the secondary level.

While doing my student teaching, I fell head over heels for my first group of kids.  They were a hilarious bunch of 8th graders who made fun of me when I pronounced their last names incorrectly and smiled sweetly at me as I stumbled my way through my first lessons.

My first unit was on The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.  It is a coming of age novel set in a world where the Greasers are at war with the Socialites. Ponyboy, the main character, has a lot to learn when the real and broken world is thrown at him at the ripe old age of 14.  As a class, we dissected a poem by Robert Frost referenced in The Outsiders, entitled, "Nothing Gold Can Stay."

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I loved sharing the unit with kids I had come to love.

And then the sickness began.

My stomach issues would just not let up.  I told Mrs. Davis (the amazing English teacher I was student teaching under) that there was something totally and completely wrong with me.

I think you are pregnant, she said. 

I started taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test but they all came back negative. Eric encouraged me to go see Dr. Cole.  Blood doesn't lie. We were expecting our first baby!

Now God had plans a little different than my own.  I was going to teach for a few years and then have babies and then probably quit to stay home with them.  God said, no.  You are having a baby now and you aren't going to use this degree in the way you think you will. I had that first baby, then a few more over the years because motherhood became my new-found passion. I never looked back and I never regretted not entering the field of teaching. (All hats off to you amazing teachers...so grateful for your calling and your unending investment into the future generation!)

Enter a couple of nights ago.  I went into that now 8th grade firstborn son's room to throw some clean clothes onto his bed.  He was sitting in his chair, curled up with none other than The Outsiders.  My breath was almost taken away as I marveled at how fast time can fly.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was teaching that novel and finding out about his arrival? I went back into my room with equal parts joy, hysteria, and nostalgia. 

Hug your babies. Hug them tightly. 

Nothing gold can stay...


Catherine said...

God's re-direct is always the best! Love this post!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. It just came full circle.