This is Day Six of the 31 Days of Small series.
There is a ramp leading to my classroom in the trailer. Some mornings I welcome the refreshing cool, crisp air as I walk up the ramp. There are usually wasps and spider webs waiting for me as well, and the occasional cat will run to hide under the building.
Some mornings I walk up the ramp with my head held high. I've got a little pep in my step and I'm looking forward to the day ahead. I've got great neighbors in my building, fun coworkers, and sweet kids that smile and wave when they see me. I love it when they remind me that they get to come to my class later in the week by saying, "We have YOU tomorrow."
It's my favorite compliment.
And some mornings I walk up the ramp and I measure each step to the door. I feel the weight of the day I'm facing on my shoulders and I know which little smiling faces are most likely going to challenge my authority. I feel myself fighting the need for affirmations. I want someone to notice the work I'm doing. I want someone to hear when my kids finally sing and play the right notes. I want someone to say that I'm doing a good job with my own girls and writing words that matter. I want someone to notice that I'm handling basic like a professional. I want someone to pat me on the head and give me a sticker for making it through another day.
Because sometimes we just want to be noticed.
And on those mornings when life is getting too loud for me, I say these words to myself:
Just be small.
I find myself turning inward in a self-healing sort of way. I pray. I sometimes choose to eat lunch alone and enjoy the 20 minutes or so of silence. And after I take a little time to lick my wounds, I can usually push myself out of my self-pity party. I pull out some cards and I write encouraging words to others. I had an art teacher friend several schools ago who always seemed to know just when to drop a kind word or two in someone's box. I've followed her lead and made it a point to do the same. Rather than using my thoughts to be self-destructive, I can do this one thing to make someone else's day a little bit better.
Because sometimes others want to be noticed, too.