We have a baby on the way.
True! There is, right now, merrily simmering in Erin's oven, a bun. A child. A little he or she or me, to paraphrase Lou Reed. How about that? We are actually much farther along than my posting history in this regard would indicate - exactly halfway along as a matter of fact. The little someone should be ready for their close-up sometime in early April. This was a completely intentional and planned pregnancy, but we wanted to wait to announce it to folks until we were sure it stuck (the generally accepted guideline in that regard is 3 months) and I have just been too busy to do much of anything, let alone to give this matter the due that it certainly calls for here. For that matter I haven't scanned in a Polaroid since August. I've been taking them, but not scanning, and now I have a seemingly insurmountable backlog of 60+. Ugh.
A baby. Holy shit.
There are a few people who I really would rather hear this news from me personally than read it here, but I can't keep delaying. You know who you are, and I am sorry.
I am really excited. It's crazy to think that Erin and I will have spawned a little Texan. Like I say, this was a totally planned pregnancy, and if I may tiptoe around a few details, we tried to conceive the little bugger while we were visiting Brooklyn. Not for any reason related to Brooklyn, really, that was just the way the timing worked. But, apparently our baby wanted to be Texan through and through, because s/he didn't take that month, but did take the next month, and here we are. Erin and I spend a lot of time talking about names (Ishtar, Denzel, Fuji, Wart and Chevrolet are my current favorites (favorite JOKES, mom)), and some time worrying about our local schools, and money (we are both employed by the Texas Public Education System, and that ain't no way to get rich, let me tell you), and we are both really happy and excited. We don't know the gender yet but we'll find out in 2 weeks.
My radio silence here on Dirtdirt.com is not related to our pending bundle of joy. It is merely a result of being SO OVERWHELMED AND BUSY WITH SCHOOL. Seriously - it is just crazy hard. I am succeeding, so far as I can determine (using any and all methodology available to me), but it is an extremely hard fought success.
Being a rookie teacher is very hard. Just like being a rookie plumber or baseball player or president or assassin barista is hard - all the problems and controversies that derail you as you encounter them are much easier to deal with once you have been through them a few times. Plus, I am a TOTAL rookie teacher - I didn't go to school for this. I don't think that going to school would make me THAT much of a better teacher than I am (I really truly don't), but it would help SOME, and sometimes I feel like I really could use any scrap of advantage I could get. AND, it seems, the school that I am working at would be a difficult school school for ANY teacher. It's a new (second year open) charter school with some pretty progressive and exciting goals and methodologies, and with those sorts of excitement come challenges. AND AND AND more or less by the luck of the draw (well, the draw AND my Special Ed. experience from last year and, I suspect, my being a man) the class that I work with is pretty unevenly loaded with students who are boys, students who need a bit of extra structure (what in other schools might be termed "discipline cases"), and students who are identified "Special Ed", or students who are all three. It's something else in there.
It might seem like I don't enjoy the job. Not true. I really, really enjoy it. It's super challenging and rewarding, and constantly exciting and interesting and invigorating. It's just also really extremely fucking hard, and exhausting. Icks aust ing. When the baby comes I think I will be able to sleep about 20 minutes a night. Yipes.
In really much more somber news, my grandmother passed away. On Erin and my third wedding anniversary. I don't really know what to say about it except that I loved her very much, she loved me very much, and, having moved around a good deal when I was a kid, I always thought of her farmhouse in Indiana as Home, and I still do. She was a kind, strong, sweet, loving, funny, earnest woman and I believe that many of the better parts of me were informed by her and by the care and love she gave to others, including me.
Grandpa once, several years ago, while we were sitting around the kitchen table eating cookies that Grandma had made, said to me, "Now, I'm not going to claim that my wife has made more cookies than ANY other person, but she has sure made more than MOST." This was true. I mean, she made a TON of cookies, maybe not daily, but nearly so, and there was a big box of fresh sugar cookies on top of her fridge, from as early as I can remember until the last time I visited. Every potluck, church social, holiday, family get-together, bake sale or picnic she would make a huge pile of her sugar cookies. Every holiday and birthday she would send me a big hearty package of them, and she did this for as long as I can remember, and they tasted like childhood and safety and home.
I have her recipe, and it makes good cookies, and I will use her recipe for the rest of my life, but I will never eat one of HER cookies again, and I am the poorer for it.
She knew that we were pregnant, and I think that made her happy, and that makes me happy.
I really will be better about posting things here, promise.