Almost 2 years ago, I went to a protest in New York City. I got arrested on a bridge, made the news, which led to some awkward explanations for my then students and my administration. It all turned out ok.
The biggest event of that day wasn’t the zip tie handcuffs and the ten hours in a cramped cell full of really awesome, politically active gals (although that was pretty amazing.) No, it was that I met a great guy. While still in the then-occupied park, my brothers (who also got arrested!) struck up a conversation with a handsome bearded man. Of course, I noticed, and joined the conversation. Our new friend marched with us, and then we lost him in the confusion of being forcibly detained. I was sitting on the ground, zip ties firmly and painfully in place, when they led him by me, also cuffed.
“Nice to meet you!” I yelled. “Maybe we’ll see each other again some day!”
After everyone was out of jail and returned to our respective homes, we tried to find each other. We had no phone numbers. His last name was too common to find him through social networking, while mine was too unusual for him to remember. So he watched hours of youtube videos, found me hollering my name and my brother’s names to the lawyers guild (complete with spelling!). He found me on facebook, came to visit, moved to my state, got a job in my city, we fell completely in love, and the rest is history.
Now we live in a quiet little suburban town (when it isn’t being invaded by gun-toting terrorists, that is! Welcome to Watertown, MA). We have a dog with attachement issues and a cat with food issues. It’s our little corner of paradise.
To get to the point of this rambling how we met story…
One thing I love most about my bearded, criminal record holding man, is that he not only gets the teacher part of my life, he embraces it.
He listens to me rant about standardized testing for the thousandth time. He doesn’t complain when my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Or when I decide to sleep later than usual and then yell at him for waking me up at 7 to check if I overslept. Or when I come home at 9 p.m. He consoles me when I burst into tears about work stress. He cooks me dinner when I’m too tired to move. He listens to me tell story after story after story about my kids.
And today, he took the train an hour out to meet me at school after hours to help me run a fundraising party for 25 shrieking, sugar high, hyperactive little girls between grades 1 and 4. He served pizza, cleaned up their mess. He helped them on the monkey bars, let them call him “hairy head”, let them climb him like a tree. Played capture the flag, and tag, and some sort of game that seemed to just involve running while yelling a lot. He led a group of 4 little girls in an intense hide and seek battle across the school, which included being crammed into very tight spaces, and dealing with the fact that “cheese pizza makes me gassy”, as one odorous little gal announced cheerily.
On the car ride home he said “I’m exhausted. I think every part of my body hurts.” Then a heartbeat later, “That was awesome. I had so much fun!”
This job isn’t easy, and finding someone who understands that and can offer emotional support is so important. But this job is also pretty awesome, and finding someone who understands just how fun these tiny people are, and how great they are to be around, is just as important.
I’m a lucky gal.