Life has a way of being crazy hectic and overwhelming while going really slowly at the same time. I feel like this time before baby really follows that rule. Something that has helped me pass the weeks is my new job.
I have had a great time becoming a substitute teacher for the past month. I say great, because it's not happy, it's not easy, and it's not fun. But it's great. Great for my wallet, my learning and growth, and for perspective.
The school district I work for is extremely hard. Every school has some really messed up kids from messed up homes. It shocks me every day the stuff I hear and experience. Kids who only have chocolate milk and rice krispies packed for lunch, 5th graders who cannot read, kids who are in 3rd grade but their parents are younger than I am, boys who treat me like scum with such a familiarity that you know, just KNOW, they see it at home towards their mothers and much more.
People teased me, especially when I moved to California, that I wouldn't be prepared for life here and I was so sheltered and fragile. Guess what, I was! And I am 120% grateful for it. I don't see how being exposed to these kind of things would 'improve' me. If anything, they have just made me more grateful for the childhood I experienced and that I didn't have to deal with the kinds of things these kids do.
Within all the harshness I see in the schools, there is some greatness though. Being pregnant makes kids look at you as a 'mother' figure and they treat you that way! It is crazy how much the girls attach themselves to me, commenting on my hair, my eyes, my clothes, my nails, and most of all my baby. I should start a list of the names all the girls come up with for my baby. What makes kids, and people for that matter, so drawn towards babies? Why does a big belly somehow allow people to cross a fence and feel comfortable around you? It's like magic how people talk to me now all because of this big belly and the treasure inside it.
Today was a hard day. I had to turn down a sub job for my favorite class (one that was actually enjoyable to be in) because I had offered to watch a boy for a lady in our ward. I was so angry I was seeing flames. I'm watching this boy for free because his mother is going to school and wasn't responsible enough to find him child-care in time. I growled, cried, and pouted around the house, angry at the situation, the money I was losing, letting the teacher down who now needed to teach while sick, the time I'd need to spend with this kid, etc.
Luckily, Brent came home and set me straight. Sometimes I just need a good kick in the rear to remind myself what's really important. He listened to my stream of agitation and then wisely said, "It's good to do service. With greater sacrifice comes greater blessings." And he's right! No matter the situation, I am able to help someone out and be their blessing for the day, which is worth it. It turned out fine anyways, and I am grateful for the opportunity of serving others, even when it comes at great personal cost. Service is very rarely easy and without sacrifice, and sometimes I forget that.