April 2018

Friday, April 30, 2010

NL #10: Like a Mother?

Mycutefriendsean is an outstanding teacher. He’s one of my favorite colleagues. Heck, he’s one of my favorite people. I think of him like a younger brother. Like my younger brother, he’s smart, amusing and charming.

At a meeting this week, he described our working together when he was first teaching. I only heard one part of the conversation: “She was like a mother to me.” A MOTHER! I can see a big sister, an older cousin, even an aunt or a goddess. But a MOTHER?

Carol Burnett convinced me long ago not to have children. In her monologue, she explained pregrancy and birthing to those who had not been pregnant or given birth. Imagine pregancy: take your bottom lip and stretch it over your head. Imagine giving birth: blow a bowling ball out of your nostril.

Other than the fact that I would have had Sean when I was 14 years old or so, I’m not sure why I found this so shocking. It’s not the age thing: birthdays have never bothered me (or really excited me); my partner is closer to my mother’s age than to mine and my youngest aunt is closer to my age than to my mother’s. And I love my mother. So why such a shocker?

I wonder if it has something to do with my vision of myself in the world. Nurture isn’t really my strongest characteristic. That’s how I think of mothers: nurturing. I’m not real strong with self-sacrifice when it comes to things like sleep either. I don’t like cleaning up other people’s vomit or wiping their butts, though I’ve done both. I also don’t like cooking for people who won’t eat my food, though I’ve done that, too.

I think of myself as an adventurer, an explorer more than someone who keeps the home fires burning. I think of my relationship to my colleagues as one in which we’re on a journey together, each stumbling on a worthwhile attempt to reach and teach our students.

Then again, Mother’s Day is next weekend. I wonder if I’ll get a card. Or flowers. Or maybe even a nice bottle of wine.


1 comment:

  1. Your traits that remind me of motherhood (and you must remember that my associations of motherhood begin with MY mother, a very atypical mother):

    1) Your adventurous side.
    2) You give honest, fair, and not defeating criticisms.
    3) I would argue you ARE quite nurturing. I've never seen a teacher so patient in the meeting area or while conferring.
    4) You say what you think, relatively uncensored.
    5) You're straight up wise.


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