Friday, August 26, 2011


This week I returned to adjunct teaching at Delta Community College after having the past three months to do what I pleased, or, what Reagan pleased.  Last fall, at five months pregnant, I began teaching Public Speaking and Developmental English for Delta.  I enjoy the teaching, but at times it takes some acting skills on my part to leave home, leave Reagan (sometimes wiping spit-up off my clothes and checking that there is no poop anywhere on me as I enter the classroom), & stand in front of 25 students & explain when to use your & you're or to & too, or convince them that it is in their best interest to eliminate contractions from their formal writing.  The 'leaving Reagan' part is made possible by my wonderful mother & mother-in-law, who keep Reagan while I teach, enabling me to keep a foot in the classroom while Reagan is young.  Reagan and I are blessed to have them waiting in the wings whenever we are separated, and I have no idea how people who live away from their family function when they have small children.  No idea.

I have also recently begun writing blogs professionally (laughing as I type that . . .).  I am getting paid, so I suppose it's alright that I use the word "professionally."  Heath, my future brother-in-law, works for a company named Social Compass in Dallas and kindly recommended me as a potential blogger.  My cursory understanding of their business is that they utilize Facebook and Twitter and other social media to drive online traffic for their clients.  One way they accomplish this is by keeping fresh content about their clients' product available for Google to pull (b/c Google likes fresh content).  I am writing blogs about furniture / home accessories / decorating for one of their clients.  I knew one day my HGTV obsession would pay off, & in this instance I use the phrase pay off quite literally.  So, I am suddenly a bit busier, but finding, as I did when I began this blog, that the more I write, the more I want to write (now to recreate that feeling in my English students).

I have been thinking about the many roles I play (because I was an English major & reflective thinking comes with the territory), especially in comparison to Reagan's singular role of being adorable, a role she is unaware she's playing, & yet, she plays it so well.  I use this example with my English students.  There are eight parts of speech, but they can function in different ways in sentences.  The parts of speech can wear different hats, if you will.  Sometimes I even say What hat is the noun wearing in this sentence?  Its subject hat, its object hat . . .   A noun is always a noun, but it plays a role in a sentence.  I am sure my students think I am a little nuts, but I don't care.  I once had a professor make the statement that classrooms are not democracies, and I concur.  If they want to see English 101, they will humor me & my hat analogy.

Visiting during the holidays last year, Trey's uncle remarked that Trey & I would now be known as "Reagan's mom" & "Reagan's dad."  It's definitely a hat that comes with immense responsibility, but infinite rewards as well, & it has redefined every other role I play.  The "Mom" hat causes a seismic shift in your definition of everything, even little things like "I'll be there soon," or "a quick trip to the grocery store," or "is that clean," or "I am tired."  I am ashamed that I was ever late for anything before I had a baby; whatever my excuse was, it wasn't good enough.

As you age, your hat collection expands for a few decades, and at times there may be so many on the rack it makes you dizzy.  If you are blessed with a long life, you slowly start to hang up many of your hats, and might find yourself wishing you had a reason to wear the ones you once looked forward to shedding.  

Shakespeare, via Jaques, was probably right:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts. .  .

I have many parts to play right now, but I am blessed and happy and figuring out how to balance it all, with my Mom hat always perched high atop my head.  As she grows, I pray Reagan wears her hats with grace, and I pray my pride for her always eclipses the inevitable sadness that accompanies change and growth.

Of course, I must end with a montage of Reagan in her many hats:


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