i went to my first concert, lou reed at the riverside theater in milwaukee,wi, 1991, graduated High School in wisconsin 1995, met my now wife r. 1996, moved to flagstaff, az (with r.) 1997, graduated with a b.s. in history and moved to madison, wi 2002, was hired as a para-professional at an alternative school 2002, hired as teacher at alternative school 2002, married r. 2003, earned teacher license (special ed. cross cat.) 2004, 1st daughter a. born 2007, became lead of the alternative school 2007, earned masters in special education 2008, 2nd daughter h. born 2009, moved to madison, al and became a stay at home dad 2011.
it was easier than i anticipated leaving the school/profession that i taught at for 9 years. coming into the last school year i knew i needed a change, and had mentioned as much to my employer in november. i needed a new work challenge – the walls of the school were closing in on me. i also recognized that the type of students we were working with were changing. it seemed a more violent and criminally minded kid was coming through the door. of course they are all reachable (ahem most), and i worked with all the students that came through the door with the same respect and openmindedness that they deserve. but, i actually felt fear at school this past year. i’ll leave it at that. i believe it was march when my wife, r.,was notified to the possibility of a job change, and subsequent relocation, within the company she works for. it moved fast. we made the decision to go for it, and now live in madison, al. a touch of irony – my employer offered me a new opportunity for the upcoming school year. i, obviously, declined. i have stayed at home with our kids during the summers when i have break. this feels different. it is open ended. i don’t have the anxiety and planning for a new school year in the back of my mind. our kids are my main priority – and r.’s of course – when i wake each day. i feel lucky to be able to do what i am. my wife r. has worked for her new position, and along with the pride i have in her, is a pride in a relationship where we consciously play to our strengths. now, it’s not all roses and love over here. we are both fiery and have, at times, tempers to match. we are strong willed and stubborn. our kids, as awesomely beautiful and cool as they are, well, they are kids. they test those parts of you that are hard to willingly test yourself. i rarely thought to myself before kids “hmmm i’m going to stand next to a screaming child for 3 hours after getting 30 minutes of sleep and having 2 different people puke on me.” i also wouldn’t have known the feelings that come from watching children grow and experience the world.
yes, we can find these feelings and emotions elsewhere. having kids is not the only way to become complete or feel the most intense of feelings, but it sure forces you to learn in ways you never imagined and sacrifice in ways that you couldn’t dream up. there are people who say “they’re kids, we have been doing this since the beginning of time” yes, true and you may notice in my writing that i volley between the overly romantic and the super jaded.
it’s going to be fun, i am fortunate, and i hope that you will enjoy the ramblings and stories.