Tuesday, June 10, 2014

endless summer

Oh, summer...despite the constant (and uncharacteristic) rain, it's feeling good. This is my first "real" summer since becoming a teacher 7 years ago. All of my other summers were filled with volleyball camps, open gyms, and morning conditioning programs, not to mention classes for my master's degree and summer training and stressing for my teaching gigs (back when I was an English teacher).

I bought my monthly planner the other day (PlannerPurchaseDay is one of my favorite days of the year) and was THRILLED to look at a wide open summer.


I was even more thrilled to look into the Fall months without having a slight panic attack. No rosters to get done, no 5 AM practices, no 12(+)-hour days, no boys' missed bedtimes, no sick kids who need Mommy (who couldn't come home from work). Just Fall...waiting to be filled with Little Lotz cuddles, fire-red leaves, brisk hayrides, and the warmth of home. (If my homebodiness isn't showing up in this post, I don't know what is...)

Of course I loved those volleyball girls...I will miss them even more than I originally thought, but I always missed happy times with my own family in the middle of the season, too. Several people have asked how I decided I should stay home; most ask because they have considered it themselves and can't decide what to do. In short, I just knew; however, here are three of the biggest reasons I chose to stay home next year.

First of all, I hope to bring home Sweet C within the next school year. That would have been the third child-related "crisis"/crazy scenario in my four years as a head coach. That's too much. Not to mention the fact that she'll need more bonding time after being in a foster home for so long. (Side note: It breaks my heart every time I read that she has a strong bond with her foster mother, for I know that the bond will have to be broken in order for her to join our family, and I will have to be the one to do it. Although I know it will be far better in the long run, I worry the short-term heartbreak will be excruciating.)

Secondly, in case you've somehow missed it, I am an introvert who likes to do instead of relate. This doesn't just mean I am quiet; it means that being around people (furthermore, leading people) 12+ hours a day was extremely exhausting for me. By the end of the year, even some of the friendly visits of students--whom I loved--at the end of the day got challenging for me. Part of that is my own sin problem: Jenny wants what Jenny wants (usually, that means personal space). God is working on me about that, and I have seen some improvements. But the other part of that has always been my personality, and I'm trying to determine if it's a vice or a virtue: I'd rather do than talk. That makes me sound like an awful woman (or a guy...guys don't tend to be all that relational), but I'm hoping someone understands. In the end, I realized volleyball seasons didn't allow for time to recharge by myself, which I desperately needed. Most importantly, my kids needed it, too, as I am not the most fun person to be around when I'm worn to the bone and just need to be alone for five minutes. (And, yes, I realize I will have the same situation at home at times: Kids who need attention and myself who wants to do my own thing in silence. However, I'm ready for this new challenge, and I think we will all be better off because at least I can keep the house somewhat clean. That's a big deal to my neat-freak self, as even a dirty kitchen could wreak havoc on my fatigued self.)

Third, I couldn't fake the intense love for volleyball anymore. Adoption changed me. It broke my heart. It continues to break my heart. Orphans need families who are crazy enough to be crazy about them. I can't wait to be that family for C, and I hope to be more involved in adoption/advocacy as I enter this new phase of life. But volleyball--for all of the fun it's offered me over the decades--is not in my heart anymore, and my players needed it to be there. For all the fun it provided me (and still provides me, when I dare to get my old self on the court), it just didn't seem important anymore, and it needed to be important for me to keep coaching it.

And yes, I could have just given up volleyball and taught English. But it wasn't right. For a thousand reasons, it wasn't. There are other important things out there and--at least for now--those other things are the things on which I need to focus.

But seriously, how sweet are those vb girls? LOVED this note.
(And the key..."because you always sent me to find your keys!")
Wonder how long it will be before Brody asks if I can please go back to school?