Well, J has grown in leaps and bounds...almost crawling, almost sitting up, close to teething. Today he reached the fabulous milestone of ratcheting his cries up to a scream when he's really hungry. It's that cry you cringe at when you hear it in the grocery store and promptly turn your cart around and head toward...anywhere else. But now he has a few new toys from Santa (aka grandparents), so life isn't too bad (as long as milk comes rightnowimmediatelyfasterSCREAM). I'm pretty excited for his first Christmas and all the ensuing pictures. He got a sweet little Christmas outfit from my dad and stepmom, so that will enhance the cuteness. Not that I'm biased.
On a more sober note, yesterday I found out the boy I home-tutored for most of the last school year passed away on Monday. He had a rare form of cancer and his family viewed his survival as a long shot, but boy did they try. Kid went through surgeries, chemo, you name it. I got him through ninth grade English... we met once a week. We did a lot of talking about non-English related topics, mostly movies, books, Buffalo sports teams, and the annoyance of younger siblings. Andrew was mature for his age and handled his illness with a lot of humor and calm. A huge sports fan, he collected all sorts of memorabilia, and foundations such as Carly's Kids and Make a Wish helped him get a few more, plus visits and introductions to many of his sports heroes. When I heard he'd died, I broke down because...why? Why a teenage boy? Why right before Christmas? And then I thought about it...this last surgery was a long shot at best. It may sound terrible, but now he doesn't have to suffer chemo or the many side effects, no more colostomy bags, no more weight loss or worrying that a simple cold would become not so simple. T also pointed out to me that I had the privilege of giving him a normal spot in his life, even if that normalcy involved me chiding him about missed homework deadlines and making him write essays. I'm so glad I got to work with him and get to know him. It's one of the privileges of teaching.
But I've also begun to realize that I can do that sort of helping elsewhere, too, outside of that profession. The idea of getting out of teaching for a while has rolled around in my subconscious for a few months now. I'm meeting tomorrow with a colleague of my dad's who may be able to connect me with others who can help me find work. I'm cautiously optimistic...the unemployment's running out relatively soon, and I have to have something under my belt. In the meantime, I can remember Andrew and hug my own precious, healthy boy. If I don't get to this site before Sunday, merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it (and happy Hanukkah right now!) and--J is kind of crawling as I write this. I'm going to go watch that little miracle.
Love to all of you.