I went back to school today after almost a month. Between February vacation, sickness, and bereavement it was a long stretch away from the school library. I had the typical anxiety dreams last night. I was cranky towards my husband during breakfast.
I spoke with my mom during the ride into school. “You need to just get through this day when people will tell you they’re sorry for your loss and then you can move on,” she said.
She lost her husband but she’s still strong for me when I need assurance after losing my dad. It’s new territory to tread. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel real. Sometimes it hits like a blow to the gut. It was time. Time to get back to the normal routine.
I assessed the circulation desk and was pleasantly surprised to see how well the parent volunteers and guest teacher “held down the fort.” I reoriented myself and sorted through mail. I placed all the sympathy cards to the side to read later. I didn’t want to get emotional at work. Several colleagues came by to offer a hug. The school day began.
The day went by in a flash. I barely had time to think about anything but the moment. It was pretty awesome to see the kids. One of my regulars (a fifth grade boy who likes to deliver the hold books before school) gave me the best smile when he walked in and saw me behind the desk. “It’s great to see your face, J.J.”
“You too. I missed you.”
“I missed you too. It’s good to be back. I’ve got lots for you to do this morning.”
I think my mom was right (as usual). I got through the first day back and now I can move on to the normal school routine.