I was struck by something tonight while attending Parker's strings concert at the boys' elementary school. The idea of roots came rushing at me as I sat in front of a family who we've known through schools of one sort or another for a while now. The Walshes were at the preschool we went to. Their daughter, Allie, and Parker have been in the same class a few times. I'm thinking this in a very general sense, without much pondering really, when BLAMO... it hits me..
Christopher is off behind the audience playing with Allie's little sister. Chris is pushing his way toward his 4th birthday, and Allie's sister is 4 1/2. Parker and Allie were in the same preschool class when they were the age their little siblings are NOW.. WOW.. here are these two preschoolers running around with their nearly 10 yr old siblings, which means that, for all intents and purposes, Allie has been part of Parker's life for as long as he can remember.
Matthew was running around the cafeteria during the performance, entrenched with other students he knew from school. At one point, he siddled up next to his Principal, who is aptly named Dr. Root, and had a quiet conversation. She thanked him for stopping by to say hello. She knows his name.
Steve and I waved and nodded at faces familiar to us either from preschool, or school events, or baseball, or really from anywhere. My initial feeling of "we don't know anyone" is clearly replaced by a sense of familiarity as I see face after face.
In a different setting, but on the same topic, I think about my work. I've been at my school for 7 years now. The school's doors have been open only for 8 years. I was a counselor at the school for my first 2 years there, and have been a teacher for the last 5. And for most of those 5 I've been threatening that I am going to leave. It's a crazy place to work; folks bicker and snipe at each other, our administration leaves a few things to be desired, the parents are their own breed of crazy... and yet, year after year, I stay.
Except for, perhaps, this coming year, it looks as though I will make good on my threat to leave. It's a long story, but I have myself slated at another middle school for next year. And now I have the arduous task of not only packing up my room, and saying goodbye to the people I work with day in and day out, but also then reestablishing roots somewhere else. For as crazy and insane and infuriating as my current school is (and it is all those things, and more, I know) the idea of leaving is suddenly not so attractive. Now that I know I am most likely jumping ship, perhaps the turbulence is not so bad.
I must admit, this has been an odd awakening for me. I don't feel grounded here in the desert. I have never felt grounded here, and quite frankly, am not sure I really WANT to be grounded here. I still feel quite strongly that my roots are back in Connecticut. I struggle with the pull and desire to get back there again, back to where I feel I have my footing and MY roots. And yet, somehow, without really meaning to, we have planted and nurtured roots here. My kids have them. Friends they have known nearly their whole lives surround them on a daily basis. Without meaning to, we, the adults, have become entrenched with those roots as well.