My palms are preemptively moist, and I can feel inane stream-of-consciouness chatter welling up in my throat. The first date jitters have me firmly in their sweaty grasp. What will I wear? (probably one of the two t- shirt/ drawstring pant options I've had in rotation for the last ten days). What will I say? (probably something meandering and vaguely alarming despite my attempts to convey competence and ease). I meet my new crop of students tomorrow, and I'm as nervous as Richard Simmons in a doughnut shop.
Based on prior experience, and for my own sanity, I am letting go of any expectation that they will find me:
appealing to spend time with
fair and balanced
a snappy dresser
Spending time with the under-four crowd has me re-evaluating what I can reasonably expect from my more seasoned charges-to-be, including that they will probably not:
pee on me (though they may projectile vomit on my flip flops)
expect me to cut their food into bite-sized morsels
require me to wipe their "boogies"
behaviorally implode if they skip nap time
demand endless encores of my critically acclaimed finger puppet
show (Mr. Corncob Sings the Blues)
This is lulling me into an undoubtedly false sense that the upcoming semester will feel like an interlude at Canyon Ranch in comparison to the demanding vigilance of tiny tot stewardship. Apparently, my memory has been adversely affected by all of the goo goo talk and slobbery kisses (I will miss these, but may jump into the Ganga if they become a feature of the next 10 weeks). It's hard to describe the awkward gravity of meeting the collection of people who will become your life's next "Big Lesson". I almost want to say "Hi. Thanks in advance for helping me be a better person- in case I forget to mention it when I feel like duct-taping your mouth shut and lashing you to the top of a bus. You're a gem." Here goes...