Miracles do happen
A young mother and music teacher finds the strength to overcome fatigue and keep loving
I am a wife, mother of three and a music teacher at a public school in Boston. My oldest daughter is 7, my boy is 4 and our baby is 16 months old. My husband is a composer.
I love my family and my work, but sometimes it’s hard to keep them separate, and to disconnect after a long day of teaching (8am–3pm). I teach six lessons a day, from kindergarten to 8th grade, in a school where students come from over 60 different countries, speaking over 20 different languages. Eighty-three percent qualify for subsidized lunch, 43% are English language learners, and 22% have special needs.
By the end of the day, I am quite tired. Since I have been jumping, dancing, playing and singing nonstop for seven hours, I often find myself too tired to focus on listening to all of my children’s needs. But there was a particular afternoon that still remains with me.
My oldest had ballet, and it was raining hard. Since I couldn’t take my baby and son to the park as usual, we had to wait in the hallway of the dance studio for over an hour. He was in a particularly hyper mood, running up and down and throwing a little ball he had snuck into the stroller.
I could feel I was reaching my wit’s end. I remember saying to myself: “I can’t do this! I am going to lose it and start screaming and crying ...”
But I stopped for a second, and in my heart I asked for the Holy Spirit to give me patience and strength to love through the afternoon. I had to let go of my need to stay in control, and let God’s love enter in.
Nothing in the external circumstances changed too much. My husband didn’t call saying he was coming earlier, my son didn’t stop running around, but I felt a deep peace in my soul. I knew I was not alone, but with God by my side.
Another challenge that I experienced last school year was a difficult relationship with one of my colleagues, the theater instructor.
I remember how it started. We were getting ready for a concert by about 400 students from K–4th grade, when the school principal, who was supposed to give the official opening, texted me that morning to say she couldn’t be present.
Because I was improvising the speech — in English, not my first language — combined with the nervousness of the moment, I completely forgot to acknowledge my colleague. I immediately texted her, then went to her the next morning to apologize, but there was no response. I was truly sorry for what had happened, and I could understand how hurt she must have felt.
I tried all manner of ways to make it up to her. I would smile at her, but she wouldn’t even look me in the eye. I tried asking her if she needed anything, but she didn’t engage in any conversation. Whenever we had meetings, as the group facilitator, I would ask her opinion on the matters to be decided, but I still wouldn’t get any input. I continued to feel bad about this whole situation.
It just so happened that the first week of Lent arrived, and I shared this circumstance with a group of friends who also try to live the spirituality of unity. I then realized that I had to let go — even of my desire to be forgiven by my colleague. I was able to offer this feeling of rejection, saying to God: “I can’t do anything further. You help me out. If it is your will, I would like to recover this relationship.”
That same week, this colleague came over and apologized for taking it so badly, and we were able to bring another wonderful performance to our community. This relationship has never been easy, but I will never forget what she said when she came to talk to me: “It’s the season of Lent, miracles do happen.”
- M. D., Massachusetts
If you are interested to read more articles like this: