Keeping on keeping on…

Six months ago, I was chugging Hot Lips pear soda and clear protein drinks (though not at the same time) as part of my newly designated liquid diet while waiting for Baby Fierce to make her move.

After the most intense physical experience of my life (I’d had the hubris to tell my students that birthing would probably be like a really long bike ride. They’ve since asked if that was an accurate description, at which point all I could do was laugh at myself), Sophia Grace made herself known with some strong-throated yells. Everything about her amazed us–her wild head of hair, her dark eyes, her look of pure contentment when we held her.

And so it goes. Time does its flying thing, and though you wouldn’t know it from the 95 degree days we’ve been having in Portland, our spring time Sophia’s now in her third season, and the arrival of fall means I’m back to work.

Which has been incredibly, unbelievably hard. Intellectually, I knew that leaving her every day would be a big shift, but I really wasn’t prepared for how much my heart would ache. It has nothing to do with worries about her. She’s with Josh most days, which is an absolute blessing for all of us, and we found a lovely woman to watch her a couple times a week. I know she’s happy and safe and loved, loved, loved. But I’m not there. Instead, I’m trying to remember what materials to photocopy and which room I’m teaching in and how to stay focused during long meetings and what clothes to pack so that after my bike ride to work I don’t have to teach in spandex all day and…and…and…

A dear friend reminded me that being a teacher means even though I’m not with my So-G, I’m still impacting (hopefully in a meaningful way:-) other children. And that does help. I love my students–their wacky energy, their earnest questions, their exuberant hugs–, and this week, they definitely kept me going. But I’m glad to be home on this sunlit Saturday, while Baby Fierce naps after a morning of dancing and singing and reading and loving. I mean, who can resist this face?

P.S. If you’re not on Facebook, you can now follow the links below to see videos of So-G from the last 6 months (I can’t post them on my blog…I’d have to pay extra for that. And I’m cheap, so that’s not gonna happen).

About jessicaepierce

Jessica Pierce has worked a a farm hand, file clerk, bicycle mechanic and teaching poet. After taking up space every where from the San Joaquin Valley to Arkansas to Boston to Guatemala to India to Oakland, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, a sitar player, and their two year old daughter. As the lead teacher and language arts teacher at an alternative school outside of Portland, she works with high school students at risk of dropping out. She also teaches summer creative writing classes at St. Mary's Academy in downtown Portland. Her work has been published in the Painted Bridge Quarterly, the Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine,, The Times of India (Kolkata), and the Northwest Review, which nominated her for Meridian magazine’s 2007 Best New Poets anthology. She’s had the privilege of studying with Rosanna Warren, Dorianne Laux, Pimone Triplett, Sam Witt and Jorie Graham.
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