Monday, September 13, 2010

It's about that time of year...

No, it's not as if I watch The Little Mermaid once a year around this time. But, it is the time of year, even though it feels a little early to me, to lose my voice. Ah...I see the movie reference light bulb above your heads.

Every school year in the first half of the year, I lose my voice. And I hate it. It's not until you lose your voice, completely or mostly, that you realize just how much you use it for in a day. Seriously, when was the last time you considered what you would do all day if you couldn't TALK? Mine was last year, haha.
  1. It was hard to wake Charlotte up this morning, because usually I coax her awake with a sing-song, "Good morning, Charlotte. Good mor-ning."
  2. We can't sing praise music together on the way to "school"
  3. I can't use my fake excited voice when I'm dropping her off at "school" to make her not have a meltdown
  4. I could not use my teacher voice over my FOUR hour-and-a-half blocks of students today, nor can I read to them in my lovely reading voice, nor can I yell at the ones who need yelling at
  5. I can't sing at all on my way home to pick Charlotte up, and we can't sing on the way home
  6. I can't sing along with her music upstairs and her episode of Sid when we get home
  7. I can't say "Who's here?" in a high excited voice when Adam gets home so she and Simon both run to the front window to look

I didn't realize that I did quite so much singing in my day-to-day life. People who must tolerate me for any period of time in a set space probably already know this about me. Huh.

Think about it, though. Our retired English teacher sage once told me that of all professions, teachers put so much strain on their voices, and it's really true. Who else loses their voice once a year with me? Maybe opera singers? :) Hardly anyone I know. But think back to being in school. What did your teachers do, mostly, good or bad? TALK. And usually loudly, firmly, strongly, with emphasis, excitedly, passionately or weakly. But talk, they did, and frequently.

But probably not me tomorrow. In fact, since I read to a couple of classes today, I may have zero voice tomorrow. And it's Back to School Night. :) I love my job.

Charlotte is recovering from her ear infection. She's saying all kinds of things that we haven't taught her, and she LOVES being able to share her opinion with you. She will agree with you (when she does) with an emphatic "Yes" and usually a head nod. The pediatrician reiterated to me on Friday, as she was pointing out and naming each individual monkey, monkey, monkey on a certain page of a book, that he didn't know what it was about teachers' kids, but that they usually talked early and often. I don't think Adam and I really talk that much (and if you heard that, it was the sound of Brit falling off her bed laughing at the idea of us not talking very much).

In all seriousness though, think about it. The cliche is that we were given one mouth and two ears for a reason, but most of us chat and ramble and yack so much through any given day, do we ever just stop to hear what we're saying? To hear if it even has any value? Maybe, and this is radical, to hear what other people are saying? Our Sunday School teacher said a while back (we're studying the book of James) that so often when we have a conversation with someone, we are thinking about how we will respond instead of listening to them. The more we use our voices, the more us-focused our days and worlds tend to be. Maybe tomorrow we should use our voices less; who knows? Maybe God's voice will fill the void.

Soli Deo Gloria, dear friends.

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