When did I become such a cranky old lady, I thought as I looked out at my class.
In all honesty, it wasn't entirely their fault that I was feeling grumpy, although they certainly weren't doing anything to improve my mood. A lack of sleep and feeling like a failure as a writer and as a human being in general had put me in a foul mood. Ever since I had woken up at 5:00 a.m., one thought had repeatedly sounded in my head: I don't want to go to work.
It would have been better if I hadn't.
I had no patience for the tattling and the constant talking that interrupted nearly every sentence I tried to utter. Just let me get through this lesson became my mantra of the day.
"Can we stay in at recess?" I was asked repeatedly.
"Hell, no!" I wanted to cry out. I didn't. Instead I calmly explained that only people who had work to finish could stay in.
I couldn't wait for the day to end, although after the dismissal bell two meetings awaited me; not exactly the perfect ending to my day, but I suppose it fit. Just as I was wrapping up the day and getting ready to hustle my students out the door, I spotted it: a simple goldenrod-colored Post-it clinging to the edge of my desk.
My shoulders slumped and I immediately regretted all my grouchiness of the last few hours.
"Thank you, I needed that. If only it was true," I said as I put my arm around Mia and gave her a squeeze.
"It is true," she said, looking up at me with her eyes shining with trust. "I wouldn't have written it if it wasn't."
Just then I got tackled from behind and two arms wrapped themselves tightly around my waist. Turning around I was greeted with another smiling face. Grouchy or not, I was still loved.
Almost two hours later, when I finally was freed from the staff meeting and heading at a slightly-above-the-speed-limit pace to pick up my son from track practice, I noticed at long last just how beautiful the day was. The pale blue sky spread as far as I could see. The crystal clear air made for majestic views of the line of purple mountains frosted with white on the horizon. Trees burst with pink and white blossoms, and recent rains had painted the vacant lots green. I watched as two large geese ascended from an open field and flew low over the land side by side. And for the first time that day, I took in a deep breath and released all the frustrations I had been carrying with me.
All day I had held onto my own personal rain cloud, obscuring what had been in front of me all along: a beautiful day that held the promise of spring. And the promise of a better tomorrow.