I would like to say that while grading my students’ essays there is never a dull moment, but that would be an absolute lie.
Mostly grading students’ essays is a boring, excruciating job. It makes me rethink my college career path, my desire to be a teacher, and life in general. Essays written by twelve-year-olds are life-sucking.
But then there are moments, just a line or two, that flip switches. Maybe not in the students’ heads–they still don’t seem to remember to indent a new paragraph or to not use abbreviations in formal writing–but a switch, a light bulb, will go off in my head and, like dominoes, one thing leads to another and then there we are.
It’s not fair that people with disabilities get judged by how they look. Some adults don’t get soul mates because of how they are looked at.
-Makenzie, 7th grader
There are about a million different ways I could go right now. Those two sentences are so full of confusion and discussion points, I could probably make those lines a series of posts, but where I’m going has to do with “soul mates.”
The first thing I wanted to do was run home and tell my children–my daughters–that soul mates aren’t real. That this isn’t something to dream about, something to wish and hope for. Because it will let you down and make all your real, healthy, and sometimes-disappointing relationships feel less than.
The only thing stopping me from this conversation is that my daughters are three and five. They think they’re going to grow up and marry their daddy. They’re not sure if they’ll be the husband or the wife though because those are confusing words to remember. In our house gender roles are the exact opposite of societal norms. I don’t want them to know how our house works isn’t “normal.” I don’t want them to think one way is normal, I want them to figure out what works best for their world when they finally get to make their own.
But I don’t want them to long for, look for, or hold out hope for their soul mate. Because they will always be let down. Chris Graham is not my soul mate. He is my husband, my best friend, my lover, my favorite person to talk to, my biggest cheerleader, and my family.
But he does not complete me, fill me up, or make my world.