Showing posts from June, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Other People's Children

A note from a fourth grader. It's my favorite moment in one of my favorite movies: her work completed, the Banks family restored, Mary Poppins is just about to take off when the parrot head on her magic umbrella calls her out, chiding her for not acknowledging her own feelings, particularly jealousy of the father the children love more than their nanny. She responds that that's as it should be, and that "practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking." I don't consider myself perfect, or even practically perfect. The most Methodist thing about me is my fundamental awareness of just how flawed I am. I've spent the last year having this driven home to me again and again as I've struggled to hang onto a job that was rejecting me. This was most true in my work with an especially recalcitrant bunch of fifth grade boys whose collective goal in music class was to get me to explode. I tried strategy after strategy, and none of