Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Mr. Alcantar

Last year the hubby decided to go to grad school to pursue a masters in education and administration credential with the goal of becoming a principal. This path has always seemed one he was destined to take as he has the experience, the skills and the nature to make a really kick-ass principal, but the timing of his decision and acceptance into the program was challenging, given that we had just had our third daughter 1 year prior and I had just gone back to work full time running a very demanding non-profit organization.  We all know in our hearts that this is a wonderful opportunity for my hubby, our family and our world but the truth is that this year has been one of our hardest yet.  We have tried our best to be supportive of each other in our roles professionally and within the family but we are all overworked, sleep deprived and stretched beyond our maximum capabilities.  All of this stress has made it very hard to play nice with each other and we have definitely not always been able to practice our best selves.  To sum it up, this year has sucked. Majorly.  While I know that this experience has always had a clear end date, the weight of it all has made it hard for me to connect with what is on the other side of this journey or remember "why" this is all worth it.
Until today.
I came home at 6:45pm alone with all 3 kids after a full day of unforgiving work, a baseball practice and a ballet presentation, needing to get the girls fed, bathed, homework done and to sleep in an hour's time, and found a one-page letter laying on the table.  It was a letter from the San Francisco Unified School District to my husband giving him official notice of his assignment to work summer school this year.  He has received a letter just like this for the past 5 years as summer school is a needed hustle for our family to pay the bills, but one thing was different about this letter.  This letter listed his position as "Assistant Principal".
When I read those two simple words, all of the stress, pain, resentment, anger and struggles of this past year came pouring out of my heart. I had to choke back tears as all of this weight left me and for the first time since his grad school began, there was nothing in my heart but pride for him.  One of the hardest parts of this year for me is not having the time or energy to give my husband the strong support I believe he needed and deserved.  With having take on the majority of the responsibility of our 3 kids and house, along with running an organization, I haven't had an ounce left for him.  I wish I could have been his biggest cheerleader through this process and lightened his heavy load as he struggled to stay on top of his school work, his students and his family.  I wish I could have meet him each night with happiness and a smile but the truth is most days I could barely hold myself together.  By the time he arrived home at 10pm I was either dead tired or hysterical trying to figure out how to meet tomorrow's needs.
Letters from the SFUSD have not always brought joy into our household but which ever central office administrator typed up this particular letter may be single-handedly responsible for putting my family back together again. Today it became real to me, that this amazing, loving, hard working man of mine is going to be a school administrator.  There was something about seeing that title typed on that letter in reference to my guy that finally made me realize how immense this is. Something changed for me today as I came face-to-face with the light at the end of the tunnel. The work is far from over.  There are still many days and nights I will be alone, he still has to write many papers and pass his classes and he still has to go out there and get hired by school for next year. But as we continue through these next challenging months I get to remember how proud I felt when I read that letter today. Proud not just him but of Rio, Chuli, Justice and myself for surviving this year and playing a role in creating a school administrator who is going to do some amazing things for our city. While my family has had its share of struggles this year, it is comforting to know that there are students and families out there whose own struggles will be lightened because of the hard work, commitment and love my hubby will bring to his new position.
It feels damn good to finally be able to see the positive of this situation and it is HELLA COOL to say that our Papa Bear is an Assistant Principal!

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