During March Madness, my sports aficionado husband was all over watching the college basketball games. I lost interest after my itty bitty alma matter from undergrad, University of Northern Colorado got knocked out in the first round and my grad school alma matter, UC Berkeley was nowhere to be seen. I did have a little interest in picking the final four based upon my favorite mascots. I have a husky mix dog, so I did quite well in my predictions.
During this time period, husband and I had a nice agreement that we would have a balanced evening television routine, and we got to also watch the Do-it-Yourself Channel’s “Mulch Madness” series as well. I became slightly obsessed with Yard Crashers, in which a lovely man comes up to people in home stores and offers to redo their whole yard in a weekend. Husband I and look for this guy every time we are at OSH or the Home Depot. Where is he? I have some major yard needs and no time. Unfortunately, the guy is nowhere in sight, so we are on our own.
Last weekend, I started my weeding and planter box project I meant to start in 2010 and it was so therapeutic. In the DIY shows, they are big on “The Reveal”—when they show the homeowners the final product. In truth, I’m not sure how this falls under “doing it yourself,” as I always see a team of a dozen or so professionals doing all the work and then voila! Here’s your perfect yard in a half an hour! My planter box project, however, was truly DIY, and I got to do “The Reveal” with my husband, and it looks great. I was so friggin’ pleased with myself, you would have thought I won the final four of gardening.
Later, I thought about why it was so satisfying to me, and I realized that it is because my work as a school psychologist is the opposite of that. I spend my days digging out weeds of negative influence on kids, teaching gardeners how to take care of my students, planting seeds of ideas, and waiting. Then waiting. Then more planting, more teaching, and more weeding. And waiting. I don’t get to see The Reveal that often. I wish I could fix up a kiddo in my office, then present him or her back into the classroom, all prettied up and blooming, academically, behaviorally, and emotionally. Voila! All better!*
In reality, I just have to trust that all the ugly demolition of old ideas phase, and the replanting phase will eventually come to fruition and that no one will stomp on my student’s new seeds of ideas about how to change for the better. Sometimes, I just wish it was easier, and I could storm into a classroom, ala Yard Crashers, with my tv crew and team of professionals, pluck a kid out to fix in a weekend, and everyone would be happy with the final product. Until then, I will just have to keep planting, waiting, nurturing, and having faith in the process.
*I had an intern once who wanted to go into school psychology because as she said, she had a “fix it personality.” I tried not to squash her dreams, not at least until second semester. At her final evaluation, I told her that a “fix it personality” may be a double edged sword, because we don’t really have the power to “fix” all kids. She said, “Okay! I’ll fix that about my personality!” I loved the enthusiasm. I hope she is doing well in our field…