I said that the worst thing would be people looking at me and judging me. Making an opinion for themselves how they think I am doing. Looking me over. Also, I was afraid of crying in front of everyone. And lastly, I was afraid no one would talk to me. She wanted me to come up with a plan, so I called a friend and asked if we could drive together. If I cried, I could leave. I could always just e-mail later and tell what happened. So, I decided to go.
Well, the meeting started out on a bad note.
Firstly, we got there first. So as people started to come in, they could see me, but I couldn't see them. They also, as I feared, weren't saying anything to me. It felt really tense to me....I don't know if it felt like that to others. They were talking to each other...how was your summer, blahblahblah. My cheeks got red and I got so nervous. I wanted to run away. I could feel my stress building. I looked at every piece of paper around me. Thinking back, I bet my body language actually told people, "STAY AWAY!" I wasn't looking up, I probably looked like pretty cranky and nervous.
Then.....we had to go around and tell about our summers and something wonderful that is happening.
I am so jaded. I almost laughed. Wonderful? What wonderful thing could be happening? Everyone went around talking about...their kids. Their new babies. Their grandkids. There are so many people in my school that are pregnant or have just had kids. When it got around to a girl who is about 7 months pregnant, she didn't even mention it. That was for me. She was thinking of me and feeling guilty.
I hate that :(
BUT I kept thinking...what am I going to say? What if cry?
That is awful. I have an amazing, loving husband. We spend all day together and we love it. We ride bikes, take walks, work out, watch Big Brother :), surf the net, read books in bed, talk about if we sell our house, how much we miss the babies, how different it would be now, how much we love each other. That is wonderful. We are going to Las Vegas to say F you to our due date and celebrate our 3rd anniversary together.
I have wonderful friends who love me and support me even if I'm being annoying, or weepy, or complaining, or getting angry over nothing.
So what if I cry!?
But all I could spit out, besides my tears was, "Um...we're going to Vegas?" Everyone laughed. And I really looked at them. And all of the sudden it was ok. Someone said, "We are so glad you're back; we missed you." And they said it with sincerity. Everyone agreed and nodded and smiled and gave me looks not of pity, but of understanding and sympathy. I felt so much better that the tension had been broken and that I had started out with a small group. For as much as I complain sometimes about some of the nasty colleagues I have, some of them are so amazing.
After the meeting, a colleague had a long talk with me. She said some of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. She said that she really felt my absence; that I was a vibrant part of the staff and it was noticeable when I was gone. She told me that the kids cried when they heard about the babies; they love me and I touch them and they were sad for me. This made me just shrivel up into tears. I do love my job. I love the kids and they mean more to me than just a "job." She told me she had a lot of trouble on the way to having her children, and I never, ever would have known or guessed. You never know. We don't talk about it.
Well, this is getting long. But I'm glad that the thought of going back seemed to be worse than actually doing it.