By now you have probably discovered my new love of the “Kid Snippets” videos on Youtube. My kids and I watch them all the time and still laugh at every one. One of my favorites is “The Basketball Class” where one kid protests exercising by saying, “I’m serious guys! I have sweaty!” Now I use that line all the time.
Here in Costa Rica I have sweaty all day and all night. We are 9 degrees above the equator, but above 3,000 feet in altitude. So though the temps stay between 70 and 90 degrees year round, the humidity wraps around your head like a wet blanket. Most buildings are made of cinder blocks which are earthquake, termite and (sort of) mold resistant AND have the added benefit of keeping the buildings cool like a basement.
But the classroom building where I teach is not made of cinder blocks. It’s some kind of particle board covered with drywall. It’s about a million degrees in there. I start sweating at 8 a.m. and by noon it’s hard to breathe in there. My students sometimes complain of headaches, and it’s hard for them to concentrate. Often we take our books and search out a cool, back hallway where my kids can lay on the tile floor and read their lessons.
I have asked for an air conditioner for my classroom, but electricity is terribly expensive here. Recently the office informed me that I would need to completely pack up my classroom at the end of the year because they are planning on raising the roof on the building over the summer break. The idea is that with a higher roof, the heat can rise and ventilate out the top instead of pressing down on us. Apparently raising the roof is cheaper than running an air conditioner all year long. In the meantime, I have sweaty.
After having 3 straight weeks of hosting teams and not seeing my husband night after night, we have a date night this week. We are going to the movies, and I don’t even care which one we are seeing. I just want to talk. I might “need” a coffee afterwards if I haven’t spent all my words yet.
I’m a pretty typical woman. I’m wired for words. I write in my blog AND a private journal AND a prayer journal AND I keep a notebook of quotes I like. On top of all that, I fill up with words by reading a lot. I don’t talk as much as most women, but I definitely talk more than my husband. When he’s not around much, I’m overrun by children in my life (both my own and my school kids) who all talk my ear off while my own words just bottle up inside. The pressure builds.
A few of the kids in my class are super random. They will raise their hands in the middle of a math lesson and tell me that they once lost a tooth at their grandparent’s house or that they really like swimming. “OK, back to planet earth,” I think. I can tell when I’ve had too many kid conversations when I no longer have patience for these random chatty moments. I know when my eyes glaze over and I can’t even humor the child that I am in desperate need of “adult conversation.” Date night is just the thing I need.
My poor husband, he feels like he has it so hard in life. I don’t ask for much, just a well placed grunt every few sentences to show me that he’s listening. But often times even that is too much to ask. I accuse him of not listening to me, and he repeats the last sentence I said just to prove that he was listening. I say that’s not listening, that’s repeating.
I no longer ask for him to tell me what he’s thinking. I consider that an amateur question that young, inexperienced wives ask their baffled husbands. I have found that I can continue a stream of thought without his verbal prompting or participating. I only want the grunt to feel like I’m talking to a human. My standards are low, I know.
So tonight I will unload the congestion of my thought life, empty 3 weeks worth of thoughts onto my husband. Pray for him.