I've been thinking a lot about where I am in life and how happy I am. Before Caroline was born I really struggled with letting go of my career--all the time, thought, effort, and energy I had put into teaching. Not that I wasn't excited to have my baby and stay at home--trust me--I was. But I just always wondered if I would sit down somedays and miss having a class. I worried that I would miss teaching and then feel guilty about missing it. I had never not been in school. My mom was a teacher, I was a student, and then I was a teacher. Weekends were always spent in my mom's classroom, I always had projects and assignments, and then I was the one spending late afternoons in my classroom and giving the assignments and projects. Here I am almost nine months into my endless summer (I still feel like because of the weather--I am on a prolonged blissful summer vacation--with dirty laundry and chores mixed in) and I don't miss my school life at all.
I do miss the kiddos that I taught. It was always so refreshing to have a group of helpful girls and silly boys. I miss the stories I got to bring home and the relationships I was able to build with my colleagues and families at the school. I miss projects--I love being busy like that but I do have a different busy-ness that keeps me very occupied and very happy. I miss recesses and fun days. I miss seeing progress in a group of students and the mini celebrations that we would have. I miss planning fun big things. I miss the sweet parents that would send the most thoughtful emails and chocolate pick me ups. I miss the friends I made.
Here I am with a sweet little girl of my own. I get to spend more time on my marriage and with my best friend. I get to show Caroline the world and teach and explore along side with her--oh how she teaches. I get to spend time with girlfriends and have my mom on speed dial--any time of the day. Instead of recess we go on walks every day and explore new parks. And everyday is a celebration because Caroline learns something new that makes me so so excited. Even more than when I was teaching.
If I could go back I don't even know if I would choose to major in teaching. Parts were hard. Harder than anyone can expect or prepare you for. I was so invested in my students that it hurt to see their families hurt or when their parents didn't really care about them. Or when they didn't show for school events and performances. It hurt when they were on kindergarten reading levels and could't multiply or divide. Worry over what would become of this sweet person who clearly struggled trumped any frustration I ever had. It was hard when I did everything alone--lesson planning ain't a walk in the park folks. Sometimes I felt like I had to re-invent the wheel because of a lack of resources. It was hard when I had over thirty students and felt so defeated that I couldn't meet their needs. It hurt when parents would send mean emails--there were only 2 but oh, how they threw me for a loop. Luckily my parents were angels--I have the quilts, pictures, and chocolate (I have the pounds) to prove it. I don't miss the time and energy the job required. Or the toll it takes on your heart--because you literally love each students so much and want the best for them.
I miss those sweet students who showed me what it's like to be goofy and have fun. I miss buying school supplies and having an excuse to buy lots and lots of books. But ultimately I am so so happy to be at home. I would hate missing Caroline's moments and watching her little personality develop more and more each day. Being at home is so much fun and still lots of work. And right now I wouldn't trade any of that for the world.
2 days ago