It’s been a really fantastic MN summer, hasn’t it?
We’ve been fortunate to have countless sunny days, blue skies, and heat to prepare us for the big stretch of chill that is sure to be upon us. Between the splash pad, the park, and the stroller, this summer has been wonderful. I can’t help but be so thankful for my job that allows me this time to reboot.
Being a teacher has its advantages, and clearly, the number one advantage for me is time. I have been blessed with the gift of time– time to spend with my family, time to veer from my Type A schedule, and time to visit with my dear friends while I’m away from work. And with summer coming to a close and the school season that starts so soon, I had to take some time to sort through some of the feelings I’ve had this week. There are a few words that come to mind: Bittersweet. Anxious. Unprepared.
It all feels bittersweet. I’m looking forward to having a little more time to myself– to be an adult and visit with coworkers, to be alone after work to run errands, and to get lost in my job and challenge myself to be a better teacher this year. But with those things to look forward to, there is this gigantic hole in what I’m leaving behind. Through temper tantrums, nap schedules, and play dates, it has been invaluable to be Mama at home for three months. And also to be a wife who has had time away from work to focus on the husband! I’m going to miss when Julia runs out of her room after nap and straight into my arms asking me for a snack. I’m going to miss watching Brooks romp around this living room trying to keep up with his big sister. I’m going to miss making waffles, packing picnic lunches, and bringing Daddy “swamdiches” to work. I’m going to miss the chance to hug my kids at any moment of the day.
I’m anxious, even when I know I shouldn’t be. Enter Phil. 4:6-7. I have actually been re-reading the book, Anxious For Nothing by Max Lucado over the last few weeks. It’s a fantastic read that really helps put things into perspective (from a Biblical standpoint) about being anxious and of course, worrying. I’ve spun myself into tizzies already worrying about how the kids will transition back to daycare, how I will get my classroom materials ready, how my husband will feel once our new routine starts. I find myself worrying about these things constantly, and they haven’t even hit yet. And even when I look back and see that they always turn out fine, I still worry. No one likes hiccups or change, but it’s inevitable, and even if there are a few, we always get through it. Typing this is my reminder to pray more 🙂
I’m also feeling unprepared this year. Normally by now I would have all our meals planned out for the next few weeks, my classroom ready, and our bedtime routine adjusted to help ease the transition. Did I mention that I’m Type A? But this year I made myself a promise after Brooks was born to try and be present and in the moment with my kids. It’s hard sometimes with all of the buzzing and noise that surrounds us. In doing this–being in the here and now with them, I put off a lot of my normal Mama stuff. I am not prepared to let this go. This week I’ve been savoring every giggle, putting down the phone to help Brooks try and crawl up the stairs, and bringing Ross and his coworkers donuts. I am not prepared to leave all of these mushy, gushy things that make my heart explode.
The reason why I’m writing this isn’t to make people remind me how lucky I am to have this time, or that everything will be ok. It’s because so many parents are on the flip side. You’re sending your kids off to school. And while some of you are shouting to the rooftops because your kids have end of summer itch, some of you might be feeling nostalgic about seeing your little kindergartner off to school for the first time. So this blog today isn’t about woe is me. Today I have a message for you if you’re sending your kids off to school this year.
Remember that you’re sending them to a special person. This person is dedicating their life to teach, nurture, model, and love your kids day in and day out for the next 9 months when you are away. Thank them for this and encourage them to do a good job. Communicate with them and work together. Remember this.
Remember that your child’s teacher also has a life. And while so many people view a teacher’s summer as “vacation” the teacher may not have viewed it that way. It might have been a three month stint as a stay-at-home-Mama (hello, this is a Full Time Job). It might have been an opportunity to care for an elderly parent (FTJ). It might have been an opportunity to organize fundraisers, Vacation Bible School, or teach summer school (FTJ). It might have been time to work a second job to help pay for their child’s college tuition (FTJ). We are all leaving something behind. Remember this.
My kids are heading back to daycare next week. Monday will be a hard day for me. So aside from this Mama needing a little extra love to get through the day, your child’s teachers need support, love, and encouragement, too. Send them a nice email wishing them well and hats off to a new school year. Send them a little treat for the first day. Remind your children to treat the teacher with love and kindness and respect. Remember this.
I hope you all have a safe and wonderful school year! I look forward to seeing your first day of school photos so very soon <3
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