School Daze

So, this is it.  The end of something wonderful. The beginning of something yet to be determined. And I feel…I feel ok about it. I think.

Summer vacation is officially over. B started his new Pre-K school last week. I am starting my thirteenth year teaching tomorrow. Well, I won’t be teaching tomorrow. It’s a PD day for teachers. So I guess it’s my thirteenth first day of school for the year. Not including the eighteen first days before I graduated college.

So clearly I’m all over the place here. So, I made the decision to blog instead of going to sleep like I should because I knew that I would not sleep without making some sense out of what is going on in my head and the only way to do that is to write it out.

So we move forward. But let me go backward just for a sec. This summer rocked. I spent quality quality time with my amazing children. I watched them grow and change and laugh and live and I tried to soaked up every moment. And I think that normally I would be devastated that the summer is ending and so are these moments. But, as of right now, I really am not. I’m anxious to get this first and second day…maybe this whole week….over with, but I am not weepingly devastated to part ways with my 2 and a half month 24/7 mom job with my kids. Here are the reasons why:

1) Last week, my sweet, funny, sensitive, independent B became a leech of sorts. He stuck himself to my side and whined and cried and whined some more until I wanted to scream. I saw a side of him that I normally don’t see and it awoke a side of me that is wretched and ugly and that I am not at all proud of. I know it had a lot to do with the transitions that are happening (as he is a mini-me, he does not do well with them, either), but I wonder if also we were just reaching our being-together breaking point. There was a lot of quality AND quantity this summer and the quantity may have become too much for both of us and was beginning to border on the unhealthy.

2) This is the maiden voyage of my dream come true. In 2007 before all the shit hit the fan and we all lost all of our money, jobs, etc. and there was still financial hope for a just-turned-thirty-year-old, I bought a book. It was a step-by-step guide on how to retire a millionaire and it was written for the youngish middle class woman. I had big plans. I took that book and devoured it.  Then I hit the worksheets. It asked me to write down my biggest financial goal. And I wrote down, “To be able to stay home with my kids for a little while and then work part time.” The funny thing was, I didn’t even have kids yet. B was born two years later (less than a year after the “bubble” burst) and, thanks to the fact that I lost more than half of my savings, I was able to stay home only six months before going back full-time. Which was excruciating. Three years later, C was born and we had saved enough so that I was able to stay home for ten months. But now I had two and one was a crazy active three year old and the other a newborn that I couldn’t adequately nurse and I found it very very overwhelming. Especially once the New England winter came and it wasn’t so easy to get them out of the house and keep them entertained for eight long hours a day. Last March I was beaming as I entered my classroom for the first time in almost a year because I was SO ready to use my brain in a totally different way and just get a break from the 24/7 mothering that was leaving me so depleted and causing me to become this very ugly person. Not the type of mother that I would choose to be.

But 3 months later, I was fried in a totally different way. I was overloaded. I was doing two full time jobs simultaneously. I was lucky to be dressed every morning and I know I looked like poop. And my memory was shot. And I wasn’t doing a particularly good job at either job.

But this is it.  This is my dream, my goal, that I have had since 2005: to work part-time doing something I love while being able to spend more time with my kids. Part-time. Two and a half days a week. How can that be bad?

So this is it.  This is why it is all ok.  This is why, even though I am walking into a new school with strange colleagues tomorrow and a whole new clientele of students the following day, I have a good deal of hope that this situation will provide me with the balance that has been lacking in my life for the past four years.

And so that is all. It is way past my bedtime and I am squinting trying to keep my eyes open, but I am less anxious and more hopeful than I have been on most of those other thirty-one nights before the first days of school. So this was all worth it.

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