July 22, 2011

Mrs. Hardy's Honey

I spent most of my life thinking that the perfect job for me was a “stay at home mom.”  As a middle schooler and high schooler, I assumed that you went to college, fell in love, got married, bought a house, and then starting having babies.  Well, fortunately God knew that was a silly plan for me and had much better things in store.  Over the past ten years or so, I’ve found myself passionate about a career (and a calling) that I tried desperately to avoid.  My mom had been a teacher, both of my grandmothers were teachers, it seemed somehow too easy or too obvious a choice.  But after dabbling in some other things, it became clear to me that if you love children more than anything else in this world then being a teacher is just what you ought to do.  Besides, our schools desperately need smart and hard working people in them.  (Wow, that sounded a little pompous; but it’s true.)  And I love it.  I love watching kids figure things out and problem solve and learn about their world and each other.  I love their eyes when they listen to you read a story aloud or the pride in their voices when they share something they’ve written.  There’s no high better than seeing a child learn how to read and learn to love to read.  It’s the best!  So, a career that I kind of fell into has become a big part of who I am.  It’s more than just a job; it’s a passion and truly a calling for me.  A lot of how I define myself is as an educator.  I love my students and their families.  I am blessed to work at a fabulous school with a wonderfully supportive and loving community.  It’s such a great situation and a source of so much joy that I actually struggled a lot with the decision of whether I should stay home with Clara.  However, this old dream isn’t dead yet either.  The past month of being at home with her and learning who she is and what she needs so intimately has been one of the greatest adventures of my life.  Especially after our beginning, I just can’t quite imagine handing her off to someone else for eight hours a day right now.  Plus, when cold and flu season hits this fall and winter, it’s probably best for her fragile little lung to not be in daycare.  So, we’ve planned for a different kind of budget and are stepping out on faith a little for me to take a one year leave of absence and devote the 2011-2012 school year to Clara Mae.  Again, I’m fortunate that my county will hold a spot for me in my same school for a year so I can return to what I love.  But I’m so thankful for this opportunity to be a full time mom and give all I’ve got to Clara and our family and our household for a year.  What a privilege and a responsibility I won’t take lightly.  I’m also fortunate to have been asked to teach one undergraduate class in the education department at Salem College this fall – Children’s Literature.  So I’ll get to keep my toes dipped into the world of education a little (and make enough money to cover the health insurance.)

Perhaps you know how kitchy elementary school teachers can be.  We love us some themes and some coordinating colored bulletin boards and well, you get the picture.  I used to call my students “Mrs. Hardy’s Honeys” and my kindergarten classroom was all honeybee themed.  I have to say, it was pretty stinkin’ cute. 







But not quite as cute as this new Hardy’s honey:



Spit bubbles are my new favorite thing

Sleepy eye rubs




 Here's to 12 more months of my undivided attention, Clara!  You're the sweetest Hardy's Honey I've ever had.

17 comments:

  1. This blog entry touches my heart in many ways... I am so proud of you for being the gifted teacher you are. And these past weeks, I have rejoiced in watching you blossom as a mom and manager of your home. Folks, she is even making the bed every day now!!! I love you, sweet daughter, and will miss being with your school children this year. However, I look forward to sharing new adventures with you and Clara in the year ahead!

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  2. Aw yay! We are so happy for you!!!

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  3. Well...I am so excited for Clara...and you, too! I am sure you will be reading to Clara all year:) Love from Elberton, Mary Ann & Chuck

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  4. Chuck just looked at her outfit and did NOT understand the bumble bee...Bob Hardy is a UGA fan...right? Chuck thought for a moment that she was dressed as a Georgia Tech girl ~ LOL! I had to scroll up to show him that she was a "honey"...he is the husband of a school teacher, so then he "got" it. Chuck also said, "I know they are beside themselves with that baby." Again ~ love from Elberton, Mary Ann

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  5. Chrissy, you will have a lifetime to teach other children, but you would not be able to recapture this very important year with Clara. I think you are making a very wise decision, one that will be of the best interest of your family. Being able to teach a class sounds like icing on the cake! One of my favorite periods of my life was working part time - home enough to enjoy being home, making good meals, spending time with my daughter, enjoying life at a less hectic pace, and thoroughly enjoying my job. I have come to the conclusion, you either have money or time, but very rarely will you have both. Enjoy being home, be frugal and treasure each day you can spend with your daughter!
    Blessings,
    Joanne

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  6. So happy for you! I know we used to talk about how rewarding it is to teach kindergarten because of the growth that we see in one year. This year at home will top any year you'll ever have at school... I promise!

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  7. Oh Chrissy! Clara is such a baby doll!! Something in those first two pictures really reminded me of you at that age!!! I loved carrying you around!! I know it's hard to rethink your career plans and goals, but I have NEVER regretted staying home with my boys. As my "baby" leaves for college this year, I can tell you that the time FLIES by. (I know everybody tells you that!) Enjoy this year and treasure each moment!!

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  8. I am/was a teacher/stay-at-home mother/returning teacher. While I love teaching and recognize it as one of God's call on my life, there is no greater call than to be a loving, nuturing mother. I loved the years I stayed home with my children and I loved the years I have returned to the classroom. It all works out in "God time". Our children are now grown (nearly) 19 and 23. They often speak of the days when "Mom stayed home" with great love and wonderful memories. No, we did not have much, but yet, we had everything! You will NEVER regret the choice you have made. Money is money; children are gifts from God, there is no comparison. Praying for you in the transition.

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  9. I'm so glad you made this decision. Clara will need you this 1st year. I stayed at home with my children till the youngest one started 1st grade, and then I went to work part-time. I have never regretted staying home and doing without things we may have needed. The bond you form with your children are young is a special bond that I wouldn't take a million dollars for. You're gonna love it.

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  10. You will not regret your decision to stay home with Clara Mae. Cherish your time with her; they grow up so fast!

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  11. Lori Hawkins BeckJuly 25, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I was a Kindergarten teacher until I had my first daughter. Now I am home with 2 girls and homeschooling! So I still teach. We have no money--BUT we have everything we need.
    Clara will never get her first year back and you will not regret this decision. I know it is a scary one...truly a step of faith.
    You will continue to be in my prayers.

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  12. I love it! I wish I would have been able to stay home with my girls when they were young. This first year is a big one and she will do so many "firsts" that you will not miss out on. You have your whole life ahead of you to teach. I think this is definitely the right decision and I don't even know you!

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  13. Hi Chrissy,
    I have to say I am so happy to see the pictures of Clara. What a CUTIE!!!! I am also glad you get to stay home for the first year. You two should write a book and I really mean that. You two write so well that reading it the person can feel your pain or joy. So happy for you all.
    Love,
    Annette and Randy

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  14. And you KNOW how proud I have been of you from the moment you walked into my kindergarten class until the present. Teaching is such a JOY but Clara is only a baby for such a short time. Enjoy everyday with her, dear Chrissy. She needs you now and students will still be there for you when she can thrive on her own.

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  15. What a blessing - God is so amazing! I am so excited for you and Clara. I know you all will enjoy it so much. Congrats - you certainly deserve it!

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  16. She's such a big girl! Looks like she is gaining! You and Clara are gonna have a great year together! It really is a very special year!

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