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.