I procrastinated turning in my daughter's senior tribute ad for the annual. I think that I somehow felt like that if I didn't turn in the ad that somehow my daughter really wasn't graduating. That it really wasn't happening. She got her acceptance to Georgia Tech on January 4 and will be starting in June.
“I'm ready, Mom, I need to start NOW.”
she says as she expresses how ready she is to get out of our small town.
If only I was that ready. I'm not. I'm still stinging from my son leaving last June to go be a Ramblin' Wreck too and now this? If I'm not careful and keep perspective, I could be the wreck.
Of course my youngest son is still at home, now in sixth grade and yet, it makes me realize that my daughter was in sixth grade yesterday. I swear it was yesterday!! Time, this thing that creeps by like a slug when you're a kid goes by like a blast of air through a subway vent when you get older. Where did it go?
I placed the ad on Betsy's desk and turned around with a sniff and a big tear that dropped onto the floor and realized that this really is happening. Two thirds of my nest will soon have flown the coop.
And yet, there's more. Early this year I had put pictures of when my children were very young kids around the house. It was just too sad. I took them down and decided to get in the moment and enjoy NOW. Yesterday was awesome but today is awesome-er. These relationships change and I've still got a lot to contribute to the world. In some ways, less with my own kids frees me up to be more Mom to my students because really I feel like I have over 100 children.
My other “kids”
Today one of my “kids” came by my room – he's got a job and moved back to Camilla and is in love with his girlfriend – if I hang around here another 18 years I may just be teaching his child, I guess. Three of my first class of eighth graders are getting married in the next six months. I love that they come back to me and let me know what they're doing. They love me enough to want to tell me how it is going and to tell me how they are the fastest typist at work, or how something I taught them gave them an edge.
I just sat down with one who wants to go to art school and we're researching what to do in her portfolio. She's mine. They're all mine and yet this is what is so awesome about kids — they'll share themselves with just about anyone who cares, respects them, and loves them (in a non-creepy way, of course.) 😉
Life is so short but there's one thing I've learned by being a teacher — life gets bigger the more kids you cram into it. They are alive and they stuff every cranny of who you are with a whirlwind of life, love, loss and laughter. It's nuts. It's crazy. It's full. But it is one thing… it is totally beautiful, wonderful and amazing. I love my own kids with all my heart and I love my students as my kids too. If you want to have a wonderful life… teach. It is crazy but it is so worth it.
My heart is full and overjoyed even as my eyes fill with tears. My daughter is ready and I will be when it is time but one thing is for sure – as long as I'm a teacher, I'll never run out of kids.
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
- Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
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- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)