Friday, June 2, 2017

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

In June of 2010 I decided to leave a job I had been in for seven years, and loved, to become a stay-at-home mom to my two babies, Carter and Gabe.

It was a very easy decision for ME to make. It added a whole lot of pressure to Marc P. He would be the bread winner, he'd be responsible for keeping us a float, and it meant we would probably have to move.

But MP did it. He found a job and moved Team P to his hometown of Roanoke.

Seven years later I decided to leave a job I had been in for four years, and loved, to become a stay-at-home mom, again. This time to three birds, Carter, Gabe, and Harper. The one twist is they are all now in school and can feed themselves and wipe their own booties. A tad bit different than all those years ago! Totally different challenges face me now. And totally different joys.

Once again it was a very easy decision for ME to make. For Marc, at least from what he told me, it was actually a very easy decision for him to make, as well. I am pretty sure he can tell that I love my babies with every fiber of my being and my mission in life is to be a good mom. For ME (not judging/commenting any one else) that means doing things with and for my kids. No, I am not that person that totally makes her world all about her kids and forgets who she is. I will still sub at the preschool, play volleyball, go out to eat with friends, it's just that during the day I hope to volunteer at their school more. Or run errands for the family. Do whatever is needed to make the household run.

I am thrilled and excited for this repeat chapter in my life.

But during that last week of preschool, I had my doubts. I had to say goodbye to some AMAZING families. Families I've watched since Carter started as a three-year-old. Repeat families, new families, small families that grew, families with only one child, I've seen a lot over the years. That job helped me grow as a person, a mom, wife, and friend. I learned a lot.

But I really started to have my doubts when I had to say goodbye to my co-workers. If you want to know some bad-ass women, work in a preschool. Tough as nails. We've seen each other be pregnant, have babies, have kids graduate, kids get in trouble, have fights with friends, have fights with parents, you name, we've seen it. When my Gabers had to go through OT those women supported me and encouraged me to listen to my gut. When that boy was recovering from a seizure, I had an outpouring of love from those women (and preschool families). Anytime I had a sick kid, rough patch, happy times, and confused times, those ladies were my rocks. I leaned on those women when I was having a miscarriage. I leaned on them when my first-born started elementary school. At each graduation I cried with them. We laughed at inside jokes, bonded over horror stories. They were my surrogate sisters. A little sorority in adulthood.

I'm gonna miss them. A lot. But as I told the Pastor, I don't feel as though I am walking away from something, I feel as though I am walking toward something. My kids, their present and their future.

But I definitely will still feel the need to come in, walk those halls, greet the kids, and yes, even hug those cute little beings. No one hugs like a preschooler hugs!

Friday, February 17, 2017

I Heart Teachers

In second grade I was blessed with possibly the best teacher ever, Mrs. Lockard.  She read us Ramona books, Amelia Bedelia, and was the ultimate cuddly, sweet, but firm teacher. She made such an impact on me that I knew my purpose in life was to be a teacher. A profession I pursued until the end of my freshman year of college. That's a discussion for another day though!

But since that time I have had a profound love for teachers. I truly believe grandparents and teachers are gifts from a heavenly source to parents. Teachers dedicate their lives to educating and caring for and about our kids for hours upon hours. I know MANY teachers that worry about kids long after the school day is done, spend their own hard earned money to help out their students, make connections with kids so they have a positive role model in their life. I could go on and on about the amazing ways teachers impact our kids.

In 2014 I was introduced to a whole new set of teachers when my daughter started kindergarten. She is now in 2nd grade and I have been privileged to meet even more teachers. They do not disappoint. From homeroom teachers to specials, to aides, etc., I have been impressed. And last night I saw a different side of them. There was a 4th and 5th grade performance happening while a handful of teachers and parents stood in the hallway. I got to see the teachers laughing with each other, chatting, looking genuinely friendly with one another. And it struck me that maybe part of their amazing impact on my kids is that they truly care about each other. If you like and respect who you work with, it only amps up your own game. You want to do well when you like where and WHO you work with. I saw that last night and it made my heart happy. I also have to add that a 1st grade teacher stepped closer to the door to see a former student sing a solo. Pride and joy were beaming from her like rays of sunshine. That's love right there!

I am sure at some point I'll get a bad one and be sad and disappointed, it happens, but for now I am going to stay in my little bubble of loveliness.

Last Saturday I put up a status on facebook about how much I love my son's teacher and let me tell you, parents were itching to comment on how much they love the teachers at the elementary school. It makes me wonder how often teachers are told how much they are loved and valued? I imagine it's not often, but I guarantee they hear a lot of negative comments and often.

This post is a piggy back to my Facebook status. I want the universe to know that my kids' teachers are rockstars. I may be slightly obsessed with kids and want to spend as much time as possible with them so I am in their school a fair amount. Part of it is that I really love the community. I love the secretary that checks you in, I love the guys that clean the school, the women in the cafeteria, and all the teachers and aides. It's a great place. I truly hope this trend continues and I stay impressed. So GCES teachers, please stay bad ass! :)