Back in January I published a post about sacrifice and how in 2020 I was prepared to sacrifice some "me" time and social gatherings for time with my family. I was yearning for time with them and appreciating the memories we had been making together, just the four of us. I was reflecting on how quickly the time really does go by with kiddos and how they grow up in what seems like lightning speed. Thanks to TimeHop we are reminded daily of what once was and how blinking has made them grow inches taller in no time at all. In a round about way I kind of asked for this time with them. Honestly, it's been a blessing to just be home and to not feel guilty about missing out on other things or passing up other opportunities, because we're being forced to stay home. Secretly, I kind of like it (insert gasp here).
I have often considered myself an extrovert, outgoing and overly expressive, but as I get older I am realizing that I am actually an extroverted introvert, also known as an ambivert. I am a mix of the two; I enjoy selective social gatherings but I am a home body. I love meaningful conversations but can't deal with small talk. I fear missing out on fun times with groups of people but would choose a movie or Netflix on the couch with my favorites any time.
This stay at home time has been a gift for some people, ambiverts like me. I get to spend my days (all days) with my two favorite kids. I get bonus time to make memories with this family of mine and watch my kids learn. I get to appreciate what they know and what they need to know. I see their interests come out in their home school work and I die laughing over the things that come out of their mouths every day. They've gotten closer with each other too. They spend a lot of time with each other and are really bonding over outside exploration, teaching each other games and inventing new ones together. I am getting time to teach them life skills like folding laundry, dusting and vacuuming. And for the love of God, they are becoming familiar with where the heck things go when they need to be put away!
During the "normal" school year, I often envy their teachers, that get to spend more time with them in a day than I do for five days out of the week. My time with them is spent in the car transitioning from one activity to the next, or watching them do their thing from afar. We save a few hours each weekend to snuggle and really talk, that's it. Well now they can't be in in school or do any of the things, our calendars are completely clear and free to just be together doing what we want to be doing (at home).
Do I miss my family and friends? Heck yeah! Do I miss the hugs? Beyond measure! Do I miss laughing and making memories with my other favorite people? Absolutely! BUT, I am choosing to see the silver lining in this and to appreciate the bonus time that I've been given. I love that friends and family from afar have been able to get creative together and problem solve. That we've all found new ways to be together. In a way, this distance is bringing me closer to the people I love outside of my home too.
I know that not everyone is like me, and not everyone shares my feelings and that not everyone has kids or people to be with during this time. I get you too! It's hard for so many and absolutely heartbreaking. We can easily get wrapped up in the sadness of it all and how depressing a lot of this really is. Today I am feeling good about being at home, sharing time with my main squeezes and getting to be involved in ALL of their business. Tomorrow, I could feel differently. That's the thing about this, we don't know how we're going to feel when we wake up, we don't know what each day is going to bring us. All I know is that I did kind of ask for this, maybe not in it's entirety (I certainly didn't want anyone sick, or mourning lost loved ones. I certainly didn't want anyone to lose their jobs, or their lives. I didn't ask for anyone to be experiencing stress, sadness or loneliness), I just simply whispered a yearning for more time with my kids and I've gotten it. I am choosing today to be grateful for that answered, passive prayer and to see the silver lining in this mess. When it all does go back to normal (because it will, eventually), I am going to look at my time with others differently and cherish this bonus time I had when our calendars were clear and free and empty. I am going to miss this when we get wrapped back up in the chaos of every day life. I am going to yearn again for time with my family and will look forward once again to weekends with no plans. So today, I am documenting my grateful heart and feeling blessed with time.
For teachers, this is the best week of the whole year! It's Teacher Appreciation Week! It's the week we are celebrated for our hard work, dedication and passion. I personally love this week the most because it is the week of Mother's Day too, BONUS!
I woke up this morning feeling so super sad though while I reflected on not being able to enjoy what this week is really supposed to be. A week of extra hugs and extra loves from my kiddos (and by my kiddos I mean my students) and extra acknowledgment and appreciation from those around me who recognize my hard work. This is the week I celebrate and reflect on the job I signed up for. Reality is, being a teacher isn't all peachy, it's tough stuff. Some days I dream of winning the lottery and just walking away (hard truth). Some days I question why I ever chose to do a job so stressful, or a job with so much accountability and so many different hats to wear. I definitely didn't do it for the pay or the time off (though the time off is a bonus). I did it because I LOVE kids and I care about the kids I was given. Those hats teachers wear, are hats worn by choice. I choose to be the one to fix their sad hearts, or their scraped knees, I choose to be the one to help them problem solve and council them through tough situations. I choose to be the one to love them and support them and care about them. Right now that choice isn't mine and that flat out stinks. Spending my days with kids can be exhausting and there are days I feel like I am the mean grump just groaning and moaning and nagging kids to behave or do what I've asked them to, that's reality. BUT it's the small moments with kids that keeps me coming back. The moments that bring me to tears because all of my hard work with them has paid off, or their successes have them feeling so proud and in turn it makes my heart burst with pride for them. The moments of pure kindness and joy and love from a kid aren't even comparable to a day in an office. Kids are innocent and truthful and they mean everything they say (good or bad). They keep life simple every single day and I have never appreciated that more than I do now.
The truth is, while I love the extra time I am getting at home with my own kids, I am having a very hard time not squeezing the little faces of the 26 other kiddos I love. I want to so badly tell them to their face in the flesh how proud I am of them. I want them to know that they are conquering something pretty darn awesome right now and they are true rock stars for being so flexible. I want them to see it in my body and hear it in my voice and feel it in my squeeze so that they REALLY know how I feel. I want them to feel how much I love them and miss them. I miss those connections with them and being able to see in their faces how they are really doing. Videos, and Zoom meetings, and voice recordings are just not what I signed up for. It is not the way I want to be connecting to my kids. It is not the way I want them to be sharing exciting things with me. It is not the way I want to learn their news or their happenings. This is not my why. The why in my job is away from me and I get the reason, this is just my platform to whine about it not being fair.
This week when you are thinking about your child's teacher or the teachers you know, understand that we are all in mourning, we are sad and we are frustrated, and we are missing OUR KIDS, feeling less than whole without them. We wanted more than anything to be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with the kids we share every day with. We want to be celebrating each other and celebrating the best dang job there is. It's not easy or glamorous or desirable but it sure is impactful and full of so much joy and has made my life rich with adoration and love. I am grateful to God every day that he called me to teach, to be able to spread a love for learning and to be a part of the lives and memories of so many little people. Despite so much, when it all comes down to it, I can't imagine being anything other than a teacher.
Melissa here! While I'm all about sharing trends, deals, and outfit ideas with you, I have a true passion for writing. I love sharing thoughts on life the most and am excited to share those thoughts with all of you right here!
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