Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ode to Teachers... or Something Like That

All I've ever wanted to be was a Mommy.  And as the time grew near, I had so many dreams about how it would be- visions of sugarplums danced in my head.  Ya know, my kids would be perfect, I'd have the house with the white picket fence, and a sweet little black lab.  And then life happened- I've learned there is no such thing as a perfect kid, I'm living in an apartment, and my son is allergic to every animal on the face of the earth. 

I also tend to be a wanna-be hippie.  I love me some Birkenstocks, my hubby calls me the voodoo lady because I have a stash of oils that I dab behind my ears, and I longed to be a nursing, baby-wearin', home-schoolin' granola-y mom.  But, I too, fail at that.  The second my kids turn two I'm searching for a preschool, and I realize I can not do it all- It really takes a village.

With the end of the school year upon us, I can tell ya how the next few weeks are going to go.  I'm going to start slacking on checking the kid's backpacks, forget to pack a snack here and there, and wait until the last minute to get teacher's gifts.  My hubby and I are going to then have the conversation we have every.single.year...

He's going to complain that we just spent money on teacher appreciation gifts and he's then going to go into a whole spiel about how he doesn't get presents for doing his job.  I'm then going to try and go out to Home Goods or some store to try to find a teacher's gift that looks way more expensive than what I actually spent.  I'm then going to realize I spent an hour and ten bucks in gas trying to save five dollars and tell the hubz that he just needs to get over it and grab a decent gift card because these teachers that we're trying to skimp out on are some of the most important people in our children's lives.

In fact, five days out of the week they are with our kids during more waking hours than we are.  And eventhough we've only had a babysitter a handful of times, we've never thought twice about sending our kids off to school- because we know they are going to be just fine.

In fact, more than fine.

Summer is almost here and I'm already downing Doritos just thinking about how long my days are going to be. 

My kids have learned so much at school- Yep, reading, and writing and arithmetic- but even more than that.  They've learned the golden rule, patience, how to be a friend, and everything in between. 

I try, I really, really do... but I just don't know how they do it... I mean a good seven hours with no iPads, Xboxes, or phones in hand?  What the heck?  My little first grader went from knowing a few sight words to being an all out reader this year- and let me tell ya- it wasn't because of me. She doesn't know time and I might have fibbed more than I should and told her to go ahead and color in the picture that we read all twenty minutes while my fingers were crossed.  And my son- he officially knows more history than me, knows his multiplication tables like a champ, and is about to write a book report- and let me tell ya- and I can't even get through a weekly ten minute extra credit math sheet with him without losing my patience and going bonkers.

Teachers amaze me, I see them walking kids down the hall in a perfect line, I see my kids sitting at the lunch table waiting to be excused and dismissed, and I see them turning into smart, respectful little people. 

And I owe so much of it to the teachers.  They pick up where I leave off... even when I just give up.  Ya know, like on days where they might have a cold, but Mommy needs them to go to school so she can get things done.  Teachers don't have a choice- they are there picking up the pieces and passing out a Kleenex.  They are there to kiss boo-boo's, discipline, and inspire.

I've tried so many times to be "teachery."  Like when I scour Pinterest for ideas- Like making mason jars with each kids name on it and telling them they can add a poof ball to the jar when they do something good and when it's full they earn a prize.  Day two and that bad boy was a waste of money and time- the kids could care less- and yet this morning my kids had to wear their best running shoes so they could run laps to beat the other classes for extra recess time.  I mean, really? 

Summer is my favorite time of the year, but I dread it because I won't have the threat of "I'm going to email your teacher" when the kids are fighting- that threat is better than Santa Clause.  Every year the summer starts off great- We love life the first two weeks.  Then, the kids start tiring of the pool and by the end of the day this a couple times a year drinker is willing to split a bottle of wine with the hubby. By the time August rolls around, I'm my hubby's dream girl because I'm starting to barter nightly blow jobs in exchange for a week of summer camp enrollment for the kids. 

And then the clouds open up and school begins again.  Some moms put the kids on the bus and start to boo hoo... but I feel a sense of relief and am ready to WOO HOO! 

Teachers.  They are a wonderful thing, and I'm so lucky to be at a school where they support and love on my kids in the most perfect way.  So, this year, I'm skipping Home Goods and telling the hubz to cough it up buttercup. These women deserve so much more than a bonus and a small token of gratitude.  While my parenting hasn't always gone according to plan, public school and the good 'ole Loudoun County School System has come through in the most marvelous of ways... and for that, I am thankful- and am okay with crossing homeschooling off my list. One thing down, a million to go... :)

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