all kinds of good stuff. I guess you could call it the food storage I'd go for first in an emergency, but right now I think of it more as our cache of food I've prepared for those days I'm just too worn out to cook. My freezer is ready. Ready for what?
Well, school starts tomorrow. It will be my tenth first day of school as a teacher. Yes, tenth. My classroom is put together and organized, name tags are on desks, and I'm ready to greet eighteen little darlings in the morning. I hear that some of them actually aren't so darling, but hopefully, in time, I can help to change that, at least when they're with me. For the second time in three years I spent the entire summer thinking I was teaching fifth grade. Yet another miracle came my way just a week ago, and I returned to my favorite age of kids. In times like this I should (and am, really) just be grateful for a job, but a third grade job makes me smile a lot more than fifth.
And yet, I can say with absolute certainty, while structurally everything is ready, I am not so much. You see, this summer I fell in love with being a stay at home wife. I loved taking care of our home and yard. Being available to help friends and church members at any time of the day was just a treat! I definitely stayed busy, but it was busy on a schedule I created, instead of teaching all day and trying to fit everything else in as well. It's hard to fully describe the feelings I had, but I realized more than ever, that our home and family are who I want to work for most. I can't thank Nate enough for encouraging me (and basically deciding for me) to not work this summer. More than anyone, he saw how challenging last year was from a personal and medical perspective and he knew what I needed even better than I did.
Can I be honest? It's been a bit of a challenge resetting my reality for this year. Last Spring I thought I'd only be teaching until November. There were other things on the horizon. Things are different now. But different isn't altogether bad. It's just, well, different.
I am quite sure that there's a reason these kids and I are supposed to be together -- for the whole year. Third grade is fun; I love seeing those little eyes light up and get excited about learning. I'm a little nervous for the wild card kids and how life outside of school will affect how well I function as a teacher, but all of that will work itself out. It did last year, and that gives me confidence that I'm capable of handling it all again. So I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm ready or not. Tomorrow is right around the corner, and I get to choose how to handle it. It's probably best if I tackle it with excitement, humor and hard work...and maybe a little bravery for good measure. :-)