The start of school will always be bittersweet for me as long as I'm not in the classroom. Last August the triplets were only a month old so I never considered returning to school. This year I have a wide range of feelings about staying home, including relief, resentment, gratitude, and boredom. I know I could enjoy being a working mom, but I also know we would struggle financially whether I had a full time job or not. I think about how drastically the kids, especially the triplets, changed last year and I am genuinely thankful that I was able to witness it all. In the upcoming year, James, Amelia, and Maddie will go through major developments, learning to walk and talk. Jackson surprises me daily with his questions, vocabulary, and how much information he retains. While a huge part of me longs to set up my classroom with my fellow teacher friends this week, I definitely have more positive than negative feelings about staying home.
With all that said, I was dying for an excuse to roam the hallways along freshly waxed floors, hear the stapler securing butcher paper on new bulletin boards, run my fingers along the spines of neatly shelved books, and feel the chatter and excitement about upcoming students. I had to run an errand that was just a few minutes from my former school, so I asked a good friend and former teammate if we could stop by for a visit. She has a slight obsession with all four kids, so I knew she'd be more than hospitable. She eagerly loved on the babies.
It only took James a few minutes to find loose cords and cables. The trio took turns climbing carts and going for a ride.
All four rummaged through boxes, cabinets, and crates. They mostly climbed and sorted things. (We did not leave a mess!)
My previous school has a high teacher turnover so there weren't too many familiar faces, but I did enjoy visiting with the office staff and a few teachers. The school playground is actually a community park, so we took advantage of the multiple playgrounds and picnic shelters. It's weird to think that Jackson could be playing on the pre-K playground as a student in a year.
James, Maddie, and Amelia ate a banana, chicken nuggets, peanut butter crackers, and some dirt. Oops.
Jackson was getting tired so he requested to sit in the wagon rather than walk back to the van. Amelia kept rubbing Jack's head with baby wipes and laughing. James stole Jack's cup and started grinning. Maddie looked confused and tried to scoot over.
I think I've romanticized the teaching career ever since I resigned. I dwell on the missed opportunities to inspire struggling students. It's similar to the feeling after a loved one dies. You forget their faults and are, instead, filled with nostalgia and longing, simply because they are no longer there. I have to remind myself that no job, including a stay-at-home mom, is free from stresses and challenges. I would much rather stress over the piles of laundry than the piles of papers to grade and file. I would rather break up a fight between James and Amelia than a fight between two fifth grade boys. I would rather have to confront Jackson than administration. While I love and miss teaching, especially this time of year, who wouldn't want to spend their days with these four crazy kids?