Thursday, November 20, 2008
I have been mocked before for putting my babies on such a tight schedule. If people only knew how beautiful our families' schedule is, how much we look forward to it, and how fast it will go by. I think about it every day.
We wake up at 5, make bottles, and coffee, turn on MSNBC, and are quiet during the dark hour of the morning. The sun comes up at 6 and I get ready for work. The girls "play" on their blankets and tummy gyms in our room while Nick watches the news or irons our clothes. I leave the house at 7:15 and on my way the windows to the truck I drive are down and my coffee mug is warm. I listen to NPR on the way and I see beautiful homes and beautiful trees and I feel cold and windy. I leave early enough that I can enjoy being "that guy in the right lane on I85 going exactly 70 mph.
I get to work on the side of town where the houses are not beautiful and in most situations there is no schedule and no structure in the home. My job is amazing. In fact, I LOVE going to work every day. I love the organization, I love the new black ink pens, the paperwork, the parent conferences, and most of all I LOVE working with my kids. I think last year I was really really affected by hormones and "the rut" we all enter at some point when we haven't had a break. I always felt impatient. My temper was SHORT. I was way too hard on myself. I let myself feel defeated every day knowing that these kids needed so much help that I didn't know where to start. But now, I pick a skill and go with it. They are happy and having fun and when it gets too hard, we do something else and I make a note of it. "...has trouble answering comprehension questions, can't list 5 fruits, forgets to capitalize and punctuate." One thing I used to take for granted is that kids, no matter how educationally challenged they may be, remember things about me. Almost every child I teach has asked "Where my baby?" "Where Nick?" "You still got dat dog Ali?" And they all beg to see pictures of my babies. They ooh and ahh and say they are so cute. It is flattering and a little scary because it means that KIDS LISTEN. They may not be able to retain counting by 5's and 10's but they remember the day I cried in Mrs. S's room after confessing my fears about money and having twins on our break. As the kids filed in and I hurried to wipe away the tears they looked at me and almost every one wanted to walk up to me and give me a hug. I swear to you, one little girl cried with me. She didn't know why I was crying, but it made her sad. Isn't that the definition of empathy.
I get home and have one hour to spend with my husband and children before putting them to bed. At 6pm the house is quiet again and Nick and I compare notes on how our day went. We eat a good hot meal and get in our warm bed and I REST. The next day, we start over.
This will not always be our schedule but for now it is as good for me as it is the babies.