All together now….ahhhhhh. That is the collective sigh of all the teachers in my area. School is out for summer. We have a few work days to do, but that’s nothing. There is something really special about being surrounded by adults, eating at your own pace, and using the bathroom when the mood strikes. It’s so refreshing! If you’re a teacher and you aren’t out yet, hang in there. The end is near.
This year has been fuller than usual. I’ve been trying hard to grow myself as a teacher leader and exploring what that might mean. That meant some extra time away from my family and not a lot of time for myself. Recently some opportunities have been brought to my attention that I have been thinking on, praying on, ranting on (thank you to my family and friends for tolerating that). I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to make some decisions about the direction I want my career to take. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing. I was going to take a summer position that would allow me to experience being an administrator and then in the fall I was going back to school AGAIN to get my endorsement in administration. And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.
It all started with some ice cream. This weekend my daughter and I spent some time together, just the two of us. We went places on a whim and had long conversations about nothing (she’s four, the conversations are truly about nothing). At one point when we were leaving the gym she asked for ice cream. In the spirit of the weekend I said yes. Then she asked if we could walk there. I almost said no, but I stopped and thought to myself why not? Let me tell you. When she put her hand in mine and told me how much she loved to just walk with me, I could have cried. We followed the cracks in the sidewalk and talked about the clouds and my heart was so full. I kept thinking to myself, I almost missed this. If I had been in a rush, I would have missed this.
So when I went in today for the last official work day of the year I knew what I had to do. I put all those opportunities on hold. You see, time is moving fast. There will come a day when she doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore. A time will come when she wants ice cream with her friends and she’ll ask me to just drop them off there instead of coming inside. But today all she wants to do is walk with me and talk about clouds. And I can’t say no to that. The opportunities will always be there in one way or another, but I’ll never get this summer back.
So teachers, mamas, and especially the teacher mamas I hope you can see the summer for the gift that it is. Take a little time for yourself. Slow down. Take a breath. Follow the cracks in the sidewalk. Hold a little hand. Recharge your soul and reconnect with the ones you love. The time to work hard comes again quickly. But for now, just say yes to slowing down.