Thursday, April 30, 2015

May is Here

Tomorrow is May, which always represents the end of another school year to me even though technically out here on the East Coast we don't finish up until June. Each May always leaves me with different feelings. Some years represented the closing of doors with big changes coming from the end of one school year to the next. Sometimes I've had years where it seemed like I had waited years for the months to pass to get to May and other years it seemed like Sept had just passed. I've had years where I couldn't hardly take one more day with some classes, and others where I was sad to see the year end because I would really miss some of the students.

 I love May for a lot of reasons. I love the feeling of completing something, and as teachers you begin work in August but the "project" never feels completed until June. I love the weather. The warmer weather, the late sunsets, the sound of kids out playing in the yard, the sound of the peepers after dark.  I love the anticipation of the upcoming summer vacation I think more than the actual summer vacation sometimes. I love the constant go go of fun that becomes our life at this time of year with fires with friends, drive in movies, concerts, ball games, festivals and carnivals, outdoor walks and picnics, trips, and everything else that comes up.

But this May has a slightly different feeling. This May is the end of the first school year as a parent. Our kindergartener only has seven weeks of kindergarten left and then she will be a first grader! Wow, seems crazy to me that just six years ago she was this tiny infant of only two months. She's a whiz at math, even though when we jokingly asked her tonight what she was doing 20 years ago she said she was a baby. She loves Math more so than reading, but she is reading. Her last two report cards have been solid Os for outstanding or in older terms As. Even though she's started to test the limits with us this past year at times she is an exceptionally well behaved respectful child at school and to others. I think as parents it's hard to judge our own parenting. Some days we either think we're doing great or we're highly critical of our parenting abilities, but getting feedback from teachers is at least reassuring that we maybe know a little bit about what we're doing. Even the media teacher made sure to tell us even though Averi owed $20 to the school for the dog chewing up her book, she was "wonderful child to have in class".  She's always been an incredibly self sufficient smart mature child but it's been really neat to see her come into own this past year.

In our household May has always been like what December is to most people, and as I look back at this past year I feel incredibly blessed and hopeful. It was like the year so much of what we've spent ten years working for finally came to fruition. I made a change to a new school and even though it was a tentative one year contract split between two schools it lead to getting a full time position that I am really exciting about for next school year. Even though Nate finished his masters for school leadership last May it will be next school year that he's moving into a more leadership position. It's not quite the administration one he's hoping for eventually, but it's a move in the right direction. We made it through our first transition between rental tenants on our rental house and two years later are still keeping that ship afloat. We'll keep riding it until it sinks or we sail off into the sunset on it (it's paid off the same year we retire so crossing our fingers on it being a positive investment for our retirement years). Two years later I think we've finally recovered from the financial set back of making the move out of the city.

I found balance and contentment. Something that I didn't know was so vital to my sanity. I wrote once in regards to an article about if the modern woman/mom of today could "Have it All", and for awhile there I was on the side that said sure but not at the same time. This past year lead me to believe that maybe you can have it all at the same time. The career you enjoy, afternoons through evenings and weekends with your kids, time for friends, time for yourself with exercising and hobbies, and a marriage that isn't strained with the stress of everything.

This year gave me hope that what I've envisioned so long ago can be a reality. It still needs work. I'd like to work on building up a savings that isn't exhausted every summer, I'd like to be a little more consistent with working out (I kind of slacked for a few months in the winter Nov-Mar), as always I'd like to work on my marriage because it's very easy as two very independent people that are more than comfortable doing our own thing and as parents to just let time slip by without really connecting with each other, now that I have a passion for teaching again that I thought I'd lost two years ago I hope to continue to learn and improve on the art of teaching and become a better teacher, and now that Averi is old enough to kindly point out my shortcomings (gotta love kids' honesty) I'd like to work on being a better mom.

Even though this year could have easily been looked at as a rough year with two miscarriages, I have faith that God just has a different plan than me. I choose to see the blessings that have come in this year. He gave me back something that I really needed. He gave me back myself; gave me back my confidence. Maybe sometimes we have to struggle and feel letdown to really appreciate the blessings that are about to come.  I think that was the case with the struggle of getting to this point and with the struggle we've had with expanding our family this past year. I saw this quote the other day, "If you saw the blessing that is coming, you would understand the battle you are fighting." Faith and love is what makes this life of ours complete.

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