Today would have been my first day of school had I gone back to work instead of becoming a stay at home mom. Sometimes I really miss work, especially when I think about my former students and colleagues. Sometimes I really miss work when my own kids are screaming and I haven’t had a hot cup of coffee or a moment of peace in weeks. Today, I stepped back to look at what I had gained with my new lifestyle.
There was no rushed morning. There was no trying to get dressed for work while two toddlers were clamoring for treasures in my makeup drawer. There was no forcing down a quick breakfast before we flew out the door. There was no searching to see if the bags I packed contained everything we all needed to make it through the day.
There was Harrison in my lap, with his blanket, watching cartoons and drinking milk.
There was Ella, sleeping until 8am and quietly waking up, cooing sweet sounds from her crib.
There I was, able to fix a beloved toy for a devastated little boy. There was his smile when the tiny frog’s arm had been reattached.
There we were, lapping up another summer day outside in the kiddie pool. There we were, drawing pictures on the driveway with chalk. There we were, playing tag in our front yard. There we were, laughing hysterically at the funny faces we took turns making over lunch.
There was Harrison, asking for snuggles after his nap, and falling back asleep in my arms as I took in the scent of baby shampoo from his freshly washed hair. I stared at his pink cheeks and inky eyelashes, peaceful and content and beautiful.
There was Ella, discovering her world with delight-collecting rocks, hiding potato chips behind the couch, babbling new words and sounds all the while.
Sometimes I worry about my retirement fund, which is basically nonexistent, and think I should get back to work to fix that. Sometimes I worry that I won’t be able to get back to work because teaching jobs around here for an English teacher aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. Then I have days like this, when I know I’m in the right place, doing the right thing.