Monday, September 12, 2011

To My Kids

I return to teaching high school English today. I spent two years home with my children.

Dear Ty and Za,

I am going back to work today. Work, that is, outside the home. I clarify because I have worked hard these last two years. I took my SAHM gig as seriously as I would any other teaching job. I stayed home because I wanted to teach you. I wanted to take you on field trips, feed you healthy brain-nourishing foods, read to you, teach you morals and manners, show you love, and build a bond with you. I hope I did enough - I think I did. I can't believe these two years are over already.

Ty hiding, Za fist bumping.

Of course when I embarked on my life as a SAHM, I struggled. I cried. (We all cried). I became frustrated with housekeeping and cooking. Like my previous job teaching high school students, I worked to find a balance at giving you freedom and my guidance. I struggled to balance teaching you all your "subjects." I figured most of it out and when I listen to you talk, play, and act, well, I do take pride in you plenty.

Reflecting, you did teach me more than I I taught you. As a SAHM, I learned:

  1. Everything is useful. I no longer doubt you when you see a piece of trash, declare it treasure, and turn it into art or a play toy. Your creativity and interest show me to look at everyday items with potential, not just as rocks or paper, but as so much more.
  2. Doubt wastes time. Did I make a healthy enough lunch?? Should we do a puzzle inside or play outside? You are both so confident in your actions. You lack the adult experiences to make you say "what if." And in childhood, that is ok. Desired, in fact. I am envious of it.
  3. Everyone learns differently. I knew this as a high school teacher. I understood this. I believed this theory. I did not know the depth of how everyone has a unique learning process until I witnessed two children do the same actions two years apart so completely differently. Your processes in learning to read, attempts in walking, drawing, playing house, building a sandcastle - all different. All unique, all wonderful.
You both taught me that I teach you because I love you and I want nothing but the best for you. You both reaffirmed my belief that education is the root of society. Without the care and attention education deserves, society will fail. As a SAHM I was so entwined with your learning that it made me realize the time and commitment our youngest society members need. I will forever me grateful that I got to give so much to you.