My mom was a teacher, and a REALLY good one. So good, that it intimidated me into teaching in a different county at a completely different type of school when I graduated from college. My mom poured her heart and soul into her classroom. Maybe so much that I felt a little envious of her students from time to time, because I felt that they may be getting a little better chunk of my mom's time than I did.
I'll never forget my dad saying that when he'd drive past the Highfalls Elementary parking lot at 5:00 and my mom was the only one still parked in her parking spot that perhaps, it wasn't the teachers leaving at 3:30 that were doing something wrong. After all, as women that work outside the home, our only jobs aren't those that we drive to on the daily. There are still people within the four walls we live in that count on us too. I took those words to heart and have always tried to devote the better me to my husband, stepson, and little girls.
That is, until lately. When I left school Friday at nearly 6, I felt really down. On myself, on my job, for my girls, for my messy house, for the fact that I left so much undone. I had helped a coworker with somethings she needed help with, somethings that my administration had asked me and trusted me to do, and it left me feeling empty. Because while I had done those things, things that I'm more than willing to do, other things had fallen to the wayside. Preparing for my new student, lesson planning, picking up my babies at a decent time.... those things. And I was so upset with myself. I felt like I just wasn't getting it right.
Today's my birthday. Number 31. You'd hope that by this point you'd be doing somethings right in life. I'm nearly 1/3 of the way through my teaching career, and probably over 1/3 of the way through this life God's given me to live on earth, but on Friday, I just wasn't sure if I had gotten any of it right. My kids were some of the last kids left at the daycare, I cried all the way home because I felt so horrible about it, and then fed them Sheetz hotdogs that made us all sick. Mother of the year right here. But this morning over breakfast, after my 3 year old blessed our meal, my Facebook messenger app dinged, and a student I taught my first year messaged me the sweetest birthday message and I cried again. Not guilty tears, tears that maybe I'm getting some of this right. Another sweet student from just last year left me a video message, and maybe her mom made her do it, but I don't care where the sentiment came from, it was one I needed more than ever.
I'm my own toughest critic. I'm not sure I'll ever fill my mom's shoes; if I'll be the mother or teacher I think I should be, but today on my thirty first birthday, I'm sure two little girls touched my heart, because maybe I touched theirs, and that does make all of this craziness worth it.