My schedule has been so full (which I thought I would hate) yet I am really enjoying it! Last year I avoided commitments and schedules and it was nice, but isolating. This year I try to volunteer at Jackson's school weekly, and I also started co-teaching a weekly religious education class at my new church (St. James). I am assigned to a group of adorable preschoolers, including my Forrest and have an experienced partner whom I have really enjoy working with. I had no idea what a fun time I would have! It's such a nice change compared to last year!
We had an awful kindergarten year (see previous post) thanks to a snobby teacher whose bullying, teasing, and goading created major emotional and physical anguish for my son, so this year I have become very involved up at the school. Even I was intimidated and slightly afraid of last years' teacher-and it is usually VERY rare for me to be intimidated. With last year's teacher, my intuition told me that my interference would only make the situation worse so I laid low and stayed quiet...and those are NOT personality traits of mine so it was hard!
Thankfully this year has been a dream! Our first grade teacher is an angel! I have been volunteering in the classroom every Friday for two hours or more, and I must confess I LOVE helping his teacher out for a few hours. The students are all so adorable! Plus, I get out of the house and Matt gets to be on duty!
Jackson has become a different child too-he is not begging to stay home every morning pretending to be sick, and his whining and complaining have decreased dramatically. He had physical symptoms too from the stress and anguish that have gone away almost completely! The best part of all is that his confidence is back and he is at the top of the class! I adore being there and I feel so useful helping her with grading, copying, filing, stapling etc, and recently I have been working with some of the students individually with their reading and writing! I am so inspired that I am seriously considering becoming a substitute for the district! I didn't think teaching was for me, but this year has shown me how wrong I was!
If I could buy Ms.W. the moon and stars I would-she is one of those special teachers who we will never forget and I will always have a special place in my heart for her. She may not be aware yet, but for our family, she is that teacher who has inspired, encouraged and challenged my son-all in a way that has changed his little life so dramatically and so positively! I absolutely adore her, even if I feel quite old when at times while I am there helping her! She is only a few years younger than me but she is so enthusiastic and positive that I really wonder if I have become a jaded old fart.
I have been meaning to post updates more frequently but I have so much to share that it becomes overwhelming! And I have been having problems with finding any time to write at all! I just wanted all to know how much better this year has been! Jackson is thriving!
As for Forrest, he adores his preschool and has also been growing with major leaps and bounds! He writes his name, loves art and is a very friendly and outgoing little guy. His teacher says, "Forrest sure has a LOT to say!" Yup, that about sums things up right! He is definitely ready for kindergarten next year. How strange that will be! Two kids gone most of the day...hmmmmm. Forrest will be five at the end of this year which blows my mind! As my middle child, he definitely knows how to persuade and push me much more than the other two-I wonder why that is! He is very observant and has a memory like an elephant. He knows the location of very item in our entire house-even if I lost it years ago or never even know its existence to begin with.
He reminds me of my brother Michael, who as a child would drive me insane by sneaking around our home to discover what us kids we getting for Christmas-so he could gloriously burst my bubble and tell me what I was getting! I love surprises and unlike most kids, I never wanted to know the identity of my gifts until I opened them. Forrest is a smart, stealthy, aware, and observant little boy who is never idle or bored. He seems to have a solid understanding of the world and he observes and shares many small details of life with me-details that I usually have missed. He seems to have a deep awareness of the people, places & things that make up his world-which is something I have always had to struggle and work at-even today.
Which brings us to Silas,. My baby is three now, and is so smart! He says the funniest things, and anytime I want him to do someone he isn't keen on, he tells me, "I do it tomorrow, Mommy." He will not be going to preschool next year...I am selfishly keeping him home another year because he is my last one and I want to cherish this time with my littles. Oh, and also because I don't want to give Matt any reason to be in a hurry for me to find a job! Not that he has said anything....in fact I think he secretly enjoys having his wife home! All the same I want to avoid the job thing as long as I can-if not permanently!
My boys are so awesome and I am so thankful that God helped me find a way to be home with them, where I found myself wanting and yearning to be as a full-time working mother. I still am surprised by the intensity of my desire to quit my job and stay home-it's not a future I ever imagined wanting for myself in my younger years. It was not even a choice, thanks to feminism, negative publicity and criticism of homemakers, and because women were focused on workplace equality and raising the glass ceiling. Equality is important, don't get me wrong! But for me, I wish today's society would stop judging and critiquing each other's life choices and put an end to the ridiculous, polarizing, "Mommy Wars". I want our country to join together and celebrate the way today's women have the freedom to choose to have a career, or a family, or both. We may want to stay at home, or work part-time or re-enter the workforce when children grow, or any of the millions of variations of how we try to make our lives as meaningful, happy, and fulfilling as we can!