I cried myself to sleep last night, knowing that in the morning I’d have to leave my baby to go to work for the first time in his life. It hurt me so. I wasn’t in the least bit worried for him. He was in the best hands possible: my sister is watching him for the remainder of the school year, and my husband even took the day off to make the transition as smooth as possible. It was me I was worried about. I want to witness each smile, wipe every tear, soak in every snuggle. All those smiles, tears, and snuggles I’ll miss out on…it’s my loss. It’s that loss that I cried over last night.
When I got to school this morning, I was a wreck. I just could not hold in my tears. I sat in a faculty meeting, desperately trying to focus on the testing training we were given, but my eyes kept filling.
It was my goal not to cry in front of any student today, and at this rate, it wasn’t looking good for me.
But as the day progressed, it got brighter and brighter. Co-workers brought me flowers, kids gave me the warmest of hugs…one class gave me a welcome back applause to start the period.
I also got a text from a former student that really helped me gain perspective. She was wishing me a happy first day back. She concluded by saying she hoped every day was lovely, but “if it is ever not lovely, know that it is important. You are changing lives for the better.”
I would only believe those words from someone who’s actually sat in my classroom.
As I sobbed last night, I asked my husband to pray for me. I remember he prayed that when I stepped back in the building, I would feel right back at home.
I have to say, that prayer was answered. The text helped me be present for my students, which helped me ease right back into doing what I love to do, which made me feel at home again.
I so wish I could be at two places at once. But I learned today that I’m happiest when I’m fully present, pouring into those around me. I’m grateful for a job that allows me to love on others. And I’m grateful for the privilege of being a mom, that allows me to love on a kid for his whole life.