Thank God I just spent seven glorious days with my family in Maine, unplugging and listening and playing and observing, because today is the day of something new, as well as the end of something remarkably precious. For the past eight years, two months and approximately two weeks of my life, my day’s work revolved around the raising and cherishing of three amazing little people that God deemed me worthy of creating. Eight amazing years of late nights, early mornings, tea parties, superheroes, quiet moments, morning snuggles, one more book and one more photo and lots of laughs, as well as mistakes. Questions about how we were going to do something, and then once we did, did we make the right choice? Are we doing it right? The answers to those questions are still in the process of being answered, but after eight years, those questions are not the heart of my day. They still have my heart, but from now on, I have a few other things on my mind.
Today I start my new career as the librarian at my children’s school, a job which was literally dropped in my lap through circumstance, good fortune, and quite a lot of hard work. Hard work by me to make the impossible possible, and attain a job I still can’t believe is mine. Hard work by my husband who supporting me through the chaos of applying, the fear of accepting, and so many big changes as I prepared for this new stage in our life. Hard work by my friends and family to listen to me go on and on about it for the last six months, but mostly hard work by my kids who have to be brave enough to be willing to let me do something they know I want and love, even when it is taking me away from them. Is this a sign that we have raised them well, that their kindness and love for me outweighs any selfish desire they may harbor to keep me home with them all to themselves? There has not been one tear shed or one shred of guilt from them, when any number of those could have made me change my mind. At merely 7, 6, and 3 years old, they are supporting and loving me, as we have always done for them. Perhaps there is some evidence that we have been making the right choices all along.
I cherish every single minute that I was able to be home with them, every early morning and weekend day Jason went to work and toiled at his job because he knew that the four of us depended on him to succeed. I cherish every opportunity I had to help mold them into the amazing people they are today, and that I had the quiet reflective time to figure out how best to serve them individually as their mother. I have been Jackson’s cheerleader, book buddy, and biggest advocate since he took his first breath. I have given Emmy the quiet room to blossom that she needed, and the space to do it in her own way, at her own time. I also gave them both the blessing of becoming an older sibling, and am forever grateful for my last baby, my Hannah. I could never go to work without knowing she is very much ready for what life has in store for her. We still have two mornings together a week, and I am beyond grateful for that attention I can still pay her so that I can listen to her words, too, as she grows. I know none of this will end simply because I am working outside of the home. I just know that it would be impossible not to stop and wonder and marvel at these little people and how wondrous it is that they are mine.
With that, I am off to work, ready to start anew, ready to remember what it means to teach kids that are not my own (with the added bonus of teaching mine as well!), and to remember that I’m good at what I do, and that I love it. I am ready to be more of a role model for my girls, that being a good mother does not always mean being at home, and that following my dreams and heart are as important for them to see as it was to have me home to hold their hand. They will come to and from work with me every day, I will see them often and will help shape the education that they are lucky enough to enjoy. For this and so very many more things, I am very, very grateful, and hopefully, I am ready.
Thanks to them, and all of you, for your support and love on this very momentous day.