Monday, August 27th, 2012...9:29 pm

First Day Truth

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When I work, I miss my kids.

When I’m not working, I miss myself.

 

This is what I learned today, the truth that landed on my tongue as I explained rhetoric and literature, the point of stories and the acts we commit to as writers and readers. Four years of being a working mother, a teacher, a woman who gets to experience both sides of the working-mom fence; too many weeks of tormenting myself over the “end” summer; too many days questioning if I’m still as passionate about my career as I once was; two hard weeks of tranisition, of easing back into the routine of being away from Nora and Miles all day.

And today. Three classes and 90 students later, and this is what I know.

I stood in front of students, led them to writing their own stories, set the foundation to help them see themselves as part of a community of readers and writers, talked about the power of rhetoric, the purposeful art of communication. And I felt at home. That teacher part of me, a part I feared was gone after a summer of filling my soul full with motherhood and time to write, of time to just be with my children, of time nurture a new and growing part of myself, that teacher part was there, hiding all along, waiting for the time to make a reappearance.

When I introduce myself to a room of kids, my first sentences announce my motherhood, my deep love for my children, my hope that being a good parent makes me an even better teacher.

I say their names out loud, Nora and Miles, and I momentarily ache for them (though it is nothing like those first heart-wrenching days). I worry that I’m not balancing motherhood and parenthood and working and teaching as well as I should. Whatever balance means. I let myself feel the scales tipping out of balance and I worry.

I worry about losing our slow paced mornings. I worry about losing lazy afternoons spent wandering the parks and pools and pet stores. I worry about missing a new word, spoken or read.  I worry about all the lost kisses and hugs, the days when I’m too tired to live up to my own standards, the times when I will wish that I could call in sick just to hug on my kids.

So much of my time is spent trying to figure out the puzzle, to find the sweet spot where all of the pieces fit comfortably together, no forcing it or faking it.

Some days pieces won’t fit, or fall off and get lost in the chaos. But most days, when I stop and think, when I allow myself to the truths of who I am and what I want and how this all works, I know there are many many days my puzzle sits just right.

This is a truth of who I am, a paradox that I strive to reconcile.

When I work, I miss my kids.

When I’m not working, I miss myself.

 

Linking up with Heather at The Extraordinary, Ordinary for Just Write.

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