Today Lennon smiled at me. It wasn’t a “that fart felt nice smile” - I’ve witnessed lots of those in the last two months. It was a full faced grin of love and appreciation.
It was toothless and a bit drooly, but honestly, I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life. To say I was thrilled was the understatement of the century.
That toothless grin is the main reason that I am no longer a blue devil as I recently resigned from my position as a tenth grade English teacher at Lewiston High School. Choosing between my biological child and my “school children” was difficult. Over the course of the last four years, I have grown attached to all of the “little devils” that I have had the pleasure of working with. One of the things I have appreciated most about the school is its diversity. Prior to working at Lewiston High School, I had worked with exactly three students who were English language learners – one of whom was an exchange student. Since becoming a member of LHS’s faculty, I have had an opportunity to instruct and work with students from around the globe, and it has changed my perspective of the world and my philosophy as an educator. For this, I will always be thankful.
That being said, I work a lot. Despite being a veteran teacher wrapping up my seventh year of teaching, with all of the new initiatives that are being introduced in the district, I regularly work over fifty hours a week trying to keep up. My husband also works long hours as a digital manager at a local advertising agency, so I know that if I continued working, my daughter would spend the vast majority of her time at a daycare or with relatives.
Here is the thing: I didn’t have a child to have someone else raise her. I don’t want her first smile to be for her daycare provider. I don’t want her first words to be heard by someone else. I am her mother, and I want to be there to witness all of her beautiful (and not so beautiful) first. I want to be the one to cheer her through her successes and wipe her tears through her troubles.
So, I bid goodbye to my blue devils, and I am saying hello to a year at home with my beautiful baby girl.