I never realized that being a teacher is so much a part of who I am until recently. I have been on medical leave since January. Not teaching, for me, is like missing a small limb. I really feel like something is missing, and when I get a taste of it, I feel whole again.
Yesterday I went to visit my kids. Under the supervision of the most amazing instructional assistant, they had organized a surprise for me. When I walked in all the kids were lined up in white t-shirts with letters on them that spelled out "We <3 love you <3 Mrs. Dauer!!. They read letters, gave me flowers, had designed a teacher's chair, and one of the parents put together the most lovely scrapbook. After the celebrating, I sat with them, and listened to things they had to tell me, and read them a book. I read them a book. Pizza for Breakfast. I know that seems like such a small, simple thing, but it was all I wanted to do. And it was such a treat for me. It was a book we had read earlier in the school year, and I remember it to be a huge hit. One of the girls in my class saw the title and said, "I was hoping that you would read that again. I love this book!". I was overwhelmed (and still am) with joy and love and the sense that this is where part of my heart and soul belong.
I never realized that being a Mom is so much a part of who I am until recently. I have been on medical leave since January. I am home for my teenage children when they come home from school. This is the first time that I have been home after school with my kids in nine years.
A few days ago, I was driving my son home from a baseball game. It was quiet in the car. I am sure he was thinking about all the homework he had to do, but I just kept glancing over at his mature face that has changed so much over the past year. He shared some important information about his life with me, and I was honored that he would.
The next day, my senior daughter came home for lunch with a friend. I sat with them as I ate lunch and listened to their opinions about politics, and stories about school, and plans for their future, and discussions about prom, and I was so content.
Two days ago, my middle daughter had a surprise 16th birthday dinner for her closest friend at our house. She was so appreciative of being able to hold the dinner here, and have her friends over. I sat back and just listened to them and their laughter, and appreciated the memories that they were making together.
What a treat to be able to be so present for my kids. I was overwhelmed (and still am) with joy and love and the sense that this is where part of my heart and soul belong.