Today was the first day of school. As a teacher, I have always loved this time of year. The excitement of finding out who is going to be in your class, the sun streaming in the classroom windows, and the school supply shopping – oh the school supplies! And as much as I love teaching and love this time of year, today was difficult for me. Because back-to-school doesn’t just mean I get to start a new school year with my students anymore. It means I have to end a summer spent cuddling, reading to, laughing with, and loving up my babies.
Last night, I figured I should probably rid my purse of its “mom” contents. I removed a tiny tube of Aquifor, two pacifiers, and a couple of crunched up Goldfish. But this morning, as I was searching for my lanyard that Olivia surely took out and hid somewhere, my fingers brushed a mini Minnie Mouse. And that’s the beauty of being a mommy, especially a working mommy.
Even though you aren’t always with them, your children are always with you. They are in the stories you tell – how Olivia had the time of her life at the splash pad and how Nate’s new favorite game is patty cake. The lunches you pack that now include food in an assortment of Disney Princess containers. The coffee you grab because someone woke up more times than normal last night. The frames on your desk and the videos on your phone. They are there. They are always there.
But what makes it easier is working with a beautiful group of students. Students whose parents are thinking about them all day. In their stories, while eating their lunches, drinking their coffee. They leave their child and entrust them to me. And I promise to take care of that child and help him or her to grow. Because I know that when each parent leaves their child at school, they aren’t just leaving a 7 year-old. They’re leaving their heart. Because that’s what I did.