Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Date

My husband called me from work today, getting "permission" to play golf this evening with some buddies. While I love his company after having little adult interaction all day, I was still more than happy to let him get out and have some fun with his friends.

So seeing as how I had no plans for the evening, I decided to take my son on our very first "date". While we've had quite a bit more than a little alone time together, I thought it would be fun to take him out for some ice cream, which we hadn't ever done alone. I got my usual cookie dough blizzard and Eli got a vanilla dish with some m&ms on top. It was this simple little moment that made my night.

Lately there have been times where I envy some of my friends or family or even people I don't know, this time of year especially. I was born to be a teacher. Every part of me knows that teaching is what I love, what I am passionate about. And while I realize that I AM still teaching my own child all of these things, there is something different about being in front of a group of kids you really don't know and changing their lives. I think about this these first few days back at school and wonder what I'm missing. New kids, new parents, new co-workers. Creating exciting lesson plans, decorating the room, greeting the smiling kids. The meetings, checking papers, the indescribable feeling of watching a child learn from what you teach. Part of me yearns to know what that is like again. There are parts of teaching that I really miss.

As we sit and begin to eat our ice cream, not even a minute passes before Eli melts my heart. He pushes his ice cream to me and shows me all his m&ms and counts them for me. "One, two, thee, foe, five, sis, seben, eight, nine, ten!" Before each bite, he has to excitedly show me his spoon and tell me what colors of m&ms he is about to eat. This wasn't even close to the first time either of these things has happened, so I wasn't surprised by it in the least. It was more how he does these things that I cannot stop smiling about. He has this funny little way of touching my arm and putting his face really close to mine when he thinks he's telling me something really important. He needs to make sure I'm listening, make sure he has my attention entirely. I cannot tell you the joy that makes me feel. He feels that what he is saying is so important that I absolutely must listen. And I could not agree more. Every tiny thing he does is worth paying attention to. I cannot imagine missing a second of this. The ice cream, the smiles, the laughs, the tickles...I cannot get enough.

The conversations between the two of us will be something I always treasure. I can all but guarantee that if I was working full time, the relationship between us would be quite different. Whatever little part of me misses teaching is almost entirely erased when my son is around. Teachers have an amazingly important job. They teach and train and mold children for the future. But parents have a more important job. They teach values and self-confidence and respect and most important, love. ABC's and colors and numbers can wait, but helping transform my child into a loving human being cannot.

a person who teaches or instructs (

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience,
And wonderful gentleness, too.

How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years!

The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family
Whose needs she has placed above all.

A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.

A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill -
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!

- Katherine Nelson Davis