So this last week of school was hectic…
I’m changing grade levels next year, and the jump is a big one…5th grade to 1st or Kinder…
But it’s chaos getting my room packed up and ready for the transition.
This greeted me one night as I was leaving the building…
I’m looking forward fondly for this new chapter.
I returned to teaching after quite some time away just three short years ago. My youngest was finally settled in school, just completed first grade. We were finally settled in a place with plans to remain longer than a few years. It was a prime opportunity in the school where my two youngest attended. I remember that year so clearly. Some things stick out more readily than others…
…I remember when I was talking to the principal at the school about an upcoming position that would be available and a later comment from the ex alluding to the idea that I should “maybe get a job for the fall so I could be more financially stable”…I let that one go right over my head – deny, deny, deny.
…I remember finding the house of my dreams…and buying at the end of May…both of us signing the papers TOGETHER. Thinking, “maybe, just MAYBE, this could be a new start”. ha
…it was the spring I went to Seattle to visit my grandmother for the first time as an adult…with my husband. I remember the time leading up to that visit. I had planned to go with a friend because the tension between us was so thick. Then I decided that it really SHOULD be us together and expressed this…to which he reluctantly agreed. Now, hindsight tells me why he initially fought going. But at the time, I had hoped it would be a time for us together alone to try and bond or reconnect. There were fleeting moments where I thought that was happening at the top of Mount Rainier. But alas, there were also moments I recall when one night after dinner and a heated discussion, I returned to my grandmother’s house crying and couldn’t stop. I think that was the night I figured out that it wasn’t that he was disappointed WE weren’t doing well, but that HE wasn’t doing well (he was more worried about ‘failing’ then he was me)
…it was also the summer I went to Africa on a mission trip with our new church. I will never forget that experience. Or sitting on the lawn of the guest house in Nairobi after returning from being in the village for a week without outside contact…everyone was receiving emails and Skype calls from family back home, yet I had none. I had never felt more alone. I honestly didn’t even know if he would make the effort to be there to greet me when I returned…he wasn’t. I was dropped off at home by a friend.
…I remember being slated to work in Kindergarten when I left for the Africa trip, only to find out when I returned from the trip that I would now be needed in 5th grade (the same grade my oldest daughter was in) and had about one month to prepare – only I couldn’t get into my classroom until two weeks prior to school starting.
…it was the summer we moved in to the new house, started making new friends, and had strangers driving down the street taking photos of the house. I thought it strange, but brushed it off to be lingering house buyers trying to see if the house was still available…little did I know. I should have recognized my sixth sense…
…I remember the week before school started. My parents were in town watching the kids while I worked my first weeks back to full time in over 12 years. It was a Friday. He had returned from a trip and called me to ask if we could “talk”. I remember saying something to the effect of “I’m not going to like what you have to say, am I” and the one word answer “no”. You see, the person driving by my new house was the estranged husband of the paramour and he was ‘threatening’ to tell me of the affair. So my ex figured he had better come clean.
One week before I started teaching.
I kicked him out.
That was a tough year.
Now three years later…the rainbows appear as I embark on a new transition I have CHOSEN for myself!
I CHOSE to move grades. My youngest is entering 5th grade and while I could teach her and be impartial, some other adults are petty and rude. Not to mention the other children that have been to my house for a sleepover and seen me in my PJ’s…and may think that means they can get away with more…or even if THEY don’t, other adults are still petty and rude. So in an effort to avoid those petty and rude comments and situations being thrown at my daughter (like they were when I taught my oldest daughter) I am switching grades. Plus, taking a break from the older kids and the testing pressures is well deserved and needed. This was a helluva year for me…class of 25 (15 boys, 10 girls) and at least 65% A Type “look at me” personalities…my patience was tested regularly to say the least. 🙂
This summer I have CHOSEN to take a personal vacation. I have very few vacation memories separate from my children, and the last one was the Seattle trip. I am replacing that trip with a trip to a tropical island this summer. With a good friend. She and I both deserve a trip away to relax (she teaches Autistic Preschoolers!!)
I have CHOSEN to put the “dream” house up on the market. It isn’t financially sound for me to try and keep up the appearance that I have a “family” that doesn’t truly exist…so the “family” home that goes with that façade needs to go to someone else who has the means to care for it the way it needs.
I have CHOSEN to start seeing my ex for the man that he is, and not the man that I had always thought he wanted to be…and realized that while he will always have glimmers of that man, he will never truly be able to BE that man…because it just isn’t him.
I will continue to CHOOSE…for me. And for my kids. WE are the family now. My rainbow after the storm.