Real because all the prepping and planning for my class before my leave are mostly done. While I had the majority of planning done before summer began, I still came up to my classroom a handful of times to set up my classroom, decorate, and made sure most things were in order leading up to this week.
Surreal because as my teacher friends were getting ready this morning, I was also getting my 3-year old son ready for his first day of his 3-year old class. As I was putting on his clothes, it reminded me of how excited many students are at the beginning of every year as they enter their new schools or classrooms. Also...how excited and nervous their parents are as they send them to their new teachers with so much hope and dreams for their own child.
I held onto my tears as I snapped a handful of pictures of my son with his backpack and as my husband and him pulled out from the garage. Five years ago, if someone had told me that I would start my ninth year of teaching with a three-year old toddler going off to school and a newborn in my arms, I would probably not believe it at all. But there I was, standing by the door holding onto my two-week old daughter and my once-was-a-newborn was sitting in his toddler chair heading off to school.
Later on this week, I will head back to my class briefly for Meet-the-Teacher Night, and I really can't wait to see my new students, introduce them to my long-term sub, and of course, visit with my former students and their parents, who I know have been waiting to see pictures of our newborn.
Although I never thought in a million years I would miss the beginning of the school year, I know that I have done the best I could to prepare for my long-term sub and know that everything will be in God's good hands.
I also know that as much as I want to be with my new students, my daughter needs me the most right now, and I am more than happy to spend these precious and pivotal weeks with her.
So while this teacher is not heading back to her classroom just yet, I am happy to say that she is joyfully settled in as a mommy at home for now in her new pencil socks.