Saturday, September 11, 2010
Times They Are A Changin'
The past month or so has been a time of transition in our home, literally. Transition was a big word at school this past year as there was construction in progress and staff making the move from one building to another to join ranks. While I wasn't there for all that...I did change positions within my school. Now, instead of teaching first grade as I had for the past few years, I am teaching in the school library. And I love it. Instead of reaching one class of students (which is also pretty awesome) I get to meet with every class in the school and get them excited about literature, researching efficiently and effectively, citing sources, interacting with Web 2.0 tools to enhance presentation skills (and because they're just plain fun) and learning all day long. In addition to the traditional roles in the library, this year our school will be starting a TV studio and guess who gets to head that up...you guessed right. This is both exciting and intimidating, but fortunately I've been able to rope in three other staff members to help me out (phew). With all that said, it has been a time of transition both professionally and personally as well. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to stay home with my daughter for her first year of life, but alas it was time to return to work. In our home though, we are still fortunate that one parent can remain home with Cecelia. In case you weren't clear on the math, that means Jeff is at home with Cece now. And they are having a blast!!! But, let me back up. Jeff and I both come from backgrounds as educators and we take things like transitioning very seriously. So, when we looked at the prospect of Cecelia going from one full day parent to another, we approached it very much as one would with a student teacher. And to clarify, this was Jeff's idea, not mine. But it was a great idea, if a bit rigid :). Beginning on August 1st, we began a period of observation, where Jeff got to watch what we did all day. Looking back over the past year, July and August were increasingly predictable months, whereas I would say the previous 10-11 months were NOT. But I digress. So, Jeff watched what we did, figured out where everything was (as if I was hiding it from him all this time) and rearranged things to put them in places that made more sense to him (because he likes to do things like that). He recorded Cecelia's schedules, the foods she could and could not eat and some ideas of activities to do with her on a regular basis, as well as meal planning and food shopping to correspond to those meals. Basically, my husband is a parenting rock star and I love him more than words can express here. So, on to week 2 (wherein I screwed up the whole process) when I had a bunch of professional development meetings scheduled and wasn't able to ease into things that week, but trial by fire is also kind of good, right? But seriously, on days we were able, Jeff took over and I took a back seat. The following week I went away in the mornings and returned in the afternoons and the week after that I progressed towards full days away one hour at a time, so on Monday I stayed away until 1, Tuesday until 2, Wednesday until 3, and Thursday until 4. Friday, because I could, I stayed home and cherished one of my last days at home with my baby girl prior to returning to full time days at work. But then I did. And everything was fine. Fine for me, fine for Cecelia, fine for Jeff. I get the feeling that Cecelia does better when she's with Jeff and now, when I am home it messes with her routine. She's a bit of a crazy person in the mornings when I'm around, so I have to re-figure out what works for her. Going on walks, to the playground or park seem to be good activities. Cece is a busy little person and likes to keep VERY active. This (realization that I mess up her routine) has been hard, but being away and at work has not. I think because I did have a full year with Cece, this separation has been good for us. She is bonding with her daddy (not that she hadn't before) but they are learning more about each other and I like that a lot. I also like being at work and working with kids. I think another reason that our transition has been so smooth is that in the teaching profession, well - it's a cliche, but I have the summers. I have a week around the winter holidays, and a week prior to Easter. I'm able to be home by 4:30 on days that I don't have meetings after school. I feel very lucky to be in the profession that I am in. I feel very lucky to have the family that I have that supports me, including my husband, parents, in-laws, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. And I feel very lucky to have my beautiful, healthy, sometimes crazy, but mostly really really happy baby girl. She's not such a baby anymore as she's growing taller, getting bigger, and as Jeff puts it has lost her baby gait and is walking more like a "person". But more about all that later.