There may be nothing I am worse at than balancing being a mom and a teacher. Sometimes I do a great job at home and sometimes I do a great job at school but there’s rarely a day when I think I am doing a great job at both. However like all moms working outside the home or not or I try every day. The start of school brings about even more of those feelings. Twelve hour days trying to get a classroom ready while also trying to prepare my own sweet kids for a new school year is more often than not a daunting task.
This year though feels different. I have a son that’s eight and when he started Kindergarten I was sad that he was growing up but I was comforted in knowing somehow that he would be “okay”. This year though, is a little harder…this year my princess starts Kindergarten. Embry is my fireball, my best friend, and my constant comedic relief. She is smart, friendly, funny, and well-adjusted so why could I be so worried about this shining star spreading her sweet little wings?
Embry was born with a couple different issues with her eye but the one that left the most lasting mark was congenital ptosis. This left one eyelid muscle paralyzed and partially held open by a piece of silicon. By the age of 9 months she had spent more time in doctors offices and hospitals than I have in 32 years. Now at age four she knows the difference in an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and an optician and affectionately refers to her eyes as her big eye and little eye. She has handled all of that with more determination that I could have probably mustered up…but none of that is why I am worried.
I have more faith in teachers than I can even describe in words but it is so hard to trust your baby to be loved and taken care of in a class of 20+ when they have a condition that makes them different. I see kids every day…great kids…that are left out, made fun of, or even just asked uncomfortable questions about why they look the way they do. It is hard to be a teacher and see the student side of things and then go home and know your child will face many of the same issues. I don’t think I am unrealistic. I don’t expect Em to be invited to every birthday party, make every team or win every award but what I do expect is for her to be allowed to feel safe, loved, and welcome at school and I pray that will be the case this year in Kindergarten.
Whether you are a teacher welcoming new students into your classroom environment or a parent sending your baby to spread their wings may we all teach the children we come in contact with to be a little kinder and gentler this year to those who are different than them. From one mom to another trust those kind hearted teachers who you are sending your babies off too and from one teacher to another love those sweethearts like your own…it’s hard to be a mom and a teacher.