Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three Weeks In

Looking through my recent posts....and even so at the endless list of unfinished drafts that have accumulated in my Blogger homepage, it's obvious to me that the school year is definitely upon us. 

I'm two days away from submitting my first progress reports as a full-time math and algebra teacher. Tomorrow marks the second volleyball game for my 8th graders. Open House has come and gone and today I finished up grading the first official math test of the new school year. 

Despite the warm temperatures, fall is in full swing and life is hitting the high gear. 

Here in our home, we are chugging along, all of us adjusting to the new schedule in our own way.  Here are just a few of the highlights.

We had to buy a new car seat (Graco Nautilus) for Natalie to use in my car so that her feet and knees wouldn't hit the back of my seat. Craig also needed a seat in his car for the days when I just can't leave work before five o'clock. 

Yes. I know that I quit coaching n order to be at home more and not spend so much time at school....but if I'm going to take on the responsibility of teaching 8th grade math and algebra, then I'm going to do it right. And sometimes, doing it right means staying late after school to plan lessons, grade papers or give tutorials. 

I started back up with Bible Study in my little town, which is led by the uber talented Jen Wilkin, who happens to be the sister-in-law of one of my dearest friends, Emily. It's two hours of fellowship and faith with similarly minded women every Tuesday night....and it is wonderful. My brain loves a good challenge and as challenging as planning curriculum and managing the education of 150+ students is....I need something that is both challenging AND spiritually fulfilling. 

Natalie has been having night terrors lately which basically consist of her waking us up around midnight with screaming sobs, only for us to find her out of bed and huddled on the floor behind her door, dripping in sweat and shaking. No wonder the little dear has such a fear of bedtime! We had a "come to Jesus" about her bedtime antics the other night (after we had battled her whack-a-mole routine for an hour) and all I can say is THANK GOODNESS for language skills! She was able to tell us that she gets scared at night because of dreams....and because Mommy and Daddy get mad at her for being out of bed. Ouch. Hearing that come out of the mouth of your precious, innocent child is a swift kick in the gut. Needless to say, our bedtime routine AND expectations have changed. No more frustration (at least visible to her), no more closed doors, no more raised voices. Just loving cuddles, lots of stories, a cracked door and the hall bathroom light left on. Hopefully this will help soothe her troubled sleeping pattern. 

All through the past three weeks of school, I've been asked by students, co-workers and parents.....DO I MISS COACHING?  And at the end of the first week, as I exited the building at 4:45 to go have a relaxing evening with my family while the volleyball team practiced until well past 5:30....the answer was and still is a resounding NO. The truth is, if I had to have coached this year, I would have done it to the best of my ability because that's the kind of team player that I am.  But as I sat in the stands last week watching the first game for my 8th graders, I felt relieved. I now have the fun job - I sit, I watch, I cheer and I congratulate. That's it. I can marvel in their talent and tell them how proud I am of their accomplishments. I don't have to worry about playing time or skill development, inter-team squabbles or outsmarting the opponent. I just get to be encouraging and supportive. THAT is a role that I can wholeheartedly sink my teeth into. 

So I guess life is pretty good right now. Sure there are the daily stresses of juggling laundry, meals, housework, child care and some semblance of a romantic marriage, but when I lay my head on my pillow at night....I'm content. 

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