Probably right around now would be a wise time to begin to think about what I'm going to do with my life next year when all of the four kids are in full-time school.  Usually, though, I don't feel like it.  Thinking about it, that is.  I'm smack-dab in the middle of  the best year of my life.  My freedometer is registering a great deal more latitude than I've enjoyed at any other point over the last 13 years and best of all, I still have a little Buddy around with whom to share it.  I've discovered that the alone-time I longed over the years isn't nearly as nice as I'd imagined.  The solitary grocery shopping trips I fantasized about prove to be just a little lonely.  I find it's not the same when someone isn't curving their little body into the nest that they've fashioned out of my discarded parka, asking when we can go to the Cookie Club, 'cause the little birdie is hungry.  When aforementioned Little Buddy is along, my role is clear to both myself and to the world.  I'm a Mama (capital M, if you please).  When he flies off into the World next year, I'll have to work to reinvent myself, which will be odd, to say the least.

I'll have some re-training to do, first off.  I've let my teaching certificate lapse for more than ten years and so that means a couple of university courses for me.  This is the part I look forward to.  I think it'll be fun.  I'll be one of those keener Oldies sitting at the front of the class who drives everyone else crazy with her eager, upthrust hand, excited to interact with the Professor.  I'll  be exempt from all the boy/girl titillation that normally hovers in those classrooms like thick haze.  My 37 years (not to mention the stretch marks) will protect me from it all.  My safe invisibility will allow for me to really delve into the subject matter, which in my case means English Literature in all its glory.  I'm quite excited.

The part that isn't nearly so solidified in my mind is what will happen next.  I suppose that I'll apply to the local school district.  The truth is that I'm not all that willing to apply elsewhere as a commute seems like too much work and inconvenience just now.  I feel the injunction within to make everything jive conveniently with my own children and the consequent pick-up and drop-off times.  The truth of the matter is, I'm a bit Fussy-Pants about the whole thing.   I've been fortunate to not have  to resort to daycare in the last ten or so years, and I'd rather avoid doing so now.  (All of this is not to say, of course, that I don't see and heartily acknowledge the essential role these places play in our society.  So many parents aren't blessed with the choice I have before me.  I see - and am profoundly grateful for - all of this.  The fact that it isn't fair occurs to me daily.  As I type, I hear myself that this reeks powerfully of the anguished cries of lawyers in love.  I know, too, that there are many moms out there who don't view the process of placing your child in care as a "resorting" of any sort.  So good.  We've assuaged the rising ire of the Politically Correct.  For me, though, the choice is clear.  I require that it be I who is the primary caregiver to my four.  Chalk it up to a controlling nature, or really, whatever you like.)  Let's assume the local school district sees its way clear to hiring me, in all my fussiness.  I'll need to start from the ground up, which in this profession means being a Teacher-On-Call all over again.  I'd feel OK with the process but for the fact that to 'magically' transform from the position of TOC to the position of regular classroom teacher requires some dazzling of the Higher-Ups, or at least it did for me the first time around.  The dazzling looked a lot like coaching sports teams (anyone who really knows me recognizes the ridiculousness and  laughability of such an idea), the heading-up of afterschool clubs and the general dedication to kids-not-my-own that requires extra time and emotional energy.  Just the things that I don't have tons of in reserve these days.  So what to do?  I'm not all that sure that I'd  hire me!  If life were only rainbows and roses and I could choose exactly only what strikes my fancy, I'd be a Teacher-On-Call to only a handful of traditional schools where I'd be freed to build relationships with the small, intimate and o-so-whole staffs, resulting, ideally, in many friendly call-backs.  I'd probably not lumber onto that treadmill of "Impressing One's Authority Figures" in order to be hired on permanently somewhere.  My lovely, freeing hours would smoothly coexist as though best friends with the hours of my own children's two schools.  Ahhhhh.  Just think of it.  A permanent TOC to well-behaved and very lovely children under the age of Grade 5, exclusively.   There we have it.  I should step off of my spaceship at some point; the real world beckons.

11/26/2009 1:49pm

Gotta say, I'm curious as to how you plan on sharing your stretch marks with the class as a surefire way to avoid being a part of said "titillation". Showing up first day with a mid-riff bearing tee circa 1992, perhaps? I may still have one in my closet if you need to borrow it...

11/27/2009 8:59am

Yeah. I was thinking there would definitely have to be a preemptive flashing at some point. The belly shirt is a nice idea; I'll keep you posted on that. Thanks for helping me think it all through, though!

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