Thursday, February 21, 2008

Old Shoes

I have to say that I was getting a bit stressed & worried earlier this week. You see, the time was fast approaching when I would have to say goodbye to my days filled with little smiles & poopy diapers and return to teaching in order to finish out the school year.

That would leave me with just a few hours of awake & playing before I would have to tuck the boys off to "sleep" and not have much interaction with them for the rest of the night. How many milestones would I miss? How many little smiles would be directed at someone else instead of me?

I'm still sad just thinking about it.

The transition was made a bit easier by the fact that my parents have practically moved here for three and a half months to be "nannies" to the boys. At least I don't have to entrust my little sweeties to a stranger.

I know that I need to finish the year -- and not just for selfish reasons like seeing my first homeroom class graduate and getting my salary for a few more months (although those are minor perks as well). Mainly, I just know that for some reason that's what God is asking me to do. So I've been praying for Him to help me through this and give me some enthusiasm for teaching and for the kids at school.

And so, yesterday morning I began the familiar trek southward for 9 miles. I was the first one at school -- no surprise there, I always was. Slowly but surely, familiar faces began to trickle in the building. First teachers, then students. Some had grown. Some had changed their hair. But they were still those same kids that I left back in October. I think the 6th grade class even had the same seating chart I had given them in the Fall.

I slipped so comfortably back into my role as teacher, it was almost as though I had only been gone for a day or two & had to catch up in some lesson plans that the sub hadn't managed to get through.

It was like putting on that old pair of tennis shoes that have been sitting at the back of my closet for so long. Perhaps they aren't as comfortable as they used to be, but then, it's hard to remember what they felt like when they were first purchased. All I know now is that they feel nice. They are full of memories of good times.

And that now is the time to wear them. After all, they won't last much longer.

God didn't necessarily answer my prayers by giving me enthusiasm or excitement to leave my boys and head back to work. But he sure did give me peace and comfort in my current situation, knowing that there is a reason he wants me to finish the year. There is a reason he wants me interacting with these middle schoolers who will grow up and move on -- and many of whom I may never see again.

I have a lifetime of smiles ahead of me with my boys -- and I look forward to every one.

But right now I am smiling at someone else who apparantly needs me, too.

Isaiah 41:10 For me, it always comes back to this verse. . .

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