Have you ever looked back at your life and suddenly noticed a subtle fork in the road that you didn't even recognize at the time? A small part of me has been wondering what it might have looked like if I has chosen a different prong of the "fork".
Tomorrow is another First Day of School for many of us. My preschool classroom is all set up for a new group of 4 year olds to arrive. My teaching partner and I are so ready! The texts have been pinging back and forth all summer and we are anxious to see if all of our fun ideas will work with this new crew.
Tomorrow morning will be my third year back to teaching preschool since leaving it to raise my kids and join my husband in 30 years of full-time ministry life.
I kept my hand in early education by working as a substitute teacher for three preschools in our city for a few years. But babysitting plans became too complicated and stressful, so I sadly took my name off the sub lists.
Working with little ones has always been important to me, even in ministry life. Children's church, midweek Kids Clubs and teaching Sunday School began long before I was married and continued far into our ministry.
And now here I am, back in a colorful classroom and wishing I had never left. My mind wonders what it could have looked like if I had stuck with it.
There were other reasons for leaving. I suffered from severe headaches in those days and we all know that head pain and little kids are not a great combination. But still I wonder.
Could I have taught preschool while my boys were in school? Instead of being the pastor's wife who obsessed over Women's Ministry Committees, Bible Studies and making sure the Nursery Helpers were arriving on time?
There was an optional prong to the fork that I did not even consider at the time. Could I have been the pastoral wife with another job? It actually sounds pretty nice from this end of the fork.
I loved working with college age students for the last 10 years of our ministry and I would not trade that for anything. But even those years could have been shared with a preschool job a few days a week.
Maybe all of these wonderings about this prong or that prong are simply a sign that the current prong is just right for right now.
I love this preschool job so much! I am finding a great deal of fulfillment, challenge and just the right amount of tension to keep life very interesting! I get to be creative and silly and my co-workers and Director have become great and true friends.
|We are The Owl Class!|
I was a caterpillar who became a butterfly and now I am an owl. Owls are known for their wisdom that comes with age, so there you go. I'm wise enough to know that looking back with regret is a lose-lose situation, so I will not do that.
If you are a young mom who feels stuck or you find yourself wondering if putting your career aside was a mistake, I want to tell you that the fork you are balancing on right now is not permanent.
Surprises are ahead of you. Even if you are a crazy detailed planner like me. I had no clue I would ever come back to early education as a job. For years I moved an extremely awkward file box of preschool supplies, songs and crafts from one home to the next, never wanting to let go of all that work. Finally I put it in the garbage tote one night while doing an extreme purge-cleaning. I thought that part of my life experience was over.
Surprise! Now my laptop is overflowing with all the info I need, no problem. :)
I would not change the path I chose. The fork in my road took me to some wonderful places and I met amazing people who still mean a great deal to me. Of all the cutlery in the world, I love mine and I have no regrets.
aka Ms Susie