Friday, May 16, 2008

Bittersweet

Today is my last day of work....even though our daughter hasn't arrived, my maternity leave officially starts at 3:45 this afternoon.

Interestingly, almost everyone around me keeps asking me if I am excited. I know why of course...at this point in the year teachers are all burnt out and exhausted. Overwhelmed with the assessments we have to give, the end of year goals we have to write, the data we have to enter and analyze for various reports, a room that has to be packed up, the gobs and gobs of money that has to be spent to buy gifts for everyone in creation and the preparations that have to be made now for next year...plus, you know, teaching a group of increasingly rambunctious students who believe that summer started the first warm days we have. The end of the year is a marathon not a sprint, and it is a non-stop one at that. So, I understand why the teachers around me are envious at the thought of me staying home, avoiding the crush of the end of the year and being able to relax instead of run constantly....

And I am excited. After a year of chairing two committees, serving on at least two others, serving as union Vice President, writing Reading Curriculum, taking grad classes, being pregnant and teaching in a rather demanding district, I am excited to just. stop. I am excited for random little projects around the house that I don't get to do in the hustle and bustle of every day life. And of course, I am most excited to meet my daughter for the first time....

But I'm also sad. So sad that I think I've cried more this week then I have throughout my whole pregnancy. (I know, I know, part of that is hormones....) I'm one of those teachers that LOVES to teach. I love the end of the year madness. I love everything about finishing out a year and thinking about next year...because this is when I start to think about next year. When I look at those second graders and wonder which of them will be spending a year of their lives with me. This is when I think about the students I have now and marvel at their growth and laugh about the stories from the year and how each one of them has left a lasting impression on my heart. This is one of the best parts of the year--and one of the best parts of teaching--the saying goodbye while simultaneously saying hello. The reflection on a year well spent, the eager anticipation of a summer vacation to come and the hope that comes with a new batch of students....

I'll be missing out on so much of this....
But I'll also be welcoming our daughter into this world. And I know, without a doubt, that there is no greater miracle, no greater joy, than that....so it is with bittersweet, and mixed, emotions that I start, and end, my last day....

5 comments:

Kelli said...

I know it's bittersweet but congratulations on your last day.

What a year you've had! And even though it's hard to leave, you are now officially one step closer to attending the meeting to end all meetings - the debut of baby girl.
Sending lots of love and hugs!

Beth said...

Lisa,
This post makes me even more proud of you as a sister, teacher, and future mother. Your students, their parents, and your whole school is so so lucky to have such a passionate and loving teacher. It just makes me more keenly aware of what a wonderful mother you will be. I am so excited for this new adventure and as always I can't wait to learn from watching you. I can truly understand the bittersweetness of today but I know the sweet will far out way the bitter in the end...well in the beginning that is!
I love you to pieces. You take some of this precious time and relax, take care of YOU, and baby too.
See you soon,
Beth

JaxMom said...

With a sister and two cousins who teach third grade, I very much appreciate your post.

I do hope you enjoy your time home and wish you all of the best with the birth of your daughter.

JaxMom

JaxMom said...

Wow, Lisa!

You would not have made end of school year anyway. Just visited Tina's site. Congratulations! She is beautiful.

I hope you are all doing well.

KTP said...

Lisa,

You are a giant slacker, neglecting your blog after your baby was born.

What? I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking. We want the story, your thoughts, and MORE PICTURES!

Congratulations!!! I was so excited to hear the news, and what a beautiful name you chose for her.