Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On leaving behind an old self and finding I like the new self better.

On leaving behind an old self and finding I like the new self better.

I used to try to get everything done.
Used to think I could.
I was a teacher of literature and poetry and writing.

Then I had three kids of my own.
And started homeschooling them.

Now I
Grow butterflies instead of house plants.

Collect finger prints instead of art prints.
Eat family friendly instead of complicated gourmet.

I have an audience of 3 instead of 103.

I hear puppet-show narrations instead of expository essays.
I read fairy tales instead of the Great Books.
I receive hugs instead of paychecks.

Though I no longer teach in a public space,
I still
care, love, reflect,
plan, assess, correct,
cry, laugh, learn.

But now I get snuggles in return.

I don't get a Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring or
Summer Break from these students.
But each morning I do get
frowzy, warm, little boy hands rubbing my back
giggles greeting me from baby bouncing in crib

a groan from under pillow of the oldest growing too fast.
And I know my work has begun again.
We share OJ and oatmeal, prayer and praise.

At this school, I count baking (and eating) goodies
as my part of my curriculum.

A bike ride as
Physical Education.

I have a whole world as my scope.
My inspiration sets our sequence.

I end these students' day, not with homework
but covers pulled up under chin,
prayer, confession and blessing,
kisses, I love yous, nigh-nighs, one more song,
and a "can we have donuts for breakfast?"
I guess, it's always worth a try.

And finally they are all asleep,

hopefully for the night.
The house, our school room, is hushed.

Instead of desks to clean, there are still dishes.
Instead of piles of grading, there is always more laundry.

But no last bell, just quiet.
The quiet satisfaction of work well-done and days well-spent.
Work never quite done, always to be repeated,
fraught with imperfection and sin,
a liturgy of love,
a litany of my life for yours.

**The original inspiration for this post came from The Flourishing Mother...It was so wonderful for me to work through these ideas. Thanks, Andrea.


Jennifer said...

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. What a lovely poem!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Loved this, Amy. I linked to it on my blog.


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