Do Your Eyes Light Up?

This is it. My last day of vacation before I head back to the nuthouse I lovingly refer to as work. This is the most ready and excited I have been about returning to work since….. hmmmmm…. since…. Since I was disillusioned after graduation? Maybe. I am ready. What makes this new school year different from all the others? Good question. The classic teenage response is “Idunno”. Alas, I am not a teenager, those days have long since passed me by, and all I can say is THANK GOD, Who the hell wants to be a teenager again? Except I would kill for that figure I had when I thought I was too fat then. I wish I was that fat now…

Back to the “what makes me so ready this year”? Well, first of all I need routine. Sure I love two months of chaos but I need to get back in the saddle of predictability and timetables. I eat better, work harder and get more done. Secondly, I really miss my team. We went through an awful lot last year and I miss the support and friendship. I am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. Thirdly, teenagers are driving me bonkers, or to drink, or both.

I have to say, as my kids get older I do enjoy them more. Sure I miss their cuddly little bodies and cutie pie faces, but the humour, wisdom and just plain fun out weigh the kiddy years. My age has something to do with it too. Being a mom is just plain tiring. The less they need me, the more I find out about myself. Win/win.

I was listening to an interview with Toni Morrison, a brilliant author and wise woman. She was asked to depart with a gem of knowledge or word of wisdom before the interview ended. She said

Do your eyes light up when a child enters the room? Do your eyes sparkle with the love you feel for them?

Hmmm, good question Toni. Do they? As most of you know, I have worked with children for a very long time. I started my first day of “real” work in 1988. You do the math, just don’t tell me. In that time I know I have made a difference to children because they approach me now that they are adults and like to reminisce about wacky and fun things that happened in the class room. But did my eyes light up?

I can list on one hand the adults in my life whose eyes lit up when they saw me. With the expectation of two adults who have since passed away, I still have that amazing connection with those adults who felt I was important enough to them to show the love in their eyes. I still miss those two who passed every single damn day. My children have a connection with adults who se eyes light up. I know those relationships will last long into their adult life.

For as long as I can remember, I loved the energy of being around kids. I had lost that feeling in the past few years. Working with different teams that were not a good fit, eat a little bit of your soul every day. That makes it hard to love the work you do. Yet, somehow, my little pals always seemed to make me smile or laugh. They bring me a rock or dead flower, an apple core or a picture they drew and say it was for me. They would cuddle up in the library and put their little head on my arm as I read to them. They would hug my leg and yell “look at me!” every time they went down the big kid slide. I remember most of them. Every year a few make quite an impact on me and they stay with me. I can see their 4 year old face in the adult they become. I’ve tied a billion shoes and and have said endlessly, “if you are big enough to go to school, then you are big enough to do this yourself”.

On Tuesday morning the bus will come to school, filled with little ones and their mommies, they will be clinging to the legs of their moms and crying their little hearts out. I will make eye contact with them and smile. They will see in my eyes that I am happy they came, so when June rolls around, I will be the one crying. I miss extra squeezy hugs over the summer and stupid knock knock jokes.

When you take your kids to school the first day, look in the teachers eyes. Do their eyes light up when they see your child? Look in the mirror when they come home. Do your eyes light up?

Mine do.

10 thoughts on “Do Your Eyes Light Up?

  1. …sniff sniff…

    My eldest started school last week. He couldn’t wait to start kindergarten! Me, not so much. But his first day of school was not as hard as his first day at daycare, when he was 4 months old. That was rough.

    You’ll have plenty of sparkle in your eyes for everyone this year.. look at everything you’ve done over the summer!


  2. I absolutely did the happy dance when I read her name on the “best grade 2 teacher” class list. I want her to get the best teachers EVERY year so that sparkle is always there. It was there this morning and when I picked her up, we BOTH had it!! I’m so excited for her this year!

  3. “The less they need me, the more I find out about myself.” I think this is the perfect way to sum up raising children, as I’ve experienced that myself.

    So, where’s that pic of the hot yoga instructor you were going to post…?

  4. I love this… I’ve often thought I should have been an elementary school teacher, although it all probably wears you down too. I have to say we have been so lucky with my kid’s teachers, just totally devoted folks! It really helps. I commend people like you who have devoted their lives to working with kids… SO important!

  5. Remember when you get exhausted, from being mom and teaching…always come back to WHY you are there. That spark exists still and sometimes you simply need to remind yourself! You are so special to them. 😉

    If you need a drinking partner, I got you a glass of your favorite beer/drink here!!

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