Thursday, November 14, 2013

It really does not seem that long ago that I sat in the staff room at work talking about pregnancy and then about preschool before moving on to issues of childhood. We talked about date nights and breast feeding and how we never got any sleep with a baby/toddler in the house.

I am only a few years older than some of the teachers who are new parents and, yet, I feel worlds away from them in many ways. Where they are talking about pregnancy and newborns, I find myself talking about elderly parents and caregiving. 

I suppose in some ways I am fortunate that I had my daughter young. Unlike some of my peers who are going to be dealing with young children and elderly parents at the same time, I have only had to deal with one or the other. (Not that I am not still dealing with parenting issues - 17 year olds can be very emotionally demanding!)

Today I am off to the hospital with my siblings to attend a meeting about my Mum. She has been going for assessment two days a week for three months. Today we find out what the complete diagnosis is (I know it is dementia but am unsure how far along the continuum she is) and suggestions for future care etc.

I don't often talk about my personal life on here. There are so many other exciting things to talk about that are going on in the classroom! But, every once in awhile, I think it is valuable to be reminded (and remind others) that while I spend the majority of my time planning, teaching and caring for other people's children, I do have things going on in my own life that occasionally take precedence. 

And, while parents of the students in my class are primarily concerned with how their child is doing (as they should be), I hope that they understand that in and amongst all of the lessons and teaching and everything, their children bring me joy and take me to my happy place. 

When I feel overwhelmed by my mother's decline in mental health, when I miss my father desperately or when my heart is breaking for my 17 year old (who has had her heart broken), I know that I can walk into my classroom and be filled instantly with joy and love and caring. I feel so blessed to have the job that I have. I know, I know, I've said that before but I really mean it. How many people go to work each day and get hugs and smiles and laughs? Not many, I would guess. 

And so, while I am not really looking forward to this morning's meeting at the hospital, I know that no matter what happens, I can walk into my class this afternoon and feel happy. Thank you for that, my lovelies!

Ms. Hughes

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