One of the things I love about being a teacher is the "new start" every July (yes, we are modified year round, so the first student day is July 26 this year). I love buying a new lesson plan book, moving the furniture around in my classroom, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, getting my roster and writing my "welcome" post cards. There is just something refreshing about always getting a new start. Now, my own kids are getting that "fresh start". Andrew and Annabelle will be starting Pre-K at the school I teach at in July. Well, I should say, used to teach at. After 11 years of "fresh starts", I am going to be experiencing all of it exclusively as a mom. I am so excited to get to stay home with my babies the last year before they go to school full time. I am beyond excited to only have to worry about 2 lunches instead of 25, 2 conferences instead of 25 (50 in my half day kinder days), 2 field trips, 2 back packs, 2 water bottles (a must for school when it starts in July). Just 2. I am so thankful for this opprotunity. I am also getting really nervous about leaving my chosen profession. I love teaching- LOVE TEACHING!! If there is anything I would want to do outside my home, it's teach. I love seeing the light in the kids eyes when they discover something new, I love saying the pledge and having a moment of silence each day. This is all I have know for 11 years. When I first started teaching (right before we got engaged), I thought this will be fun... 2 weeks off every 10 and summers off! AWESOME!! And then I had my first day at school. I took my class of 21 kindergarteners inside my classroom, waved good bye to thier parents and started sweating! I looked at those sweet tiny faces and felt the total weight of my responsibility. It was my job to make them smart, to protect their physical being as well as their hearts, to make sure they eat lunch and go to the bathroom... The list goes on. I WAS TERRIFIED!!!!! I eventually got into the swing of things, but every first day I had that same "pit in my stomach" feeling of immense responsibility. I settled in to teaching and knew, "this is where I belong". In 21 more school days, that will no longer be my responsibility. Sigh of relief- I THINK NOT!!! I now have an even more immense responsibility as a full time stay at home mom!!! YIKES!! I have those same moments with my kids all the time, "it's my job as your mommy to help you learn, tell you the truth, explain how a toilet works, tell you why you can't have candy for breakfast, and keep you safe and..." the list goes on right?! My life changed forever the day we got our referral. I had a feeling I didn't know exsisted. It's like love, fierce love, and pride, chest bursting pride, and anxiety, breathe in a paper bag aniety, and thankfulness, a what could I ever have done in my life to desserve this amazing blessing thankfulness. It's all summed up in the way we love our kids. The kind of love only a mommy can feel. That feeling has made me rethink what I have done with my life for the last 11 years. I now know-this is where I belong. With my sweet babies Andrew and Annabelle. I don't know how long I will get to be home, that's not important now. Even more than when I became a teacher, dedicating my life to my students and my profession, I know "this is where I belong".