One day in May of last year I was at church and a gal I know, who is a teacher at a Montessori school came over to me and asked if I would consider being her assistant in her kindergarten class.
Just like that, someone offered me a job.
My kids could come with me. There was a full time preschool for Simon.
I had gone and looked at this school when Ben was four. I really, really wanted to send him there.
It just wasn’t financially feasible. Or even justifiable.
But now he could go there. For free.
After several conversations and much prayer, and after my sister said to me,
There are a lot of people looking for jobs right now. It seems like if someone is just handing one to you without your even looking for it, well then, you ought to take it if you can.
And so I did.
I said yes, I would love to be in a Montessori kindergarten classroom. For a season.
So I pulled out my skirts, bought some insanely comfortable shoes and dove in.
I started work a couple of weeks before my kids started school.
I was really nervous to meet the other teachers. I don’t make a great first impression. I also don’t interview well.
So it’s a lucky thing I never had to be interviewed.
Slowly, though, I got to know this group of great gals with whom I would spend the next year of my life.
For two weeks, we made labels and organized. We cleaned and dusted and rearranged furniture. And we laminated and cut things out. And we organized some more. I began to get excited.
And after two weeks, even though I really, really loved the laminating machine, I was ready for some kiddos.
And so we began. Simon, Ben and me.
For the most part, we all loved school.
We had a few bumps on the move from public to Montessori for Ben.
He cried on the first day of school when the teacher said,
Write me a description of what you did this summer. Oh, and go ahead and write in cursive.
They start a little earlier with cursive in a Montessori school than they do in regular school,
about four years earlier.
His teacher quickly smoothed it over and made an exception for Ben.
Over time, he began to write in cursive.
And over time, we began to be able to read it.
Simon pretty much ate up the whole experience from the first day. He loved all the little routines. Lunch set up. Lunch. Lunch clean up. He even loved naptime.
I quickly settled into the rhythm of the days. Morning lessons, lunch and recess, dishes and afternoon jobs.
Being at school was not hard. The work had a mundane accomplish-ability about it that was refreshing. I never had to take any work home as an assistant.
Which was a blessing.
Because at home.
Well, that’s where things were a little fuzzier. And by fuzzy, I mean completely insane and out of control.
The first month I would come home and sit down because I wasn’t use to standing up all day, so I would just need to sit down for a minute.
Well, it turns out I really really needed to be hitting it in that minute. And the several that followed it in which I just could not. get. up.
Because BLINK it would be time for dinner and WHOA…how did it get to be time for football/soccer/random school event already?
And wait a minute it’s 11pm and I really should have done some laundry in there somewhere because I don’t think anyone has a clean uniform.
This is the point in the story where I tip my hat to the many, many women who do this kind of thing every. single. day. And who have been doing it for a long, long time.
Sometimes, when I would mention that I had started working in a school, people would look at me like hanging out with 20 kindergartners was sort of rough going. And I was so confused, because working at the Montessori school was downright relaxing compared to the rest of my day.
Over time, I began to get the hang of it.
And over time, I even felt a little bit less insane.
Put the load of laundry in the second you get home.
In the next second, start dinner.
Whatever you do, DO NOT SIT DOWN.
Keep energy bars around since there is no time for a snack.
Always make sure people bring their homework in the car, in case there is a spare minute to work on it.
Wave at husband as you pass each other at the house before one goes with one child to one event and the other with another child to a different event.
And this is the point in the story where I tip not just my hat but whatever the heck else I can possibly tip to the many, many women who are doing this all. by. themselves.
I can’t even think about how I would have done the last year without Taido, who picked up slack in all kinds of places, not the least of which was figuring out dinner on the many nights I dropped the ball.
I could not be more grateful that I married a man who can cook.