Halloween is over- thank goodness! If you blame me for being relieved, let me tell you that EVERY teacher hates Halloween. In my case, picture tons of rich kids (who are normally on some sort of monitored organic-vegan diet) all coming to school with the WORST hangovers due to flooding their delicate digestive systems with hundreds of pounds of sugar. Yes, it’s a miserable day for everyone. What’s even worse is the week leading up to Halloween where their every thought is hell-bent on being the most selfish one yet, since they have a horrendous case of the “gimmees”.
Okay. But enough about Halloween. I shouldn’t complain, I got the night off and got to go to church on a Wednesday night! Ironically, Halloween was the only night that my schedule would allow it, as all of my kids were out shaking hands with the devil.
Anyways. Around this time of year, my head is always filled with all the good things God is doing for and through me. Perhaps it’s the autumn air, or the fact that I get to pretend I am going to ACTUALLY get around to baking Christmas goodies. But whatever it is, I have not been able to stop thinking about how good life is, and how grateful I should be.
So I will start with what I am most grateful for at the moment- Jesse.
It is amazing what a completely changed person he is now that he is no longer working the grave shift and instead studying what he was meant to. Sure, he stresses out about Greek and about how he hates doing little stuff like paying the bills, but he sticks through it- no matter what. Nearly every night when I get home, he has dinner waiting on the table. He takes care of all the budgeting, bills and paperwork and even does most of the shopping and housecleaning. The past few weekends, his breaks from studying have been filled with doing the mini decorating projects I have lined up for him around the house. For example, when I eventually post pictures of the painted walls in our house, most of it was him (okay, so I got pretty over ambitious and needed a ton of help…)
My personal favorite is that he has taken it upon himself to lead our little family in prayer and singing every night. Some of this is because he was asked to be a reader at our church (they even picked out a robe for him!), but it’s also because I confessed to him that I was having a hard time getting in a prayer routine. So he remembers for me:) Hopefully, I will form enough of a habit that I will be able to do it on my own in the mornings. It’s quite a shameful thing that I have been able to work out at least once a day for the last 8 years but have never formed a prayer routine.
Next up- my job!
I have now been through 3 stages. First, there was the Disneyland dreamworld stage, where not even the bad guys seemed all that real. Then there was the “I HATE WORKING!! I MISS STAYING AT HOME ALL DAY!!” stage, which I knew had to come someday.
I have now adapted well enough to see the truth behind it all- I love what I do!!! I have over 150 piano students, and I love being a part of their lives. Most of the logistical kinks have been worked out, and it is now such a joy. Every day when I walk into the doors of the different Montessori schools, I am bombarded with 50 hugs, and sometimes if I’m lucky, lots of little kisses:) It can be sort of unnerving at times, because kids have no shame and are willing to be completely honest about anything (<real conversation>”Miss Kelly, do all girls get boobies??”–“Yes” ….I lied), but this also means that I know they like me, and that the relationships I have been forming with them are real. I know that I am a huge influence in their lives- what I see is confirmed every time another parent calls Melodie and says, “My kid LOVES his piano class! He comes home singing all the songs…”. Sure I’ve had to go out of my comfort zone and dance and sing. Sure I have seen “C” and “D” so many times that I want to scream. But I know that I am good at what I do and getting better with every lesson that I teach. I especially love the in-home lessons, because I get to know the whole family as well. It’s nice to talk with the moms and have them remember everything going on in my life.
Then there is Bending Oaks High School. I never in a MILLION years dreamed that I would get to teach high school without having to go through the arduous process of getting certified. I always knew that there might be schools out there like North County Christian, but then again, I like getting paid more than minimum wage:) Now I get to make up my own lesson plans, have deep conversations with the kids whenever I feel like it, and even share with them about the Orthodox faith (every Wednesday and Friday they teasingly taunt me with cream cheese on their bagels::).
One of the most exciting aspects about both of these jobs is that I feel my specific gifts are being used in capacities I never dreamed that I had. Among getting a “real world” education from my high school kids about the world of drugs (sometimes they forget I’m there and try to sell things right in front of me!), I am also being bombarded with how much they look up to me and care about what I think. Many of the girls have been confiding their deep secrets and problems with me since I am “almost their age and understand”. I love knowing that they will remember me for more than what I taught about that day.
So there you have it- my two top thanksgivings for the time being. I will have more later, but it’s time for bed. Gotta get up and teach in the morning!