Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Just What I Needed

When John and I were dating he made me a mix tape. Yes, I just gave away our ages. These time-stamped, musical gems don't exist anymore (sigh). Our cars don't even have a cassette players in them. I do, however have a good memory of what was included in that song selection. There was a song by The Cars called "Just What I Needed." The name of that song couldn't be more appropriate today....

I finished my 9 week, long-term substitute teaching job yesterday. It was challenging; it was exhausting; it touched my heart in ways I never considered it would. I covered for a special education teacher. Special education teaches students in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs. It's not a one-size fits all classroom. That's only part of what makes it a challenge. That's also only part of what made it soften my heart. I may gather more of my thoughts on this for another post. I'm not sure yet. Maybe it's still too fresh in my mind. 

For today what I know is I have missed my kids. I have not been as available to them as I like to be. For me, I'm not sure there is a greater challenge than being a mom AND working full-time. 

I've slacked off on cleaning. We didn't put up any Halloween decorations except a skeleton and orange light bulbs in the porch lights (yes, it's November and yes, they are still there). There were mornings of being late and many evenings when I was out of patience and energy. It. Was. Hard. 

But, then there was today. Today there was no school. Today the weather was beautiful. Today the leaves are at peak; and I find this crazy interesting because I was afraid I'd miss leaf peak because I'd be stuck inside at school. Guess what? I didn't miss it! 

Today we went to the zoo. 

Today the kids decided we should ride the Metro into DC. Sydney brought her iPod and took 1,000 pictures. We ate ice cream for lunch and rode the carousel. I bought them stuffed animals as suveniors. Elliot hugged his prairie dog and Syd squeezed her stuffed panda. On the trek home, the kids held my hands when we switched from the red line train to the blue line train...I didn't even ask them to. We weaved through the crowed platform and I could feel Syd's sweaty hand. She told me she was scared of the noise and that she was worried about thieves. She's not really a city kid, unlike her mother. I told her "country mouse" needs to get to the city more often and reassured her she was safe. 

I'm so grateful that God gives me challenges to grow me. I'm deeply grateful that my own kids missed me and needed today just as much as I did.  The days are long but the years are oh, so short.  

Today I was just a mom. Just a mom. It was just what I needed. 

Thank you for reading.