Every year when the end of August rolls around I experience that same flutter of excitement about going back to school. I both anticipate the start of a new school year and dread the end of summer vacation. I love being home on break, but I also love teaching.
This year is no different. I’m sad to see summer coming to a close, but at the same time I know I’ve made the most of my time at home with Joshua.
We got up early and enjoyed each day, choosing to spend many days at home but also getting out to enjoy the warm weather with trips to the beach, to my parents’ pool, to the town festival, to my family’s farm, to an aquarium and a ride on a steam train. We have had a blast this summer!
Just like every year, my mind fills with the possibilities of a new school year. I ordered a colorful new lesson plan book, I browse catalogs for deals on clothes to add to my professional wardrobe, and I reconnect with colleagues. I’m taking on a new challenge this year: teaching physics. It has always been my long-term goal to teach physics, and now that I’m in my ninth year I’m adding it to my repertoire. I know it’s going to be a lot of work to teach a new course, but I’m ready.
Unlike last year, I’m not freaking out about going back to work and leaving my baby. Joshua has grown up into a toddler who loves to spend time with other children and who I believe will thrive at his new preschool. He happily eats solids, drinks cow’s milk from a sippy cup, and even naps more consistently. I’m not going to have to worry about expressing milk for him or about how it will be handled at daycare, both major stressors to my life last year. I’m confident in my role as a working mom.
While I do know that I’ll miss all the one-on-one time I’ve gotten to spend with Joshua this summer, I know that we’ll both be okay. He’ll have fun with his friends and teachers, learning at preschool, and I’ll have fun with my students and colleagues. I’ll pick him up by 3:30 on most days, and the rest of the day will be all about quality time together. Nursing is a simple way to reconnect, snuggle, and share time together, and I couldn’t be happier about continuing our nursing relationship. When it comes to breastfeeding, I’ve never been happier.