Four years and two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post that contained the good-bye email I wrote to my coworkers on the occasion of my last day of work. I was pretty proud of that note, which was quite hard to write as it reflected almost 13 years of being with one company, which is pretty rare in this century. I reread that note this morning to remind myself of what I had said, as that time feels like a lifetime ago. One sentence struck me: I am not sure where I will go from here or what I will do (although I fear cooking will be part of my immediate future), but I like to think onward and upward. I really had no idea what it was I was going to do or how long I would be without steady employment. Never did I suspect I would more or less be a SAHM who subbed and freelanced on occasion (sometimes the subbing and freelancing were often; other times I could go weeks without working). But here I am, just over four years later, getting ready to head back to steady employment.
On Monday, while waiting in the school lot for pick up, I received a phone call and was offered a job. Yesterday morning, I accepted said job. I start this coming Monday, April Fool's (the day, not that I am trying to fool you about the job).
I am excited for this job. I truly am. For so many reasons. It seems as if it will be a nice blend of writing, editing, and researching for a curriculum training program that I ultimately have to schedule/manage. It essentially takes pieces of the various jobs and projects I have had over the years and combines them. (If you are interested in specifics, please email me; I don't want to post much else about the job here. I want to keep the job off the blog.)
I am scared for this job. I am pretty sure I can do it, but there may be some rough spots at first, as I get up to speed and just get back into the swing of working FT, something I have not done since my kid was born over 9.5 years ago.
And I am sad. Not for the job but for what going back to work means. Blog friends, I never, ever thought I would want to be home with my kid as I have been the past four years. I was quite sure I was not cut out for the SAHM gig. But it turns out I was, maybe a little too much. I got used to dropping my kid off in the morning, volunteering at her school a lot (if I was not subbing), picking her up at the end of the day, and then coming home to do homework or going swimming, to the park, to the library or to Zumba. Days off at school meant a lot of those same things or going to a museum, the movies, shopping, or a trip to my mom's. We were together a lot, and I loved almost every minute of it. I also liked going to daily mass and getting errands and chores done during the day. I hate that she will now be in after-school care weekdays (she is fortunately excited). I hate even more that she will spend her summer days somewhere other than with me. No more swimming or going to the park in the morning or afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon I walked into school and showed the "head" lunch duty person my after-school care form. She looked at me and mouthed the words, "You got the job." She smiled; I smiled, and then our eyes filled up with tears simultaneously. I went on to cry in the lunchroom office as I told a few parents about my job. And I cried more later as I told the secretary and the principal. I am pretty sure the kids who saw me thought I was nuts. I considered telling some of them that their behavior had made me cry. ;-)
I will miss those kids at the school more than they will know. I truly, genuinely cared about them. And if anyone thought otherwise, they were wrong. As a sub who had a kid in the school, I wanted to be sure I gave them my best, so they could learn. I was not the kind of person who just sat there and let the kids go. And I did my best to maintain order during my at least-weekly cafeteria duty. I tried to smooth over some of the rough edges and tears, but I would try to let them work out things just as often. Unfortunately, I won't see some of these kids again. I will no longer be in that school during the day, at least not until next year. That is tough. I never got to say good bye...
It also breaks my heart that I never said good bye to the kids at the weekly after-school program. Last week, I wished them all a happy Easter and said I would see them after Easter. In the next couple of weeks, I am going to try to come to dinner (the kids can stay to eat at the end of each session), but by the time I leave work, pick up J, and get there, most of them will be gone. :-(
Ultimately this is a good thing. I know it. And as my dad used to say, whatever decision you make, you will make it the right one (or something like that). I have always managed to work things out. There have been bumps in the road and some struggles, but ultimately I put one foot in front of the other and just go. Life is a journey, and here I go on another trip.