I was raised by two school teachers (and so was Trip). Because of this, it is ingrained in us that August is the beginning of a new year, not January. I go back to my full-time teaching job tomorrow. There is something about starting fresh with the coming of each new school year that I always loved as a student and still look forward to as a teacher. New students with their brand new school supplies.....so much promise for the year of learning ahead. Yep, I have always been a nerd! The beginning of this particular school year is a bittersweet one for me and a major time of transition for our little family.
Harding, who has become quite attached to his mommy this past year, will be going back to daycare full-time. Shelby will be at an excellent preschool in a classroom that is very suited for special needs kids. In fact, there is one other visually impaired child in her class. Trip, who already is present at many of Shelby's appointments, will be taking Shelby to school and then heading back over there during some of his lunch breaks for PT, OT, or ST, as my schedule is not as flexible. I will be leaving school, picking Harding up, then Shelby, then often meeting one of her therapists at our house for a session. It will be a busy year.
I had not intended to take such a long maternity leave, but I feel blessed that I was able to do so as we quickly realized that Shelby Frances would have different needs from most babies. For the last 14 months, it has been an honor to be with Shelby constantly at home and at all of her doctor's appointments and therapy sessions. She and Harding have both grown and developed in incredible ways. This time has been a journey for Trip and me as well, and I know that we have grown and changed too, individually and as a family.
The journey continues. I start work tomorrow thankful that I have had the gift of a wonderful (if sometimes challenging) year at home with my babes. I am hopeful about this new year ahead and what it might bring for all of us. I am certain that our family will be able to handle this transition, but I am praying for it to go as smoothly as possible. Finally, I am so glad that with my chosen profession there are beginnings as well as endings. This is going to be a good year and come next June, I will have another summer at home with my children.