Growing up, I played the mom role to my dolls and barbies, and today, my parents would say to my younger siblings as well. When I got to school age, all the teachers were my role models because that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Minus one teacher who scolded me in passing because she caught me saying cute things to a boy in her class, I had a little crush on. I did not want to be like her.
I began collecting school supplies at home as my siblings got older so we could play school.
We had these huge lego blocks and removable desk panels from our parent’s desk I would construct little desks out of, and line them up in front of a blank wall to teach from. I became quite inventive in creating a classroom setting at home.
Even when my siblings were older and caught on to what I was doing, and they started to rebel about school work and just wanted me for snack time and play outside, I moved my “classroom” to my bedroom to make sure there were no distractions. But I still ended up alone most times playing school to no one and still creating work assignments and projects in the hopes that my siblings would return.
Over the years, well, okay, middle school, is when things became real for this dream job of being a teacher struck me as not cool after all. I saw how students changed as they grew up. I could see the disrespectful attitudes that stressed the teachers, and school staff, out. It all became too much for my heart to bear the fact of being in their shoes and having a student not appreciate the work I wanted to do.
So all of middle school I just kept to myself, observing my cohorts and the work of my teachers. I knew that coming to high school I would have to start thinking about a new career option.
Because my newfound view of the world hit me, of disgusting human behavior, and the start of becoming a victim of bullying, I focused on being a kid while I could and embraced band. I stuck with one instrument, the trombone, through my first semester of high school.
Things only got worse as the years went by in school, so I kept to myself. Every now and then I’ll come across a school photo from elementary, maybe second or third grade. I was dressed up as a teacher for picture day. Many of us have goofy school photos, as do I, but this one I will hold on to forever.
For some reason, in my wardrobe was a blue jean dress. This wasn’t anyone’s style in my family, so I’m not sure if it was a hamidown item or something I picked out for myself. No doubt my mom questioned my style. (She still does from time to time if we don’t shop together…haha)
But the night before picture day, I had chosen the blue Jean dress, a white shirt to go underneath it, and some very plain sneakers too. I tried to think about how my school teachers dressed. Most wore a simple, yet movable floral dress, a sandal of sorts, short hair cut with small earrings, and a thin basic watch.
Oh yes, I studied my teachers while in class. It was such a woman’s job title that I just loved. They were moms as well as amazing teachers. I always thought their kids were lucky at home to have a mom as a teacher. And, that someday I would live a similar life.
Back to my evening of playing dress-up. I laid everything out and gave myself plenty of pep talk before school. I was mostly shy, with the exception of my family and select friends, and pictures could easily pick up on this.
One thing I also recalled was the staff taking a school photo. I channeled all my teacher’s thoughts into my pose as I looked into the camera and said, “This is my moment. I’m a teacher.” SMILE!
The innocence of childhood.
I moved on to the idea of becoming a chef. Fast forward to motherhood, and a second marriage, I’m finally able to be the stay-at-home mom I’ve wanted to be.
To be continued…