It was over three years ago that I dropped my daughter off at daycare for the first time. I’ve been doing this every morning for over three years. That’s a LOT of drop-offs. This morning, I still felt like crying as I walked to my car. That’s the truth. Every morning – still – I feel like crying.
But then I got to work. Today, I made a conscious decision to really listen. To my intervention students and to my teachers. I vowed to only ask questions that I didn’t know the answers to… And I had this wonderful day that is the stuff every literacy coach dreams about.
I read this fascinating short story with Emily and, together, we puzzled over this unanswered question that came straight from her heart, and we agreed we should continue thinking and maybe even write about it tomorrow. I worked through a text with Krystina, who is labeled as a ‘struggling reader’ but seemed to me to be one of the most strategic readers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I talked with Anthony and Andy about Eve Bunting’s The Wall, and we talked and talked and talked about the sadness of the visiting that memorial and how Ms. Bunting conveyed that through her words and pictures. I worked as part of a coaching cycle in a self-contained special ed room and met some really smart and talented kids. I looked over a colleague’s plan for a nonfiction writing unit and felt proud to work beside such dedicated and smart people.
It was a great day professionally, and as I drove to the daycare to pick up my kids, I thought about how maybe I was meant to be a literacy coach. I really, really love my job (most of the time), and I’m good at it (most of the time), and maybe this was a message to stop feeling bad all the time and to realize that I’m in the right place at this time in my life and then…
“Mrs. Murphy, we have an incident report for you to sign. Katie fell and bumped her head pretty hard….”
“Oh no,” my heart sank.
Katiebug is just fine. Just a little bruise. But Mommy is not. I don’t like the idea of my baby getting hurt and needing hugs and some love, and I’m not there to give them to her. I don’t like the idea of my beautiful Kate crying her eyes out and probably wanting her Mommy, but having to settle for the teacher at the daycare. I just don’t like it.
I swing that quickly…. like a pendulum moving way too fast. Out of control, even. I want to be with my children. I love my job. I miss my girls. What a great day at work. I need to be with Kate and Maddie. Work is rewarding. Swing, swing, swing…