While my daughter was engrossed in digging through the sand, I quietly lounged next to her on the beach mat – legs outstretched, sunglasses on, with only the sound of my thoughts in my head. Since R’s birth, moments such as these, where I have time with my own thoughts, not concerned with the million things I need to do, are few and far between. As the waves crashed on the shoreline and the sea planes and birds flew above, I thought to myself, “this is my life”. Not too shabby, I know, but I have struggled with the decision to stay at home. I had never imagined that I would stay at home with my daughter. I am an incredibly passionate teacher and have always pushed myself to be the best teacher I could possibly be. Giving that up was not easy.
During the first 13 or so months of R’s life, she struggled terribly with reflux. At any given moment, we fearfully anticipated the arrival of the massive stream of regurgitated food; trying to contain it before it covered every surface in a moderate radius. With this fear, brought isolation. We didn’t go out much because she would inevitably vomit – in the car, on me, at a restaurant, at someone’s home, anywhere really. I extended my leave from work to continue to be with R.
When she turned 14 months old, I was determined to make a change. I wasn’t happy – she wasn’t happy – something needed to be done. I needed to teach; R needed to grow – so began our journey into developing the whole child!
Though there are still difficult days, I take joy in the gentle smiles and joyful squeals as I work each day in my classroom of one. The walls of this classroom may look different than what I am used to, but I know that I am still inspiring and molding a young mind, just as I have done so in the past.
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