This is my first week of the last month of work. Strange to ponder. In just 31 days I'll be saying good-bye to the "day job" I've had for the last year and a half.
It's been fun.
It was hard at first, most definitely. Emotionally connecting with Maura was difficult, and learning to balance being their friend, while still maintaining respect and obedience was even more difficult. But we made it through.
Really, it's been a blessing. Not everyone gets to have a job they love. And not everyone gets to work for people they love, either.
It's a beautiful feeling to say goodbye and know that the work I have done, and the effort I have put forth over the last year and a half have been noticed, and appreciated.
The good meals were remembered, the bad ones never mentioned. The fun times talked about, the rough days long forgotten.
We trekked all over Charlotte, those two kiddos and me. At first we could hardly get anywhere without having to stop and reprogram the GPS, or do a U-Turn because I'd missed the street, and consequently, they held onto their seats, and were late almost always. Now, they don't even bat an eye lash when we head out, and we're always ten minutes early to every activity. :)
I've watched Maura bud from a shy, nervous perfectionist, to a happy, confident not-so-little girl. She's come out of her shell, reveled more in her individuality, and doesn't worry so much about what everyone - even Michael - thinks about her. She sings happily along to Taylor Swift, practices her splits and back bends 24/7 and gets straight A's on every report card. Every Monday she asks, "How big is your baby this week?" and is sweetly interested of all the little changes that Baby has been going through.
Michael has grown, too. When I met him he was a chubby little kindergartener who asked a million questions a minute, and was always trying to say something funny. All the pants I hemmed August 2010 have been let out again, and still, he's growing out of them at lightening speed. He still cracks us all up with his jokes and antics. A couple weeks ago he told me he definitely didn't want to be a lawyer. Being a lawyer is boring. "But I'd like to do what Dad does. He gets to sit and play on the computer all day long!" He loves sports, and being active. It's been hard to keep up with him, and I've had to tell him more often that I can't go jump on the tramp, or play kick ball or ride scooters. He doesn't like it, I know, but he puts up with it. He hates homework, because it interferes with play time, but he's still super smart for a 1st grader. Half of the million questions he asks I can't even answer. His mom told me he adores me, though he'd be horrified if he knew she said that.
I've learned the value of picking battles. I've learned that kids are happiest with a balance of structure and freedom - too much structure and they fight you constantly, too much freedom and you have chaos.
Our best moments now are in the car, listening to music and talking about their day, or lives, or answering Michaels one million questions. Funny, when I started, the car was the bane of my work day. Don't really know how we got through that one... Adventures and Odyssey, and lots and lots of days of lost privileges, I guess.
It'll be fun to come back a visit occasionally. I think they'll like to see the baby. It's been a good run. I'm thankful that I'm leaving on a good note, with so many positive memories. My welcome is not worn out, but I am so ready for this next season of life to begin.... It's bittersweet, moving on. But move on we must.