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retirement

When my husband and I first married, he was a policeman. He seemed to enjoy his work, so I was surprised when he talked to me one April about his desire to go to dental school and be a dentist like his father.

He told me he needed about a year of prerequisites before he could apply. It was alright for me to work while he was in school; we had no children. That is until January of the next year, when Sarah Elizabeth was born. It was eight months before dental school would start. About this time I also learned that I had to complete my masters degree within a certain time frame in order to keep my teaching certificate.

I was overwhelmed. I had the summer with Sarah and then I returned  to work.

I had a spot being held for me in the kindergarten where I had worked before. I looked for Mary Poppins to watch Sarah, but never found her. Sarah, and later Emily, went through sitters at home (both good and bad) and daycare.

I knew this was the way things worked in our society. Many women worked and put their child or children in daycare. I do not judge any woman; each woman needs to do what she is called to do. Some women do not have a choice; they need to work to help support their families. I was never a part of the “mommy wars”.

But my calling, my heart’s desire, was to be at home with my children. I did not want to miss all the firsts, and I basically loved spending my day with Sarah, and then Emily. I kept teaching, and working on my masters degree every semester, although I was very unhappy.

I finished my masters degree about three weeks before Emily was born, which was about the time Bryan’s senior year of Dental School began.

At the end of Bryan’s senior year, I resigned my teaching position. Bryan would be doing a residency, and I would finally get to be the “mom at home” that I had wanted to be for four years. I don’t know if I have ever been more excited than when that change occurred.

I brought home the teaching supplies that I had purchased or designed and put them in the corner of the utility room. I would not have said this aloud to anyone, but I wondered to myself, will this be enough? I wondered if I would miss compliments from my peers or the administration, and no longer having that professional status.

I laugh when I think of that day. Being home was more than I ever thought or imagined it would be. I would not trade my years at home with my girls for anything.

Last Thursday, I went to clean out my school room and bring home the teaching supplies that I had purchased. I was not excited this time; no children were waiting at home for me. I loved teaching and all it encompassed, but I had to leave this time because of my health. I also knew that it was probably the end of my teaching career.

My little CRV is loaded with my teaching supplies out in the driveway, and I plan to unload a little at a time, so I can find a place for everything before I bring it into the house. And once again, I find myself wondering, will this be enough?

I can’t see the future, but somehow I think it will be.

Just another season of a woman’s life.

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