I just saw an announcement, my high school class is getting ready to have our ten year reunion. Ten years? Already? Sometimes it seems like just recently that I walked those dingy halls. Other times, it seems light years ago. Since we live close to my old high school, I've watched it undergo changes over the past years. There's a new track, and a football field. Just this summer, they've been trucking in building materials for a new roof and an addition. My old shop is closed up. Gone. There are new teachers, and a new generation of kids. My friends daughter starts school there in the fall. How is that possible?
And just like the school, I've changed the last ten years.
Ten years ago, I graduated, Salutatorian of my class. From a school that I didn't fit in at. A school I went to because my sister went there. The school where being in the right place at the right place, brought Husband and I together. A chance meeting after walking past each other for almost a year. Ten years ago, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to be a teacher. I was going to go to college, earn my degree and have children. And teach. Ten years ago, Husband proposed to me on a moonlit beach. Ten years ago, I started on my path to becoming a teacher.
(Almost) Nine years ago I walked down the aisle. Husband and I embarked on this journey of joining our lives. Despite being in the middle of classes (and duh, I took a 6 class caseload that semester), we took off for the Caribbean. (And yes, I had to pack textbooks, as I had exams when we returned. Lucky for me, we had flight delays on the return trip so I could study. Unlucky, our plane landed at 2 am and I had class at 7.)
Eight years ago, I graduated from college, with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I took a part-time job at a preschool while weighing my options. Eight years ago, we found out we were expecting our first child. Eight years ago, we lost that same child (a second trimester miscarriage). Eight years ago, we brought our first home. About 15 miles from my childhood home. And 1 mile from Husband' s childhood home. Eight years ago, we brought a puppy, while waiting for the green light to go again.
Seven years ago, I was pregnant again. Seven years ago, I gave birth to a happy, healthy Einey. Seven years ago, I left my job and became a stay at home mother. Seven years ago, I made my first "mom friends" - we still keep in touch! Some have become best friends.
Six years ago, I found out I was pregnant again.
Five years ago, I gave birth to Meenie. And then had my first surgery as an adult.
Six months later, (and four years ago), I found out that I was (surprise!) pregnant again. Almost four years ago, Moe, determined to make an entrance, entered this world, ass first. She's been turning our world upside down ever since. I also became a soccer mom.
Three years ago, I had another surgery. Three years ago, I found out what it's like to have a sick child, a very sick child. It's an experience I hope to never repeat.
Two years ago, my oldest started kindergarten. It was her first foray out into the world without us, and I was scared. I wanted to nurture her, be by her side, comfort her. She's been great. She loves school and that year, cried when they had days off.
One year ago, Meenie joined her sister at school. I became vice president of our soccer league.
Now, I'm getting ready to send all three off to school (and Binky, it's much easier than two years ago!). I'm coaching a soccer team and starting a Daisey troop. I have a great house, an amazing Husband, three wonderful kids and a dog (and two lizards). This year, it's time to decide what I want to do with my future. Do I go back to school (and thus, have us paying four tuition's?)? Do I look for a job? I've got a year to figure it out and then do what I need to do to reach my goal.
Sometimes, I look and think, wow, I haven't done much in those years since high school. I don't have a job, nor have I held a tradition full time job. I still live in the same area, a small town with it's own issues and stigmas. I'm not successful like some of my classmates.
But then, I just look at my sweet little girls and think of how blessed I have been. I've been lucky enough to live my life the way I want. To watch my girls grown and learn. To teach them many things they couldn't have learned in school. To listen to them laugh. To pick them up when they've fallen. And for that, I know I've been successful.