In comparison to the people I am surrounded by every day (my teaching colleagues) my children are very young. My three sons are 13, 11, and 6. I often compare myself to my colleagues when it comes to experience, time spent on school-related activities, the ability to attend conferences and workshops both in-town and far away. I frequently have to remind myself that I am not at the same point as them either in my experience in my career, financially, or with my family. As much as I want to be the best teacher I can be, which in my eyes equals time spent preparing and "being" a teacher, I have more important priorities right now. My family.
It seems as if I've blinked and my oldest son has gone from birth to preschool to teenager overnight. I was hit with the reality a few weeks ago that he is going to be in high school next year! I know that the other two are not far behind. I don't want to go to sleep and wake up tomorrow only to realize that I've neglected to enjoy the little things. You never get a second chance at those little things.
So this year, I am going to leave work quickly on Friday for Family Movie Night. I am going to run out and get donuts on Saturday mornings so that they are waiting when the kids wake up. I will attend the boys' middle school musical and cheer them on from the front row. We will plan a beach vacation for the summer. I will encourage Liam as he tries out for his first sport this spring. I will read to Nick and sing his bedtime songs every night when he goes to bed. We will have family game nights. I will listen to each detailed, slowly spoken story that Ben wants to tell me. We will have cookouts, movie marathons, and silly string fights.
When faced with a choice, I will always choose my FAMILY.
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