In all my years of working I have never had a teacher’s schedule. Monday – Friday, typical morning and afternoon rush hour traffic, banana on route for breakfast, coffee from the café and every holiday and weekend off. The best part are the paid holidays, true story! It still blows my mind how most teachers around the world are underpaid and undervalued for the most important job in the world next to being a parent. However these little privileges may be worth it for doing something I love to do!
And knowing the kids are finished school when I am finished work is an added bonus. I virtually work while they are in school. Although sometimes Angelina is finished before me, she finds herself a place in the forum, the large area in the centre of the school with tables and chairs, and she finishes her homework for the day. Very rarely does Angelina have more than an hour of homework during the weekends which frees up family time nicely.
What I love the most about the schedule are Friday nights. After a long week of car travelling back and forth, we try to end our week by going out for dinner. We find these little cheap eats, those hole in the wall places that make really great Grandma style food.
And on special occasions we hit the sushi bar, although we are learning/teaching about how we can save the planet and the kids know that the CO2 emissions are through the roof flying in the fresh seafood for our sushi dinner. But once in a while it is ok to find some flavours from back home in Canada where some of the best sushi in the world is made!
This last week I had a pretty tough week.
It was my first time giving out grades and writing comments for all my students in French and we had to participate in the student council/teacher forum. A very formal French discussion with the student representatives, the parent representatives and the head masters. We went around the room talking about each child from the class, their difficulties, and their successes.
Unfortunately, I also had a very stressful situation arise this week with another teacher too, which took me for a loop. I was really looking forward to family time.
So after my group assessments I drove straight home and the family met me down stairs on the street. They took me across the street to our reserved table at the Sushi restaurant.
We were celebrating Daniel’s 13th birthday dinner and he could order as much as a thirteen year old boy could eat! Apparently they can eat a lot! He ate half of my plate too, but that’s ok. I love the little man!
Special time together
If I had one piece of advice for other young families is to make sure you eat together every chance you get. There is something so very intimate about sharing, and relaxing over food with your family. It is a ritual, just like our end of night cuddles, except instead of mom running around trying to make a meal for a hungry group of people, there is a break from the running around of life that seems like a sustained moment that we are in a bubble. It is like we are suspended in a moment of sheer love. We don’t notice the other people, often my family tells me not to laugh so loud…
I watched my family defrag. Each took their turn talking about their week. They watched me break down on Wednesday after work, so by Friday they were glad to see me smiling. I felt so very grateful for these three people at my table. I listened to their issues, their comments, their love and their support.
I saw people looking at us in the restaurant. Do we look as happy as I feel? Big smiles all around, loads of giggles, and loads of cuddles. I wondered if everyone feels like this in their own family unit; so very content, secure, loved, and honoured.
These people at my table mean so much to me, more than any other table I have ever sat at before. They recharge me. I am strong for them, I am me for them. And in return they are exactly who they are. I don’t ask them to change, to simmer down, to try to fit in any box; they are perfectly quirky, silly and noisy. They are goofy, over the top, intelligent beings and they are mine. Most importantly, they are happy.
It makes getting up at 5:00am so worth it.