Having Our Ice Cream and Eating It Too
Our faces followed the dessert we ordered across the restaurant’s dining room to the center of our table making sure it was placed equidistant to each of us.
As it descended, we eyed up our first, and last, bite, while quickly and quietly counting the spoons to four. Chocolate-mound with ice-cream landed safely, and in the brief moment before politely inhaling an after meal treat, Hazel wiggled, I positioned my hand for quick utensil recoil, Robin said “Mmmm…”, and Amelia shot out, “Um, that is all the ice cream we get?”.
There’s this thing called a job interview that happened to me earlier this week. No, the girls didn’t come up with a list of questions to re-up my contract, I went to an actual employer, answered questions, and am subsequently excited about the possibility of working with students again. We feel the time is right for me to jump back into a profession I left with lingering love.
But, it’s not easy. Why are we adding waves to an ocean that, after two years of adjustments, incredibly hard work on Robin’s part in the public space, and all of ours at home, has finally calmed?
I don’t know. And believe me, it isn’t lost on us how fortunate we are to have the opportunity for one of us to be home with our girls full time.
Some days, I’m driven back to teaching to have something for myself again, a place that is mine, something I worked for and enjoy. Other days, I simply want to be around the incredible energy and spirit of teenagers to share with our community my training and passions. Reality says, it’s a swirl cone, equal parts of each that constitute the endeavors for which I reach.
But, am I looking for that extra scoop of ice cream when dessert arrived, instead of enjoying what is on the table in front of me? Or, is desserts glory nothing but the perception of the people at the table sharing it together? Could we continue “hopping-up” on sweets while I join the force of educators, Hazel enters a classroom, Amelia goes back to school, and Robin persistently pushes the public sector?
Not sure, but I know, should I be so fortunate to be offered another scoop, with the right focus, we’ll get our just desserts. After all, like I said to Amelia before digging in, “It’s just dessert”.
Andrew Meyer is a Special Education teacher from Madison, Wisconsin, whose wife’s job relocation changed their family roles and physical location. He's now a stay-at-home dad in Madison, Alabama, to two awesomely creative, sometimes challenging, and mostly sweet five and two-year-old girls who fill his days, nights, and in-between spaces. When with or without them, he writes, works-out, wonders, wishes he wouldn’t worry, wrestles with his wife’s commitment to her job, and listens to music. You can also find him at www.papasense.wordpress.com, on Twitter @papasense, and Facebook.
I left teaching 5 years ago to move to Huntsville, get married and start a family. In 2 years, when my daughter starts kindergarten, I plan to try to go back to work (jobs in my subject area are few and far between – or at least that was the case when I moved here). I totally understand your internal dilemma! I miss teaching a lot, but have loved being able to be a stay at home parent. I just keep telling myself that things work out the way they are supposed to!
Yes, a tough decision indeed. We’ve definitely discussed the pros and cons, and are excited to start another adventure. Cant’t wait to get back into school and feel that pulse again. I’m imagining there’s a lot I’ve learned being at home with our girls that I can apply to the class room — namely patience. Good luck when your time comes.