Sunday, February 19, 2012

Back To Life, Back To Reality

Sooner or later, I knew it would happen. I knew my splendid 2 months of vacation would have to come to an end. Teacher orientation begins next week and thus, my days of leisure will become a distant memory.

I've had such a wonderful time while on winter break. We went to Beijing. My brother and his girlfriend came to visit and were accosted by costumed castaways. We went shopping. We spent time with friends. I read a few books, which is a big deal since I only get to read a few pages at night before bed (if I'm lucky). But most important of all, I got to spend all my time with Raelynn.

I am the luckiest person in the world to get to see this face every day. 

I must tell you that I have savored every second with my precious daughter. Not having to rush off to work each day was priceless. I could stay and play with her. I'd read to her and play with her in her playpen. One of my favorite things is when she falls asleep eating and I can just snuggle up next to her for a nap. I miss naps. But naps with my baby are something I cherish all the more. I can't take a nap at school. Well, my friend Dan does and how he sleeps over the shrieks of kindergarteners is beyond me. But I personally can't fall asleep there. When I'm not in the middle of class, I aim to be as busy as I can so I don't cry about being apart from Raelynn.

I still have one week left and I'm trying not to be pessimistic about it. After all, teaching IS good for me. I do need to get out of the house on my own because I'm not JenniferandRaelynn. I'm Jennifer. And she's Raelynn. The money is good too. We need it. Plus, if I sit and wallow in how sad I feel about going back to work, I will miss out on this last week of vacation. And I don't want to do that. All I have to do is hold on until summer. We get a break then too. I'll just have to push thoughts of that troll leaving her post under the bridge to come watch my daughter and teach her absolutely nothing while making a pigsty out of my home out of my head and look to the future. The bigger picture.

I know I shouldn't get so maudlin over such things. A decade ago, I worked for an evil empire of an ad agency. It was a good experience but I'll be damned if they ever let me cash in my vacation days ever. I got to take some but not even close to all I'd earned. And they refused to compensate me on them too. It was the worst catch 22 ever. Because they "needed" me, I was lucky if I got to escape that inferno for 2 weeks. Some people I know are still slaving away there (sorry guys) and others have moved on like me. But NO ONE from either category can claim to have the kind of vacation time (PAID!) that I get to have now. The price? Enduring some whiny kindergarteners for a few hours a day. That's a relatively small price to pay if you ask me.

Now stuck in my head is that 90s song from Soul II Soul, "Back to Life." Remember that? Because if you're going back to work after a long vacation and your angel of a baby will likely make the following faces...

(Personally, I think she's crying because her daddy is wearing a Florida Gators t-shirt but that's just my opinion.)

...then you should at least have a cool soundtrack. Hang in there, Raelynn. Mommy's planning you a special 1st birthday party and before you know it, I'll be on vacation again. Back to life, back to reality I go.

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