Welcome to 2018. A new year, a new adventure. For me personally, my employment has changed drastically in this first week of 2018. For the past (almost) two years I’ve been working at a local shoe company, sitting behind two computer screens. Jan 2, 2018 I began a whole new adventure. I’m now an Educational Assistant at an Elementary School.
It’s only been two days and something has struck me….hard. Our children live a entirely separate life at school. Independent of us, it’s a life that most parents will never truly see or understand. They listen, follow directions from multiple adults, make their own decisions, and follow a schedule. I was surprised that after my first day my initial reaction was….sadness. I felt sad that I had never really known this part of my children’s lives. I wondered what kind of Mother I appeared to be to those at school. Did I make sure they had the proper outdoor clothing? Did they show up to school looking well taken care of and loved? Or did my slack parenting days (more than I’d like to admit) become transparent?
I questioned and doubted my own parenting abilities that I can now do absolutely nothing about.
I asked my 15 year old when I got home “Did you always have warm winter wear when you were in elementary school?”
“Yes! I don’t remember ever NOT having it” she reassured me. Didn’t matter…I still teared up that night in bed…wondering if I had ever made her feel unprepared, and feeling regret for all times that I surely did.
My point here is simple. There is six hours of moments that we as parents are missing every day our children are in school. Parents don’t see the child who hugs her teacher, just because. The boy who is willing to help a friend on the playground that just got his feelings hurt. The boy who happily grabs his supplies and then proceeds to teach ME about what we should be working on that day or the girl who quietly follows the plan for the day eagerly doing her best no matter the subject.
I’m a moment seeker. Working at the school has been an overwhelming slew of emotions as I watch moment after moment play out in front me. And me, constantly wishing I could carry my camera and photograph every single one.
I can’t photograph all those moments that you miss when they are in school. But you know what? I can photograph all those moments you miss when they are home…and THAT is something you will never regret.