As you know, my last day at Aldersgate Preschool is rapidly approaching. I have been feeling very nostalgic about it. I have had many people ask me if I am anxious for this next step in my life. I do look forward to having more time with my family (with the addition of our two newest ones we now have 6 grandkids), working in my garden, reading, finding somewhere to volunteer, and taking many trips (I especially love travelling in the spring and fall). Major milestones like this, however, always get me thinking and looking back at my life.
I remember our early years in marriage and raising young kids. I absolutely loved those years! As you can imagine, I loved molding our family and forming our children’s lives. I did home daycare so we often had up to 10 children at a time. I remember music shows we put on, carnivals for the neighborhood kids, 4th of July parades, and so much more. Those are the big moments. I also remember the day to day. Playing and playing for hours, digging in the sandbox, singing together, gathering with the neighborhood kids to play each afternoon, reading books and then more books, so much cuddle time, . . . . I also remember the harder times; the times I wished the kids would finally be in bed. the times I shoved the kids at my husband when he came home. the squabbles and tantrums (usually from the kids but I have to admit I’ve thrown a few in my day.) While I appreciated the chance to be home with my kids I also wished for more. We were very tight financially and I often thought my life would be so much better if/when we had . . . or could do . . .
I remember our kids school years. I was still doing daycare for some of it so we did those extra things like a food fight on the driveway, a neighborhood Olympics, wading kickball games, lots of sleep-overs, themed birthday parties and more. I also remember our kids probably watched way to much TV. I remember wondering if I was doing enough. We still didn’t have much money so I thought our kids were missing out because we couldn’t take big vacations, give our middle child the horse riding lessons she begged for . . . We couldn’t live in the big houses many of their friends lived in. Again, I wished for so much. I was sure those things would make my life better.
As our kids have grown and began their own careers and families, I have truly enjoyed becoming friends with them and not just their mom. I’ll admit I may feel that friendship thing more than they do – you know I’m cool enough to be their friend. (right?) Again, though, I have walked through that time wishing for more; more free time to do whatever I wanted, the ability to do extravagant things for the kids and to just worry less. (You know, are the kids going to find their best place in life?, college, weddings . . .)
I have been at Aldersgate Preschool since April 2002. That’s a long time. Truly my time here has been fabulous! I’ve enjoyed the special projects like building a playground, adapting to technology needs as they arose, building a large store of supplies and equipment for our teachers and so many more. I have especially enjoyed the day to day things; playing with kids, laughing at the things they say (almost daily), watching children grow in skills, building relationships with kids and families, working with people I adore and respect, hearing a child’s first question about God and so much more. I have always had wishes for more too, though. I just new a few things would make this job perfect; a handyman or custodian on site (I wouldn’t have learned to replace a toilet flapper though), rooms with bathrooms connected to them, a human resource department to ask questions about staff issues, etc.
I heard a new song recently that really caught my attention; Getting Good, by Lauren Alaina. I’ll attach it below but here are a few of the lyrics:
Once I fall in love, then I’ll be happy
But then you fall in love and there’s still a hole
Once I get some money, it’ll all be easy
But then you get that money, you still feel broke
Once I get a little older, I won’t worry
Then you get older and it don’t feel like it should
I’m thinking once I learn to grow right where I’m planted
Maybe that’s when life starts getting good
This caused me to pause again: to rethink my life, to look back and truly appreciate the good that I had, to accept the phase I am in and just ENJOY. I encourage each of you to grow right where you are planted! Enjoy the moment and phase of life you are in.
I have often told our preschool parents to enjoy these days because they will go by sooo fast!
The song ends with these words.
I’m thinking once I learn to soak up every moment
I’ll realize my life’s already good
I’ll realize my life’s already good
Thank God that my life’s already good
And truly, it is good!
My years at Aldersgate have flown by. I have been blessed to play a small part in so many children’s lives. Many people have said I gave so much to Aldersgate Preschool but I definitely feel like this place, these kids, our staff (so many over the years) and our families (again, so many) have blessed me!
Yes, retirement will be good but all my years before have been exceptional. Each of you played a part in making them great!
For my own benefit I am including a few of my favorite pictures from my years here. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.