Didn’t see that coming is a reaction of mine more often lately.
All the jobs that have come my way were actually chosen based on my ability to work them, and to take care of my children simultaneously. A competing career was never in the offering for me. Didn’t see that coming is a reaction of mine more often lately. My past job opportunities were limited by distance and barriers. But my vision for my life was without constraints. I can’t say I always knew what was the next thing coming job-wise, but I knew I had three children who depended on me to handle whatever opportunity came my way or door that closed.
I always saw myself helping others. I saw myself traveling. I saw myself having to become much more patient and flexible with every new opportunity. I admit that living life fully leaves me exposed to the unexpected. Being guarded was my modis operandi far too many years to be productive.
Now, I take life as it comes and find myself laughing out loud in total praise for awesome experiences I encounter. This is so because I know where I want my life to go. When students see me just as I am and share that with me I love it! One kindergarten student drew me holding a cup of coffee with steam coming out of the cup. I laughed and she smiled so bright. I didn’t see that coming. I learned then how intensely they watch me much more so than just listening.
Recalling my interview to take over the Pre-K3 class at a school in 2005 , I told the principal I was fine with it as long as the students were potty-trained. She laughed as that was my only reservation. Once she assured me that they would be I said sure, I’d love too. Just a few days later I didn’t feel so sure with some members of my new knee-high army running toward me, around me, away from me, while others lay prostrate on the floor in disbelief that their parents were leaving them with this total stranger.
As intimidating as it was for them being dropped off with me, it was equally intimidating for me to have them dropped off with me. It took little JaVeon who introduced himself to me while running circles around the carpet, to settle me down. He caught my eye running those laps. When he saw me looking at him, he motioned with his hands and so innocently asked, “Is this where we gone be!?” I laughed awhile. That little boy immediately taking to his new situation assured me that we’d all be okay.
My newest experience comes at the end of my teaching days. Per my father’s request, I moved in to help him after losing his wife. I didn’t see that coming. I’ve spent my life helping, traveling, encouraging, exercising enduring patience and flexibility, all to give my children the foundation they need to succeed as adults. I just completed three years abroad teaching and working on my ‘bucket list.’ I was having some ‘me time.’ I never saw him needing me in this capacity. Coming from a large family, there certainly are other candidates. But when he called, I didn’t hesitate. I made plans and the necessary arrangements and within three days , all the responsibility I had for my children, I now assume for my father.
Days into this new song and dance, he called me from the dining room. I rounded the couch leading into the kitchen and saw that he had found his dominoes. He had a smile on his face and I returned one. I sat down to play. Just like little JaVeon’s enthusiasm for a new experience in his life, I was finally able to fully embrace the newest experience in my life.