"May you build a ladder to the stars/ And climb on every rung/ May you stay, forever young." - "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan
I love my job. Yes, I complain about it and there are things about it that could be a lot better (*cough cough* I need a raise *cough cough*), but overall, nothing other than a career in writing could beat working with kids everyday. And these are the reasons why:
1. Boredom is nonexistent. Even with my overactive imagination, I get bored easily if I don't have something to do or some kind of entertainment to occupy my time. There is no way I could ever be bored with kids around! They are constantly running around, coming up with some wacky game to play, or chatting about anything and everything under the sun. I am way more likely to suffer from sensory overload than boredom when I'm at work.
2. The hugs. Not many people go to work in the morning and are greeted with hugs, and then ambushed with more hugs when they leave like I am every day. Although for most people, getting attacked by the people they work with would be a bad thing...haha!
3. Making an impact on the kids' lives. Knowing that every little thing I do with the girls has the possibility to make a difference in their lives is an amazing thing. I take my roles as their nanny and teacher very seriously, and my influence on them is not something I take lightly. It's a huge responsibility, but an enormous honor too.
4. Passing on my knowledge. This goes for academics as well as knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes I wonder if they would ever learn anything if I wasn't there to teach them. My goal is to educate them as much as I can so they can be successful in life. I want to do my part to give them the world, and in little ways, through our school lessons and countless conversations, I hope I'm doing that.
5. Seeing them grow. I have been there for first smiles, first words, first steps, first temper tantrums, first days of school, and so many other important moments. I have raised these kids since they were babies, and it is so cool to see them grow and change, sometimes on a daily basis. I love that they are such incredible little people and I can't wait to see how they will continue to grow in the coming years.
6. The way they look up to me. There's an old saying, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." This usually applies to mothers, but I think it applies to people like me as well. In their little world, the kids think I'm an important person, and I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy that. Everyone wants to feel valued in their job, and I know that I am. Even if sometimes I am reminded of my "value" to them because they treat me like a parent and may talk back, throw a tantrum, or ask me, "Why" a hundred times until I say, "Because I said so!" They are that comfortable with me, and I think that they look up to me just like a child looks up his/her mom and dad. Wow...
7. Playing with toys. Ah, one of the perks of my job! If you don't work with kids, chances are you have never gone to work and spent at least part of your day building a town out of Legos, painting a masterpiece (as described by a five-year-old, but still!), reading Dr. Seuss, and putting on a Barbie fashion show. Toys today are so much cooler than they were when I was growing up (although we 80s kids had some totally radical stuff too, as described in my last Tuesday's Top Ten), and I will admit that I still like Play-Doh, American Girl Dolls, and Etch-a-Sketches, so a house full of toys makes the days go by faster!
8. They remind me of the magic. Childhood should be magical. There is something so beautiful and precious about children who still believe in the wonders of fairies, the joy of Santa Claus, and have the belief that the world is a kind and safe place. I wish we didn't lose some of that magic as we grow up, but it seems inevitable.
9. Writing lesson plans. I love this part of my job! During the summer when I homeschool the kids full-time, I come up with extensive lesson plans in about seven different subjects that we cover daily, and I love every second of it. The planning, the research, the shopping for supplies, and of course, the teaching! I try to make learning as fun as possible, and judging by the fact that the girls start asking about our summer lessons for the next year as soon as school starts in the fall, I think I'm doing a pretty good job.
10. Nap time! After all of the busyness I have just described, this one needs no explanation! :)