I recently had my last day of work at a preschool, and the feeling is so bittersweet.
The sweet being solely that I get to sleep in next Monday. The rest is all bitter.
I have learned so much about myself from working with kids under five years of age. The world would benefit from taking this job for a summer at the very least. The things kids laugh about, the things they cry about, and the things they are fascinated by are always simple. It makes you wonder if everything could be so simple.
My dad at dinner asked me, "Do you miss being the little girl you used to be?" Because, of course, I'm nothing like the little angelic shrimp I was 15 years ago so my dad clearly has some hang-ups on my personality changes. I can't even remember what it was like to be that young. In a world where at the age of 18 teenagers are catapulted into an unknown future after being guarded by the adults around them, you have to shed yourself of that liberation in being able to make many mistakes knowing you would be sheltered from heavy consequence. The only thing is that preschools and colleges are both deemed necessary enough for an intelligent future, but not enough to ensure that all have access to such academics. Both crucial and yet so often overlooked.
It's so amazing to see the moment where kids are starting to be conditioned. The transition into a structured classroom where they will do whatever you ask of them out of fear of your counting to the number 3. I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do if I actually get to 3... This is the moment where kids are given the tools to break the barrier that keeps them from being like us - the adults. In being apart of such a job, I realized there is no barrier at all. They may all have been my "students", but they are always going to also be my lil' friends. To ask me questions when they need help, to hug me when they're sad, to curl into my lap when they're tired, and to pull me into their games when they're excited. To say everything with the utmost honesty and to get to the point of what really matters (aka when asked if they want a skittle or an M&M and they just respond with "red"). So if you ever get flustered with a three year old, remember they're just figuring it out and find the fun in that. It's really great to start anew. You may not learn anything very fact-based from a child, but you really learn about what matters most.
But actually - you learn how to appreciate life.
This may seem like a far cry from my last article in which I have completely and undeniably confirmed pregnancy is not my "thing", but I'm no monster. Maybe I'm just still too much of a kid at heart to make one of these things, instead I'll just be their friend.
Correction: Their friend who will count to three if they don't clean up that mess.