I try really hard to only tell my daughter things that I think she is mature enough to handle. I don't want to put her in adult situations before she is ready. Last night I made the decision to break the silence on something that I have not told her about for almost three years. I told her the real reason that I left teaching.
After we dropped of cookies at the pharmacy, our favorite Justice store and our favorite Soup Plantation restaurant; we stayed and had dinner at Soup Planation. While we were there, the grandparent of one of my former students came in with her family. Her granddaughter wasn't with her but I recognized her anyways because she volunteered many hours in my classroom. Her grandchild was one of the ones that I was teaching when I had to go out on a stress leave. I regret that I had to do that but I had to take care of myself. At any rate before she left the restaurant she gave Princess $10 and told her to take me to Five Guys. She remembered how much I like their hamburgers. That was such a kind gesture.
When we were done with our meal, we headed to Target to pick up some dog food. As we were driving Princess asked me if I missed teaching. I told her that I did but that I am happy to be home being her mom. I'm also happy to have a new career as an educational advocate. Then I told her the secret that I'd been keeping from her. She never even had an inkling that something wasn't right at may school. I tried very hard to keep my conversations about it private.
I told her that my boss was mean. I told her that nothing I could say or do would ever make her like me. You can read more about my bully boss here.
She asked if I had told other people. I had. She asked if I had told my principal's boss. In some respects I had but there are a lot of politics involved. I let my sweet girl know that sometimes no matter how hard you try, it's best to just move on. The best part is is that now I get to be her mom full time. When I was teaching and in that awful situation, I spent many hours away from my family. At the height of it I was putting in 50-60 hours a week trying to perfect my lesson plans and classroom. I let my girl know that I am happy with my life. If I were still teaching, I would not be where I am today. I told her that something wonderful came out of something so ugly. Then my wise child said, "It's kind of like Pompeii. After the volcano erupted and all those people died, new life came out of the ashes. The earth was made new." That's kind of how I feel. The old has been buried under ashes and soot. New life is springing from it.
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I am glad that I waited to tell Princess. She is now older and more mature. I left out most of the ugly details but I will tell her one day when she is older. I was so proud of my daughter that she handled it so well. I reveled in her kind words and compassion.
After this heartfelt discussion, we found a parking space near Target and did our shopping. On our way home from, we drove home to the sounds of the sound track from Disney's "Shake it Up".
Too bad it wasn't Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off." Maybe I'll listen to it today.