As a little girl I dreamed of becoming so many things. At a very young age, about 3, I knew I wanted to be a mother. By Kindergarten I believed I could be a mother, teacher, nurse, and space explorer. At age 9, after watching the movie Star Wars (episode IV), I had a profound-deep-in-my-gut-I-have-to-do-it-or-die drive to be a writer. By middle school I added scientist to the list. In high school dancer was added and awareness of the greater world led me to the thought that maybe I didn’t want to be a nurse after all. Besides mother-teacher-space explorer-writer-scientist-botanist-dancer would be quite enough work.
By high school I was told that all my ideas about becoming a writer and more than one occupation were nice dreams but would not leve me life supporting income. “Besides,” the doubters who thought they had my best interests at heart would add,” you’ll be too busy as a mother to do anything else.” As if they really knew what was best for me. Theatre and Dance became my passion along with writing and I decided I would go to college and major in secondary Education Dance with minors in Theatre and English. After challenges with math I gave up my scientist dreams but never gave up my interest. In college I switched Theatre to my major. Then I married my junior year, quit school to put my mate through and then we moved to another state for his new job. Fortunately we were in a community with a university but the school had no theatre or dance departments. So I earned a bachelor degree in Secondary Education English with good intentions to get some kind of accreditation in theatre and dance later on. During my student teaching I knew I wanted to be home with my children and fortunately things worked out to make that possible. I had one child before my graduation and then we move again while I was pregnant with offspring #2. My teaching license was no longer valid in our new state and I would have to re-certify. I had offspring #3 and then ten years went by. I didn’t want to teach in the public school, no desire to pursue that what so ever.
Now over twenty years have passed since I earned my degree. Some people made the comment that I wasted my education as a home based nurturer. I used it every day. I taught in scouts, church, special programs at the public library, and especially at home. My children are going to needed all the advantages of early education that I gave them and continue to assist and guide them to avoid the distractions and problems they will face in seeking employment and in nurturing. They may need a master’s or PhD to make an income nurture their family. So here’s what I learned in a rural public school that I still hold today and pass on to my kids: You always have something to learn. Keep Learning! And I do. We have online classes from continuing education programs like Ed2Go, free library workshops, community programs, even your local public school may sponsor classes for parents in technology and parenting skills. You look, you find.
Over the years I have learned that being a mom I am a teacher, nurse, scientist, botanist, space explorer, actor, director, dancer, and especially a story-teller. No regrets living isn’t about finding balance which means I give equal time to all roles and tasks. It’s about flourishing. I flourish in my nurturing because it is more than a role to me. It’s more than a career. It is a passion and calling. Through my diverse interests and continuing education I apply and share what I learn with others.
I tell my kids, and if they haven’t heard me say it before, here it is again, that sometimes its ok to not listen to what adults tell them about what they can and should do. It’s ok to listen to their own inner self. Consult with your adults, let them know your plans, but ultimately carve your own path.
May you thrive as you nurture and flourish while learning new things this year.