Worth It // Four



Today was my first day of the school year. Kids went back to school in August, but as I'm a librarian and not a teacher (and a northern born and bred one at that) I don't consider my self bound by the school calendar... or not a southern one at any rate. Like the good Yankee my mother raised, I believe in school starting after Labor Day.  So today was my first day of the school year. I spent August getting my calendar in order, rearranging my daycare outreach appointments in order to fit the two extra storytimes I've added to the library roster this year, and after a busy summer, the blank calendar of August -- though I was getting important focused work done on scheduling and planning -- felt too idle. The last few days or so I even felt my old restlessness creeping back, manifesting itself in some anxious overthinking at night. What a boon it was then this morning to come into work knowing that a.) I had everything ready and planned for "school" to start today, and b.) I had goals to accomplish and a finish line to chase. No more idleness!

I had my first dayschool at 9:00 so that afforded me half an hour to buckle down to planning the day, and twenty minutes to look over the book kit for the day. I like to look back at the path I've traveled (look at we are.. look at where we started... the fact that we're alive is a miracle! -gratuitous Hamilton line for you) and see how I'm doing now... and now that I'm two full years into this gig, I can feel the ease with which I go into  the daycares to read (can you believe I used to get tied up in knots of worry ... about preschoolers?). I know the routines of each one; I know where I have to fill out my visitor sheets and where I don't. I know which teachers have specific classroom styles, and which of those I like best. There's comfort in familiarity.

There's a theme I see forming in this, my third year at the library. I've spent the last two years steadily showing up... to daycares, to schools, to storytimes, to the lives of my kiddos... and this year its paying off. I have friends. I have relationships with these kids and families, and I'm seeing them grow. I had a library visit the other day from a kid who used to be in one of my daycares, but is now in Kindergarten. He recognized me at my desk and we shared memories about old times at the Headstart like we were peers and classmates. Then just today, in my first class of the year, I saw one of my storytime babies... all grown up and going to preschool. I wanted to cry seeing him... knowing that I've been reading to him for three years now, and seeing how far he's come. I'll live through the moments of restlessness and anxious thought cycles if it means I get to see my circle of influence grow a little wider every year. It'll be worth it.

*I write these Worth It posts as a gratitude log of sorts, to look back on when I'm feeling frustrated and antsy and want to run away. It is a prompt for mindfulness, a dose against dis-content, and a reminder of purpose.

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