People always say that you never know what you had until it is gone. While true, the thoughts that inspired this post go more along the lines of "you never know what someone does for you until it's your turn."
I will go on record saying that I have had some of the greatest teachers during my schooling and I have one of the best moms in the world. I always have known that their respective jobs are difficult, but I do not think I have been truly grateful for them until recently.
Since April, I have moved to Seattle to begin my law school journey and I have also taught a law class to a bunch of college-bound high school seniors. During this short time, I have had a lot time to reflect on my brief 22 years of life. These are the thoughts of why I truly appreciate my former teachers and why I have never appreciated my mother more than I do now.
Teachers! Eyes up front, it's okay, i'll wait until it quiets down.
- First off, I am so sorry. If you ever were my teacher, I don't need to explain. But you have to admit, some of that stuff was pretty funny.
- I never knew how hard it was to balance the power dynamic of trying to be respected, liked, etc, all while trying not to be compared to a dictator. (See below)
At the end of most teaching days I was either frazzled or proud. I now respect all my teachers that seemed* to have a very stable emotional spectrum for years on end.
* I now know the truth.
- I also understand that when you tell the students that the assignments "will be graded tonight," that is in no way a promise that they will indeed get graded that night. Or that week.
- However, I see how you guys developed a sense of caring and pride with your "kids." The last day of class, my kids had to dress nice for mock trial, however almost no one knew how to tie their ties. One of my happiest memories is sitting on my desk and having this line of kids waiting to get their ties fixed by me before the trial started.
- Essentially, I just want to thank my teachers for always putting their students before themselves for their entire careers. My six weeks of teaching taught me that teaching is one of the hardest and most respectable careers. Without my teachers, I would not be even half the person I am today.
Mom. Also, moms everywhere.
When I moved to a new state, I had all the confidence in the world. It's Seattle, how hard can it be? I now realize how hard being an adult is and I was so naive before. I want to be five-years-old again. Mom, I just have some questions.
How do dishes pile up so fast?
I swept the entire floor yesterday, why are my feet dusty?
It is a shower, why in the world do I have to clean the thing that cleans me?
Why does it seem like I have to go grocery shop every 3.5 hours in order to cook dinner?
There are so many things I need to thank you for, but essentially you were right about everything. You were right that even though nobody sees your bed, it should still be made. Right about closing the cereal boxes and putting clips on the chips.
Living on my own for the past few months taught me something that should have been apparent for the past 22 years — you have the hardest job in the world and i'll never take that for granted again. Thanks for being one of my biggest fans in life and someone who I always know that is in my corner. I love you, mom.
Both groups: I didn't always see how hard your jobs were or know how much of an impact you all would have on my life, but I see the results of that now. Thank you for doing your jobs and leading me to a better life even when I was the farthest thing from grateful or appreciative. When you're doubting the work you do, just know that you've influenced everyone for the better and even if we cannot see it in the moment, we couldn't live without you all.
You taught me how I want to act when I am in a position to influence peoples lives. Thank you.