I remember when my oldest son Allen was in kindergarten, how much I wanted to show up in his classroom in costume and share stories, like Stella the Storyteller from his favorite show, Barney and Friends. Who would have thought that I would start showing up in a 6th grade class instead? And love it so much?
For the first time in a long time I have been able to volunteer in my elementary school kids' classrooms and that is also very rewarding. I find myself looking forward to working with the kids each time I go in and remembering why I wanted to go into special education when I was still in college. At the time, that just wasn't in the cards for me. I was a new mother, we were poor college students, and continuing to go to school didn't make much sense since my life experience allowed me to work as a sign language interpreter immediately and make more money than I would as a teacher with an eventual degree. (How sad is that, by the way?)
I'm still figuring things out. Friends in the generation older than me laugh knowingly when I tell them I'm not sure what to do with myself now that Little X is in school. Friends my age nod their heads knowingly and express the same wonderings. Friends younger than me sigh knowingly and long for that time.
I'm in the middle of costume design and creation for The Phantom of the Opera at my kids' high school. I learned so much when I did this for The Little Mermaid that I couldn't resist helping again. And this time around, I keep getting my own ideas. Mrs. Frizzle sort of ideas. Crazy costumes I could make myself, if there were the time and the place to use them.
I may need to create my own job. I know it is possible. It's there in my head, I just need to figure out the details.