Turns out, I like kids.

Standard

1.)    What do you like to do?

2.)    What do you feel like you are good at doing?

3.)    What could you do and want to do, even though you may find it challenging?

Those questions were posed to me by a woman who was interviewing me for a job. Last year, during an unrelated interview, the question “What are you passionate about?” was asked of me, and I wrote a post about it. (I also re-wrote the question, because the fact that it ended with the word ‘about’ bothered me.) So, it should come as no surprise that these new questions that were asked of me also inspire me to write a post.

The first question is simple. I like to write, take pictures, talk, and eat ice cream. Please understand, I rarely write, take pictures, talk, and eat ice cream at the same time. Though if challenged, I think I could manage it.

The second question is not difficult; although, I have a bit of trepidation in admitting I am ‘good’ at something without coming across as conceited. So humbly, I say I am good at writing, I am good at taking pictures, I am good at talking, and you know I am good at eating ice cream. I think it is safe to say that I am good at what I like to do.

Now we come to the third question. Just like the second question, I do not find the third question difficult. And again, there is the concern that I will sound conceited when I say, with a certain amount of confidence, that I am good at something. But, when one is interviewing for a job, it is important answer the questions you are asked.

My answer to question number three is what brought me to the interview in the first place.
What could you do and want to do, even though you may find it challenging?
I work well with children, I want to work with children, and children challenge me for the better.

***

If you know me, I mean – if you really know me – my answer to question number three may have caused you to do a double-take. After all, I am the person who bet a friend I would never have children. I didn’t make the bet because I felt I was a loser and would never find a husband (though, it did take more years to locate the man than I had anticipated), rather I made the bet because I never wanted kids.

My Mom was an in-home childcare provider, and I was surrounded by babies and toddlers for years. One or two of the babies for whom my Mom cared had colic. Are you familiar with colic? If so, I offer my condolences. Babies with colic are no fun. I can remember times when I was coming home from school and I could hear the baby crying from outside. Every step I took closer to the house was taken in dread and agony.

Okay, perhaps I am being a bit dramatic. Just a bit. But there was dread. Definitely dread.

***

I am the youngest of six, and I was surrounded by kids growing up. I saw my own adulthood as a chance for me to break free from the responsibilities and demands faced by parents with children. I did not wear baby-goggles, seeing only cute little noses, toes, and fingers. I did not let myself get sucked into their coos and giggles. No. They had no power over me, because I knew they required work – a whole lot of work.

Then I got pregnant. I blame my husband, because he is so gosh darn good-looking. Seriously. How could I refuse? I mean, he is so good-looking that I had to see what kind of kids we’d produce. And you know what? We produced some pretty handsome boys. Of course, the first born was borderline colic. Figures.

Once I gave birth to Joe, I found myself wanting to spend more time with other children. When I picked Joe up from childcare, I would often spend time playing with the kids before going home. Plus, I became involved in our church nursery on Sundays.

Look! Kids! I like kids.

Look! Kids! I like kids.

When my kids started school, we would still go back and visit their childcare provider, and I would immediately plop down on the floor to read to the kids. In addition, I moved from assisting with the church nursery to assisting with the school-aged kids during Sunday school. I’ve been assisting the same group of kids for the past 2yrs, and I plan on following this same group of kids through 5th grade. (These kids are third graders.)

Not only did I lose the bet with my friend, I’ve completely changed my opinion about kids. I could teach kids in a house. I could teach kids with a mouse. I could teach kids here or there. I could teach kids anywhere. (Technically, because I do not have a degree in education, I could not teach the kids as a “Teacher”.)

***

Wednesdays are “Book Club” days in my older son’s class. “Book Club” consists of a parent reading to the kids, while the kids eat lunch. This month, I’m “Book Club” Mom, and I love it. What fun it is to read to a classroom filled with kids. Know what? The kids actually pay more attention to the book than their lunch.

AIA Spring Festival May 2012 (15)

Look! More kids. I like more kids!

Full disclosure: I’m not overly involved with my kids at home. More often than not, you will find the boys playing outside, doing experiments, and cooking in the kitchen with their Dad – not me. Sure, I’ll sit down for a game of Sorry, Trouble, Blokus, or Apples to Apples, and I will help the boys with their homework, but you won’t find me doing much else. Actually, that’s not entirely true.

I read to the boys most every night. In fact, right now we are reading book #4 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. We love it. Literally, the boys and I look forward to bedtime, because the three of us know it is reading time.

Still, dare I say – interacting, motivating, and learning with other children runs a close second to the joy I have in reading to my boys at night.

I could be a teacher*. I want to be a teacher. And, I’m comfortable with saying I would find it challenging to be a teacher; but that challenge doesn’t deter my desire. And that, my readers, is my answer to question number three.

***


* Note: I use the term ‘teacher’ loosely, as I do not have a degree in education. By teacher I mean ‘mentor’; but, this is my blog, so I used the word ‘teacher’. No offense intended.

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33 thoughts on “Turns out, I like kids.

  1. Libby Bean

    I was so into his story you wrote and of course you make it come alive, I loved it. It made me think back to the book reading time I had with my 3 girls and 5 grandkids. Oh what wonderful memories came flooding back to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

    • Thank you, Libby. It is good to ‘see’ you again, as it is good to write again. I am so grateful Joe still enjoys me reading to him. The day he is no longer interested is the day I will cry. Thank you for reading my thoughts.

    • Yes and no. While nothing is in writing, and the after-school program is still in the process of being created – I will more than likely be on board when the after-school program begins.

  2. THIS IS AWESOME & I AGREE:) I have always loved working with kids and have been surrounded by them. I’m the 3rd of 8, I have about 15yrs of childcare experience (I taught overseas but I don’t have enough education to be credentialed and certified-and I didn’t do well on the CBEST subteaching test either) – my b.a. is in children’s theatre. I just know that this doesn’t always make money but it’s such a rewarding, fulfilling job 🙂 HOWEVER, working with parents was hard! SO I needed a NEW refreshing career and I absolutely LOVE my job (it’s all about the people) as a secretary to a physical therapy place (in a hospital in a nice community). I’ve done pretty much everything except parent (but I helped raise my 5 younger siblings if that counts)…I LOVE CHILDREN’S LIT too! I would like to write for kids…But I enjoyed your post! What is Blokus?

  3. I grew up knowing I would have a mess of kids and I would stay home in my big ranch-style house taking care of them and keeping the home for my handsome husband who wore a suit to work and came home to a martini made by me with love. After Noah circumstances changed and plus HOW COULD I LOVE ANOTHER? Then I realized, after seeing how awesomely unbelievable Noah is, that all other children of the world pale in comparison. They all SUCK (my blog comment). I slowly started to allow other children into my heart, mostly because they are related to me but not always. Babies, on the other hand…I love babies. Until they walk and talk.

    • Ha. Yeah, that walking and talking thing does tend to change things a bit, eh? By the way, I am thrilled Noah lives on the West Coast. It’s nice to know you and I have both Coasts covered when it comes to the best kids in the world. We represent, Kim. Word.

  4. Well I loved this post. Teaching is great fun! Hard work, yes but kids are so great. I never wanted babies either, probably because I was a teacher for 12 years and knew what sorts of problems they can have (much like colic) only older problems. But now I am baby crazy. I think they are all do beautiful and perfect, and they are. We go to a playgroup and there’s a baby with Down’s syndrome there and he is the most beautiful angel baby!

    • Thank you, Angel. I remember when you shared the news you were pregnant. You share the news with a bit of trepidation, I recall. And you wondered if you would like the baby and like being a Mom. I had similar feelings, too. Turns out – you and I were baby crazy. Well, I was crazy prior to the babies, but ….

  5. We have lots in common, Lenore. I am one of seven; our house had a cottage out back with child care included. I did the baby-sitting ’cause I love kids. My daughter had severe colic so I understand your “dread.”
    blessings ~ maxi

  6. It’s a great feeling when you realize what you’re truly good at, and then decide to pursue it! Good for you, Lenore. Any child you end up teaching will be very lucky to have you. It’s funny, most of my life I swore I’d never be a mom. But I’d always loved teaching kids. Best of luck to you in your new job!

  7. It is a wonderful thing when one realizes what one is good at and embraces it! You, my friend, are all of the above that you wrote about! A fabulous writer and a wonderful teacher—and I don’t think you need the degree to be a teacher at all. You have teachable moments all the time that you seize and take advantage of! I am so glad I found you and your blog (and Andy!!) . I look forward to your posts and your fabulous pictures of your sweet boys. 🙂

  8. That doesn’t come across as conceded at all, Ms. D… you are good at all those things! I guess I’m taking you for your word at the ‘eating ice cream’ part, but… I believe you!
    I think it would be a lot of fun to teach art… but being able to communicate verbally (and make some sense / without constantly stuttering and stammering) would probably be required. That would be a problem for me.
    🙂

    • If you’d like to challenge me to an ice cream duel, Robert – I’m up for the challenge. Really. Think about it. It would be yummy. 😀
      I think you could be an art teacher in spite of your talk of stammering and stuttering. The kids would be amazed by your talent, they wouldn’t really care what came out of your mouth. (smile)

  9. I can relate in a lot of ways. Although, I always wanted children. But as a teenager, never wanted to babysit and was never enamoured with little kids. I do have that teaching thing in me, too. I have never wanted to get teaching certification or to be in a formal classroom; but to teach people whatever, whenever, is one of my big things in life. And it’s funny, because one time when I was having a psychic reading, the woman asked me if I was a teacher or had been one. I answered no, but then again, I think I really am a teacher. She told me that I had had several lifetimes being teachers. Pretty cool!

    • Very interesting, Susan. I love the stories you share when you have your readings.
      I enjoyed babysitting when I was younger – but I think I enjoyed getting the money for the babysitting than the actual babysitting.

  10. Wonderful post. Personally, I treat children like oxygen. Wonderful in small doses, occasionally intoxicating, and at too high of a concentration are poisonous.

    I will say that I think it’s great to find a balance where you are not hovering around your kids’ every move. I recall when I was younger I would come home from school and usually have a snack with my mom (my snack was usually a tastykake, hers a cigarette), then I would go out and play with my friends until dinner time.

    • Hahahahahahahaha! My snack was usually a tastykake, hers a cigarette. Oh how that made me laugh hard. My Mom was a smoker, too. Thankfully she quit before she died. And, at the risk of sounding like a Monty Python movie….”She’s not dead yet.”
      Glad you liked the post, Steve. It was fun and easy. I like those kind of posts.

  11. I always light up when I hear someone has found their bliss. I think that each person has a special skill (a calling, if you want to use that word) and putting that skill to work is what helps make the world a better place. I hope you find that perfect opportunity to put your interest and talent to work.

    Now, if I could only find out what that is for me… 🙂

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