My five-year-old's recommendation for our trip to the park set into motion a series of events that I never could have foreseen. There were too many factors involved in what transpired following this visit to believe in simple coincidences. Something bigger was at work here. Yes, I ultimately made decisions. However, if I had known about the consequences, I may have played my cards quite differently. Sometimes, you just have to take that trip, see those sights, and experiences the sensations that accompany the journey.
Following my introduction to A. Adams Jones, author and publisher of the debut book "Blind Innocence", I began to realize how pressured the past eighteen months had been. Once again I had been left to raise three children alone (after a brief attempt by their father to reunite everyone in Atlanta,Georgia), survived a horrific car accident where someone slammed into my car as I was stopped at a red light - pushing me into the car in front of me (thank God the children were not in the car at the time), re-entered the work force as a teacher, lost my apartment and moved into an extended stay hotel, and struggled to deal with some very challenging group dynamics in my classroom.
One day at work, after another stressful situation arose, I decided that it was time to take a break from all the chaos and reclaim my spirit. There is only so much a human can physically and emotionally tolerate before you realize you're headed to the zoo. I submitted a leave request to my Center Director. I had hoped that since we had college students returning to help, the room would have adequate coverage in my absence. I was advised that I may not have the Lead Infant Teacher position available upon my return if enrollments increased, but was assured that something would be available. I was told, "We are going to honor your request." Since the Director was also a single mom of three, I felt like she understood I needed to take my children to see their Dad. They hadn't seen him in eighteen months. Their behaviors indicated to me that it was time that they went for a visit.
My plan seemed sound. I spent the first day of my vacation updating Developmental Milestones folders for each child from my classroom. I organized important forms and other paperwork that the staff would need in my absence. I left all of my personal resources including books and activities so the infants could continue to enjoy them. The following day I delivered the files to the school and left numbers where I could be reached. The vacation pay I expected would be just enough to fund my return trip. Everything seemed to be set for my road trip too.
With a well packed car, directions, a map, and snacks, my three children and I set out on our adventure. We crossed five states and drove from Smyrna, Georgia to Colorado Springs, Colorado in two days. (I have always love to travel.) This time I did it with three children. We had a blast! The visit with their dad went well and I was sure I had done the right thing. My first hint that all was not well with my plan came when my bank account failed to show my vacation time had been paid. Never assume people will do the right thing. You'd think I would learn after all this time. Yet I continue to trust, believe, and see the good in people. Sometimes to my detriment . This turned out to be one of those times. Next Posting...
Moving Forward - Part III