When I grow up...
I wanted to be a Mommy.
I wanted to be an Interior Designer.
I wanted to be an Actress.
I wanted to be a Singer.
I wanted to be a Missionary.
I wanted to be an Artist.
I wanted to work in Advertising...
Then I grew up. And didn't have a clue what I wanted to be.
I struggled through 4 years of college, changing my major several times, and ultimately quitting without a degree. Then I did the one thing I was sure of, and married Jason. We started a life together, and soon I was a Mommy.
Being a mommy is wonderful, exhausting, all-consuming, and thrilling. I love it. For 12 years I have been a Mommy. Last year my last baby started school full-time, and then the question came back...
What do I want to be when I grow up?
I love so many things, but am not really qualified for any of them as a career. I finally settled on subbing as a way to earn some money, and have some control over my time. I didn't think I would love it, but I thought it would be okay. I soon found that my favorite places to sub in, involved children with special needs. These kids are cool. I love their quirks, their sweet spirits, their sense of humor.
This year I signed on to sub again, and began the first day of school filling in for a Para in a SPED room on maternity leave. For six weeks I worked with, loved on, and helped teach a group of sweet and special kiddos. My heart is still with them. The next few weeks I moved over to a different school in our district, filling in for an injured coworker, also in a SPED room. As the weeks ticked by, and I worked full time as a sub, I finally realized that this is what I want to do. I prayed that God would open the door if it was the right thing for me, especially since I was still unsure about working full time. Soon He gave me my answer, and I accepted a position as a full time Para working with ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education).
My life has gone down many paths that I did not expect. I certainly never thought about working with special needs kids as a possible career when I was in college. Special Ed wasn't even on my radar. But having Ellie, and then Austin, has changed all that. I have sat through countless hours of OT, Autism therapy, and IEP meetings. I have researched Autism and ADHD online, into the wee hours of the morning, night after night. I have read books, magazines articles, and listened to podcasts about parenting children with special needs. All to the end that I feel I have earned my life degree in Special Education. I am SO excited to use my life experience and knowledge to help these sweet preschoolers!
I finally have the answer. When I grow up, I want to work in Special Education. And it only took me 36 years to figure it out. :)