Children are inching their way back into my life and I feel a bit confused. What does this mean? Should I take this as a sign that something needs to change in my life? Or am I reading to much into this?
Starting in junior high, I began to teach toddlers. In theater, the younger children liked the attention I gave them. Soon I was more comfortable playing with little kids than my peers. My desire to be young, creative spirit, and innocent nature mixed well with children. Also I longed to be affirmed and loved by anyone. When I poured out kindness to these youth, they responded with devotion and sweet words.
Now, my purpose was not to be selfish though. I honestly wanted to touch these children. Teaching and coaching them brought me so much joy. People around me told me continuously that I was so good with kids and that I should work with them. Clueless to my own dreams, I agreed readily.
Yet part of me felt unfulfilled. Was this really the right path for me? Yes, I loved to learn so it seemed natural to teach that desire of knowledge to others. But something did not feel right. People continued to affirm my skills with children causing me to squelch my fears and other thoughts.
Going into college, part of me wanted to become a famous actress. However I decided to pursue Early Childhood Education. That lasted only a semester and a half. When a classmate mentioned her excitement at telling future students “not to put the glue stick in your mouth,” I realized that this career was not for me. I longed to teach deep concepts and analyze ideas. No Kindergarten class would be able to understand the type of things I wanted to discuss.
By the end of my first year, I had switched my major to Intercultural Studies and English Teaching with the hopes to teach in China or South Korea. Part of me still wanted to teach a younger age group. However, I mostly wanted to escape from my present life by living in an exotic place. Finally life would start anew.
Unfortunately, I also finished my first year with Anorexic Nervosa. During my time off of school, new hopes and dreams came into my life. Finally, I released myself from the pressure to teach little children. This has been such a relief for me.
Over the past few years, I have done little with kids especially young ones. Exhaustion after doing so much work with them for years has made me fear working with them again. In fact, until recently, I had not even thought a lot about this age group.
But, as I mentioned above, children have been coming back into my life. The past few weeks numerous toddlers have left their parents to chase after me, babies have stopped crying to smile at me, and youth from the past have reached out to me. Even stranger, my heart has jumped with joy once again. Just like before, desire to play with and care for these darlings has filled me.
This has left me feeling happy but confused. Where do I go from here? I still do not want to teach but maybe I should slowly begin to volunteer with kids again. If nothing else, this phenomenon is breaking down my fears that I failed with children or I was fooling everyone evilly. Instead, I am beginning to wonder if I do have the capacity to be a mother one day. I have doubted my ability to care for others for so long that this idea terrifies me. Yet it also fills me with hope. Perhaps it is time to let the children back into my life once more.