Teaching is a highly rewarding job where I get the pleasure of educating people’s delightful, funny little offspring. It makes me feel privileged that I have this honour. For I know if I had children, I would trust nobody more than my child’s teacher to protect and care for them while they are out of my eyesight! But with it comes the constant daily reminder of what I’m missing out on.
From when they say something funny or so innocent to make you chuckle, to when they show their cute smirks on their faces, to when their eyes light up with happiness, as well as when they grasp concepts and learn so much and show their academic ability. Everything about children is a blessing. What little miracles they are. Then there’s those children who I’ve witnessed, who have endured difficult upbringings and family lives and thus have trouble learning. My heart breaks for them. With a more stable upbringing, their difficulties with learning would be minimal. I could easily provide this. I could provide a child with a stable life, a loving home and a loving family, and the opportunity to succeed, but still, I am childless. How nice it will be to have some of our own someday.
Then there’s moments like when a dear little student announces on parade in front of everyone, that his stepmother is having another baby-number 3 in about 3 years. It cuts like a knife and at that moment my stomach knots into a million huge masses. But still I remain excited, ask questions and put on a fake smile, for clearly this child is happy and excited about it, so I need to be the role model and show excitement for him too. Then when a week later, another dear little one announces his Aunt is expecting. But still, I put on a brave face and act happy for him. My goodness, babies seem to be clouding my life everywhere lately. I can’t escape it.
Then there’s the moment when as part of curriculum requirements I teach a history lesson about family structures. Did you know that there is a termed name for the type of family I have?? Yep… A childless family. Harsh reality isn’t it. And how on earth do you explain to 5 and 6 year olds about a single parent family? I’ve just been eluding that something must have happened to the Mother or Father, not that Mummy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore or Mummy had an accident one night and doesn’t know who Daddy is. Then there’s explaining the blended family situation. Mummy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore, so Mummy and Daddy split up, or even better, Daddy had an affair, and Mummy or Daddy had unprotected sex with someone else and had more kids. You have other brothers or sisters. So much for the happy, nuclear family. Aargh!! It’s not fair, and I don’t want to be a childless family anymore.
Teaching isn’t easy on so many levels with the high amounts of work preparation and planning involved. But combined with infertility, in can be even harder some days. But as one kid said… At least I have my cats and dog to be my kids.
* Wearing a fake smile some days…