Every once and awhile, we all ask ourselves some questions.
Did I do enough? Was I good enough? Did I try hard enough?
Am I enough?
As you know, I’m a preschool teacher. I work with one and two year-olds. It is exhausting and rewarding and hilarious. However, during the summers I work with elementary kids at a day-camp that my school puts on. I have about four weeks left with my exhausting, rewarding, hilarious toddlers, and this morning, these questions began to fill my mind.
When we ask ourselves these questions, we tend to focus on the rare moments when we feel like we lost control. We focus on our shortcomings, and we convince ourselves they are all that matter.
Sometimes I lose my cool and raise my voice. It’s rare, but it happens. Sometimes I have to leave my classroom for five minutes because it’s just too loud and just too much. Sometimes I can’t hide how tired I am and I get grumpy.
These things make me feel bad. But I am a human being and we all go through this. We all lose our cool. We all have to hide. We all have days where we just can’t put on our brave faces and we crumble a little.
But I have to remind myself of the 95% of the time that I keep it together.
Everyday, the kiddos greet me at the door with huge smiles and hugs, and they tell me in toddler-speak about the trucks they saw and the games they are playing and their old boo-boos. I do art projects with them that make them so happy that they make excited growls when they pick up a paintbrush. We sing, and we dance, and we read. I cuddle them to sleep and feed them, and they fall asleep with their arms on mine and offer me their crackers. They wake up from nap ready to play and ready to jump on me. I tell them that I love them, and they tell me the same. On my not-so-great days, I remind them that “Miss Lara always loves you, even when she’s grumpy.”
Kids don’t bullshit.
If I didn’t do enough, they would show me somehow. If I wasn’t good enough, they would tell me. If I didn’t try hard enough, they wouldn’t either.
If I wasn’t enough, they would show me.
So to all of you out there, asking yourself these questions: Look at all the ways that people show you that you are enough. The fact that you’re asking yourself these questions shows that you care and that you are trying.