My husband and I were sitting at the beach on Nantucket. It was just the two of us. We took a quick vacation without our children to celebrate our anniversary. I tried as much as I could to take in the sound of the crashing waves, feel the warm sand under my feet, and be mesmerized by the blueness of the July midday sky. I kept looking around at all the families with children, and all I could think about were my two at home with their grandparents.
I wondered if they would enjoy this beach. Just then a seal popped her head out of the water just five feet from shore. I heard the children squeal in delight and point at their discovery. I jumped to my feet to get a better look. The seal seemed to smile and watch the children with an understanding look. She stayed there with her shiny black head above the waves for a few moments just observing. Her big black eyes scanning the sand. It reminded me of the way my German Shepherd, Molly, looks at my children when they play loudly. Molly has a look of curiosity and amusement before she either leaps in to join the fun, or leaves the room.
My husband and I settled back down in our seats and I turned to him and said, “Willow and Caiden would of loved to see that. They love seals. I’m sorry they missed it.”
Jim smiled at me and replied, “I know. I was wondering if you wanted to move further down the beach. There are less families there. We’d have more room.”
I told him perhaps in a little bit. My attention turned to the empty lifeguard chair behind us. Every year our school collects pictures of students and staff reading. I just began the book The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon. My teammate recommended it to me and I thought my time away would be a great time to read it. I tapped Jim and said, “Take a picture of me reading this book in the lifeguard chair for my school.”
He jokingly rolls his eyes and asked, “Do you ever stop thinking about being a teacher?” I over dramatically act offended, shoved my phone in his hand and started walking toward the chair.
As I was posing with the book in my hands, I realized even when I am away from my own children or in between classes in the summer, I am always a mother and always a teacher. They are more than titles that I was given, they are who I am-at home or when I am away.