{This Is Not Goodbye}

I've been holding off on writing this post for as long as I can, mostly because I've been in denial. Waiting and waiting for some miracle to occur to prevent this course of events.

But, I think it can't be avoided any longer.

This week on Tuesday, I will be returning to work, full-time. (There, I said it out loud.)

I am less than thrilled. In fact, my heart is breaking. I don't want to leave my little peas for a single day, let alone every day. (Though my husband keeps pointing out that, as teachers, we actually only work about 180 days a year, so I should really stop complaining. Hmmm, that does make it seem a bit better.)

I know I've been fortunate to have been able to take this time off in the first place, as so many others don't have that opportunity. But still, I can't help feeling that I'm letting my babies, and myself, down. It's not that I don't like teaching; I do. And I'm sure I'll be able to rally some enthusiasm once I get going again. It's just that I would much rather be 'teaching' my own kids here at home, where I know I'll be making a much bigger difference in their lives than in the lives of other people's kids (parents are the biggest influence, after all). And I know that I have so much to offer them, if only I had more time!

And, of course, I will miss my little peas terribly. I will miss our quiet playtimes, our outdoor playtimes, our messy playtimes, our creative playtimes, our kitchen playtimes, our storytimes, our naptimes, our snacktimes, our chatting times. I will miss picking up Princess Pea from preschool and having her run out of the classroom and jump into my arms with a giant bear hug and some little treasure she made or found during the day. I will especially miss seeing Sweet Pea's daily developmental changes; at 17 months she's at such an exciting and fun age when every day she comes out with new words or skills that she attempts or masters. This is when the fun with her really begins!

But, it is what it is. As they say, "You get what you get, and you don't make a fuss." Well, I will get what I get. But I can't promise I won't make a fuss.

As for blogging, I know I won't be able to keep up daily as I do (almost) now, but I will try my best to write whenever I can. I just don't know how often that will be. I have a few posts scheduled and others in the works, and as they're ready, I'll post them. I am also trying to get the Outdoor Play linky up and running again after our hiatus the last couple of weeks, though I may not always have any outdoor play posts of my own to share, as I doubt I'll be getting outside with my kids much except on weekends (boo!). I will try my best to update the Facebook page and to Tweet from time to time, and I invite you to share your own links and pictures on the Facebook page to help to keep it fresh. (I'll try to set up some designated places for that sort of thing.)

And I will truly miss blogland! I've loved reading all of the fantastic blogs I've come across and have made some wonderful bloggy friends - thank you to all of you for your inspiration and for making me feel so welcome in your little communities!

So, I will be around. I will still be checking my email regularly and would love to hear from you all.

This is not goodbye. It's just the end of my life as I know and love it.