It was a text from my best friend the day I told her a little more about the RIE method I am supposed to be embracing in order to effectively do my job. I am a mom first. I am not a perfect mom and this journey opened my eyes. I've learned quite a bit about myself and why I parent the way I do. I am not perfect and will be doing some things differently but I cannot wrap my head around a method that allows a child to decide if and when he wants to eat, sleep or have a diaper changed. I also can't explain why it would be okay for one child to physically express himself all over another child because he has the freedom to do so. I need to be the voice for the child who has been the target. According to RIE, by calmly removing the aggressor so he could settle down, I would be a bully. So, when confronted with my ability to embrace a theory I can't agree with so that I can be what the school needed me to be, my answer was, I cannot. I need to be a mom to my children; the ones God trusts me to raise. The ones I am nurturing and teaching right from wrong. The ones I am teaching to acknowledge their emotions and how to express them in a way society finds acceptable. I want children other people enjoy being around. The story I shared with Kristin has a child taking another child's shoes and putting them on her own feet. The shoe owner wants her shoes back but is told by the RIE facilitator that the shoes will be returned once the taker is finished with them. This is not real life. I like my neighbor's car. It runs more smoothly than mine. I'd like to take it to my sister's next month. I'll bring it back when I am finished with it. According to RIE theory, my neighbor should be fine with it. I read this in the seventh training manual I tried desperately to absorb. The next day, I was scolded for smiling at a toddler who approached me to be held. Apparently, I need to hide my emotions because toddlers have enough trouble managing their own and my smile showed judgement. I was not created to stifle smiles, laughter or the desire to give a child her own shoes.
By October 1, I am coming home and bringing Kate and Ty with me. They are thrilled. I am too. Kate's teacher begged me to let her stay even though she respects my decision. She loves her. We admire the teacher but Kate has wanted to come home since last spring. I'm looking forward it. This is not the right time for my family to have me venture into a full time position pouring into other people's children. Mine are too important. I resigned on the tenth and immediately felt relieved. I adore the little guys in my care and enjoy their families as well. This was not an easy decision but the peace I feel indicates it was the right decision.