Ever since I was young enough to have thoughts, I dreamed of being a stay at home mom- just like my own mommy. I wanted to want to be a career woman, but my heart was never there. After high school, University was a natural path for me. I didn't know WHAT I wanted to do, but I knew it would involve university. I wanted something under my belt before a husband and kids arrived on the scene. My mom mentioned that a cousin of hers was a speech-language pathologist so I set up a job shadow situation, wasn't repulsed by what I saw, and pursued. I assumed I would complete my schooling and have a potential career.... I just never dreamed I would actually work it (much less ENJOY it). I felt like the least driven/Type A/ambitious/confident/competent speech student of all time... but I finished. And I even got jobs afterwards (what? Bills? Student loan payments? FINE, I'll work). I have always enjoyed my colleagues and clients, but still never felt completely confident that I had found my occupational niche in this world. I presumed that once babies came, any and all career aspirations would be put on hold... then I learned that we had a minimum hours requirement to maintain our certification. Groooooooaannnn. I wasn't about to throw 4 years of undergrad and 2 years of grad school directly out the window. Fiiiiiine. I'll keep pursuing work.
It was during my maternity leave with Stefan that I had an aha moment that WAIT A SEC- perhaps I HAD pursued the right path. An amazing job fell in my lap (thank you, Deb), but it got even better.
Enter Michelle- my speech assistant. One of the most hilarious, competent, hard-working, beautiful inside-and-out women you will ever meet. Right away we clicked. She's 10 years older than me with five kids ranging from ages nine to 21, and she's LDS (my Mormon friend!)... but I feel like we're completely in the same stage of life. It must be my intense maturity perhaps? Yes I think that must be it. We laugh our faces off constantly (like, kind of literally in the sense that our tears of joy smear off any remnant of make-up we may have taken the futile effort to apply that morning). Sure- by the end of the day, our tear-stained faces could be the result of breathing each other's CO2 all day. Or perhaps it's the kids we get who can hardly string two intelligible words together then give us detailed information about their poop medication- CLEAR AS A BELL. Or perchance it's that every single kid thinks that I am five to 85 years older than Michelle (which- believe me- Michelle takes GREAT pleasure in). Or possibly it's simply because we're using every ounce of our energy to be animated and interesting for these children and we are so exhausted and ridiculous that we have no other option but to laugh. Hard. All day every day (well, the two days a week that I work... which is also a pretty sweet deal that I am VERY thankful for). Not a week has gone by where someone hasn't said, "You guys have too much fun!" or "You guys laugh too much!" or "You shouldn't be allowed to have so much fun at work!" And it's true. If you know Michelle... you laugh. She's a delightful ball of wit whose voodoo magic/queen of manipulation tactics to make people love her definitely worked on me. I am now the only speechie for the preschool kids at our school. That idea scared me initially, and I miss Deb (my now retired fellow SLP) a lot... but I have embraced my role as solo speech path, and have really surprised myself with how much I enjoy the work/home balance. I do believe I have Michelle to thank for that- I would not be as confident or effective as I am without her by my side. Plus, she makes work FUN. The kids respond to us, laugh with us, and light up when we lather them with attention. We're also lucky to have super supportive admin, teachers, and staff... but this is all about Michelle. My number one girl, my right hand woman, my partner in crime, a big sister figure, and my close friend. I am one lucky speech-language pathologist!
|Pretty thrilled about a lunch time bike ride in work attire!|
|We also thoroughly enjoy Michelle's family, and we had the honour of attending Baylee's mission farewell and snapping some photogs of Baylee and the whole fam jam. Talk about a super photogenic family... I fall asleep dreaming about all that HAIR!|
|Baylee again. ;)|
|Super speedy Michelle.|