I dreamt of building this school for over half my life — and that dream has finally come true. A little red brick school house with a modern rustic vibe, this school is everything I imagined and more. Just over a year ago, we welcomed our students into this new school. While it hasn’t been quite the “first year” I’d anticipated, I couldn’t have asked for a better first year.
While it certainly took me a long time to get here, there’s one dream I’ve held onto for longer. When I was in Kindergarten, I proudly declared that I wanted to be a mommy. This is a dream that I’ve held onto since then. (I also wanted to drive the Magic School Bus like Mrs. Frizzle. ) Although I no longer want to drive the Magic School Bus, the dream of motherhood has never wavered, only strengthened as the years went on.
I’d always had a collection of babies that no one would dare call ‘dolls’ in my presence — including Rachel, whom I carried around from the time I was in a crib until around 2nd grade, and the crying, pooping, and peeing Mattel doll that drove the entire plane crazy on a flight back from Vegas because she just would not stop crying. No, you couldn’t just take her batteries out. That would kill her.
By the time I finished Kindergarten, I no longer wanted to drive the Magic School Bus. Instead, I wanted to teach Kindergarten. Surely, finishing Kindergarten qualified me to TEACH Kindergarten? No? And, of course, I still wanted to be a mom.
When I was in 2nd grade, I became a mommy to Samantha, the baby that I’d proceed to drag everywhere for years and years to come. I cared for her as if she were a real baby, not an American Girl Doll, and sometimes this had tragic repercussions. Her hair was never the same after a trip to my “hair salon” with Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo. She was incredibly spoiled with spa treatments, a wardrobe that rivaled my own, her own bedroom furniture, living room furniture, and — of course — matching Mommy and Me outfits, some of which I sewed myself.
It broke my heart to leave her at home while I went to school. I’d set her and her friends up for a day of fun — and my loving mother would often leave evidence of their fun times before I arrived back home. I desperately wanted to take her to school with me; I wanted to take her everywhere.
Some little girls dream of meeting their Prince Charming — a white princess dress and the traditional American family. For as long as I can remember, I’ve only dreamt of the baby. I jumped at any opportunity I could to volunteer as a mother’s helper or — as I got older, to babysit, and later, to steal my friends’ kids.
When we started HEROES, I was determined to have a school ready for my child by the time (s)he was ready to start school. For years, this felt like a far off dream — would I really be able to get a school ready in what I considered to be a “reasonable” time frame to have kids? Moreover, would I ever reach a point when I’d have enough time for kids?
When we opened the Academy, I worked 12 or more hours per day 7 days per week, including holidays. This wasn’t exactly ideal circumstances to start my own little family. I want to be able to spend time with my kids — those early years are precious, and you cannot get them back.
Over the years, I’ve been able to reduce my hours. Moreover, I’ve build the school of my dreams with a backyard to play in and limitless gardens. All of the pieces have finally come together. While I don’t have a full-day program, I am confident in the education program that we offer. Combining our math, language arts, and science/engineering programs together covers most of the basics. History is easy to fill-in with a literature based curriculum, and there are a wide range of “electives” for children of any age to participate in during the day, after school, or on the weekends. All-in-all, my child will not only have a fully customized education, but a mom whose been preparing for their homeschooled education for longer than they’ll even be in school!
As a result, I finally made the leap. This June, we’ll be welcoming a new member to the HEROES family, baby Voit. I cannot wait to see what this next chapter of my life has to offer, and I’m excited to share this journey will all of you.