I find myself here at the end of May about to put the cap on a year-long sabbatical, during which I was able to stay home with my kids who are finishing their kindergarten year. This presents me with an odd dilemma. I'm ready to go back to work intellectually; I do miss my students and the collegiality of working with other professors on a college campus, but I'm wondering if the transition will take its toll on my kids. Both have really grown up this year. They're learning social skills that are hard to learn in a home environment, like "why do I have to color a school bus when there's so much fun to be had with my new friends?", and "holding up two fingers to indicate that I have to go to the bathroom? What's up with that?" They're becoming well-versed in the structures of many social institutions including group conversations, school environments, and playground etiquette.
I was here when they had questions about what happened at school. We could work on homework after lunch and still have the afternoon for free playing and extra curricular activities. When I go back to work, will I still be able to give them this level of attention? I've worked full time since they were born. I've had nannies and daycare, which were wonderful in their early childhood development, but school years are different. And this year was different. Time will tell what will happen as I am willing to explore here.