Photo: In the span of 4 years, I’ve gone from worrying about cute office clothes to dressing up for Thanksgiving-themed playdates. And I am good with that.

On April 12, 2006, as the story goes, I found out I was pregnant.

Best. Day. Ever. (up until that point)

It was about a month later when the realization hit me that I was going to be a mother. It was one day after school, and no one was home but me. I was relaxing on the couch watching Little House on the Prairie, one of my favorite episodes, in fact. Laura was fighting with Almanzo over whether she would be a teacher once they got married; he thought she should quit. Feisty Laura is conflicted about this, and Wise Ma says these words to her:

Oh, Laura, a mother is all things! A cook, a dressmaker, a disciplinarian, a nurse, but above all, a teacher. And I know that when your children are ready to graduate from your family, they’ll be as ready to face the world as you are. I know they will.

I sat on the couch and just cried. I told my baby, out loud for the first time,  that I loved her (not sure it was a “her” yet).

I had already decided I would quit my teaching career to stay home. It was hardly a controversial decision: I had worked hard to finally get my teaching degree, but I’d wanted to be a mommy for-ever.  Still, I was a little self-conscious about it. It didn’t seem very progressive of me to want to quit a promising career to “just stay at home.”

Fast forward four year – FOUR YEARS – and Ma’s words have never rang truer. I am a teacher, and not just because I’ve decided to home school. My most recent foray into teaching is trying to get my girls to spit out their new “big girl” toothpaste. But on a daily basis, it’s my duty to teach them basic information, manners, words that start with specific letters, the names of people, the names of places, the promises of God, rules of games, how not to throw their cups at the back of my head while I’m driving, the words to songs, how we’re related to people, the days of the week, and so it goes…

Since Miranda, my sweet little miracle, was born, my life has taken on new meaning. And since I “quit teaching,” my “career” has run circles around what I’d ever thought it would be. And all of it, all of it, boils down to Ma Ingalls’ perfectly spoken words: A mother is all things.

And my daughters, they’ve brought me the sum of all blessings.