“The practiced eye knows the true worth of a gem and shall not let it escape him…Train your eye to discern that which is of true worth, and let it not escape you.” –Francis J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved
Drew and I purchased a lot of land we were planning to build on. It’s located in a very nice subdivision in town. I am completely indifferent to the property now. I know no matter how much money I put into walls, a floor, and a ceiling, it will never be my dream home. We shall see what God has planned for Lot # 21. I’ve finally earned my Master’s Degree (which Drew cheerleaded me through til the day he left; and which I would not have completed without the tender harassment from my Mother-in-law). Thank you, Meme.
When Ruby starts school, I will apply for a job, and hopefully the recently earned degree will help me get a position in education as something other than a full-time classroom teacher. Not because I think I’m above teaching, but because I’ve lived that for four years. I loved each of my students, and even liked most of them. Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs I can imagine, but, selfishly, I’m not willing to dedicate the time and energy needed in order for me to be an effective teacher. (Side note: For this reason, I commend all of the good teachers in the world and say Thank You! I so wanted to be you who educate with clarity and can discipline with one carefully directed glance. You are to be highly esteemed and, of course, highly paid. I pray that Ruby sits in your class one day and appreciates you. )
If Drew were still here, I would have continued trucking down that path, working toward the next maternity leave or summer, and ultimately, toward retirement. Without Drew’s encouragement, listening ear, and sweet company to come home to, I can’t imagine being back in the classroom. I’ve thought many times about what Drew would say regarding my choice to stay at home with Ruby, because it wasn’t our original plan. In all honesty, I can only picture him saying, “Al, do what you want to do.” I am assured that Drew understands that this life is a vapor; it’s a dress rehearsal for the eternal life for which we were created. I have been given the opportunity to devote all my time to what I value the most—an opportunity that I know many wish they had. And though being an at-home-mom, is not a perfect fit for everyone, it’s what I want and what I need. It is teaching to the extreme–the molding and shaping of an individual, but not limited to academic subjects.
Productivity is questionable. Instead of teaching 40-60 students before lunch, I’ve only taught one. Our curriculum is not intense and the paperwork is minimal. I am not required to submit lesson plans in advance, nor do I set goals and maintain evidence for an annual IPDP. And my star student…I’ve never met a more eager learner. Her imaginative play is sky-rocketing and she loves books more than any student I’ve ever taught.
Her oral reading WPM (words per minute) is zero, but we read an average of 15 books a day (including repeated readings). Actually, it’s safe to say she loves books more than I do. Her math skills are improving, although she habitually skips numbers 4, 5, and 7. But hold on to your pink folders! I’m trained in RtI; we will continue mediating and assessing on numbers 1 through 10 until she has met her/my goal. She thoroughly enjoys recess and is on pace to set Presidential Physical Fitness records! However, I am most proud to report that she is excelling in Religion. She can identify the smiling, bearded man in books as Jesus; and she reads through her Bible multiple times a day (in less than 60 seconds). The 3-hour planning period (aka nap) is refreshing. I get so much crocheting and writing done in this time. Though not monetary, the pay is better than any other job. On the down side, the health benefits are non-existent and Ruby always conveniently forgets her lunch money.
Through the most difficult circumstances, God has taught me to discern that which is of true, eternal worth, and I will not let it escape me. Our baby will be little only once. And I will relish in every minute of it that I can.