If my grading involved straight-forward science exams, I could check correct/incorrect with little concentration, but I decided to become an English professor. You may not be a teacher, but if you've ever tried to read an instruction manual or a textbook while children are around, you get the general picture of my fractured days.
I'd start grading an essay, only to be interrupted mid-paragraph for, "a drink of water," and then, "I need a tissue," "Mom, how big is the moon?" and "he won't let me have my doll back." The interruptions continued. My thoughts scattered and my ability to focus dissipated. Conclusion? Stress Deluxe.
What am I going to do?! This juggling isn't working any more; I'm dropping too many plates.
My husband and I had a serious conversation about how the future needed to change. I no longer had one child in a Bumbo; I had three that required endless attention. Still feeling the call to home-school, and desiring to be much more intentional about my decision, we knew I'd need at least one day where someone else would be in charge of the kids.
But, it couldn't be just anyone: it needed to be someone we trusted (of course), someone who was close and available, and someone who would re-enforce the values we instilled at home. The obvious choice was my mom. Still, I hesitated to ask. Three years ago, my mom lost her best friend, leader, provider, and life-mate--my dad. Life had been anything but easy since. She'd taken on the job of managing as well as maintaining 5 apartment complexes and three duplex buildings, in addition to their home and acreage. Adding one more thing to her overflowing schedule seemed heartless at best.
I told her our situation and explained that she was under no obligation. We wanted to pay her (which she graciously and unnecessarily refused), and we wanted to make sure that her schedule came before mine.
One thing you should know about my mom: relationships are everything to her. She's not wired like me or Dad; a to-do list could always be put aside for something more valuable. Often times, she'd set aside her to-do list to help someone else overcome theirs. That's just how she's wired. Mom's taught me a lot about what is truly worth your time.
She told she wanted to spend more intentional time with her grands and this day would allow her to do just that. My kids don't just go to Grandmom's house and watch tv. They read books about Jesus, they have conversations about life and Heaven, they explore outside, and they play games together. My mom has taught my kids how to play Skip-Bo, Rummikub, Take-2, Life, and countless other games. Grandmom's home is a place of learning and fun.
Mondays are vastly different to me now: I still have a pile of laundry to fold and work to accomplish, but now that Aaron has freed up Saturdays to watch the kids, I can tackle much of my grading over the weekend, and sometimes, on Monday afternoons, I actually have two hours to write!
It's amazing what one afternoon and a generous and committed Grandmom will do for my sanity.
So, thank you, Mom, for the countless hours you pour into our kids. For the times you teach them to follow God and submit to their parents. Thank you for all the dates you've enabled Aaron and I to take. Thank you for the ways you've stepped in and encouraged and coached (and researched). *wink*
Thank you for showing us that it is possible to move on after excruciating loss...and not just step forward but thrive with joy. Thank you for setting an example of leaning into the Lord and trusting Him as your all-in-all. Thank you for being a woman of conviction and integrity. Thank you for being you.
I love you.
Happy Mother's Day!