September 15, 2014

Changes for Mommy

I hate change.

I always have.  I revel in routine.  I feel safe in sameness.  I excel when I know what to expect.  

While I love a good adventure (especially one I have carefully planned!), it is the things that take life as I know it and turn it into something completely different that make me really uncomfortable.

Knowing this, having my children in a new school every day (even though it is only for a half day) is plenty of change for me.  However, I not only anticipated but sought out another change to accompany their going to school.  A job.

When I said in the previous post that we thought this school was out of our reach, it was because this wonderful school comes at a cost - a cost higher than the average rural pastor's budget.  When I said God closed one door and widely opened another, I was referring to our International adoption journey.  For 3 years we saved every single extra penny in a separate account to go toward our adoption.  When the door closed (solidly, and more than once) on our adoption process, we knew that we would love to put the money we saved toward an incredible education for the twins.  At the time, applications for their school had been due months earlier - parent interviews had already happened, kindergarten readiness had already been assessed, spots were already filled.  Lucas called to see if we could get on a waiting list, and the Headmaster told him, "I've just been praying for God to send me 2 students for the kindergarten class.  You are an answer to prayer."  There were 2 unexpected openings!  Between the financial aid we received from the school and the money we saved, we were able to confidently fill those spaces. Suddenly, the impossible was possible!

We knew, however, that we would only get one (fabulous) year if we didn't have extra income to put toward their tuition in future years.  Thus we decided I would work while they are in school.

Growing up, I met many moms who took jobs at schools (both private high school and college) to provide their children with the best education possible.  Whether it was to receive a discount in tuition, or (especially in the case of colleges) to get tuition free, or even just to help cover the cost, I saw many sacrificing for the sake of education.  My mom was one of these women.  I've said many times, "I would happily clean toilets to give my children an exceptional education."  So, I eagerly jumped into the job search - never anticipating how literally I would be able to live that dream.

You see, the perfect job that I found, and for which I was hired, is that of school custodian.

Now, I will actually almost never be asked to clean the toilets (there are two other custodians who are charged with that task), but I am the custodian responsible for cleanups during flu season (thank God I was blessed with a strong stomach).  Mostly, I'm responsible for spot cleaning (keeping the floors from being dusty or muddy and keeping the windows sparkling).

Here is the amazing thing - at the beginning of the job search I told Lucas that I wanted a job that would allow me to always be home when the twins are home.  It seemed a waste to seek out half-day kindergarten if I wasn't home with them during the other half of the day.  It also seemed a waste to have to pay for childcare on the days they have off that I might not.  And my summers, and summer road trips, are practically sacred - I was not ready to give them up.  I couldn't imagine finding something that would meet all that criteria.  Then a friend sent me the posting for this job - the hours are almost exactly the same hours they are in school (I drop them off, head in to start my day, and finish with 30 minutes to spare before their day is done) only on the days that school is in session (any day they have off, I have off).  It couldn't be more perfect.

Someone asked me recently, "Do you ever think to yourself, 'This is what I ended up doing with my college education?!'"  My answer was, "Not really."  It might not have been the job I dreamed of having all my life, but I love my hours so much.  After the first week of school, the twins had a 4 day weekend.  And I had it with them!  I love being at their school.  I love seeing them randomly through my day.  I love getting to know their teachers and getting frequent updates on their progress.  I love being a part of the education that is happening there - even if it is through keeping their classrooms dust-free.  Before I started, I thought I would probably just do this for a year, and then try to find something with more hours (and, when being vain, about getting something more fitting with my degree and desires).  Two weeks in, and I'm confident I am not letting this job go unless something with similarly amazing hours presents itself!  The time I get with my children is worth its weight in gold.

This has been a good change.  There is no sacrifice in time with my children, and I have something productive to keep me busy while they are in school.  Not only that, but I'm actively contributing toward the fantastic education I know they are receiving (because I get to see it in action every day)!  I am truly content in this change in a way I rarely experience. 

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