I was the young girl who had her life planned out by the time she was 10. White picket fence, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and be a stay at home mom.
Then life happened.
I became a single parent before Rebecca was even born and this led me to take back my letter of resignation as an ICU nurse six weeks before she arrived.
Then I met Jeff and I had that feeling of “here’s my chance”. I happily supported Jeff through law school, but knew the end/beginning was in sight. Then cancer struck and we were drowning in medical debt due to experimental medications and therapies (yes, that is even with insurance).
Fast forward and this month I have been a nurse for 17 years. We do not live in town with any family. As a result, we’ve had to depend on others to help with childcare. This has been gut wrenching for me at times. Yet, God has been faithful and blessed us with AMAZING teachers and a nanny who love our children.
When Rebecca was in preschool and I would drop her off, she was THE kid who would cry her heart out and would run to me like a speeding bullet when I picked her up promptly at 11:30 am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I prayed daily for 2 things:
1. To win the lottery or have a green suitcase with money left on my doorstep full of cash so I could stay home.
2. Peace and healthy transitions for Rebecca.
I never got the green suitcase and rarely play the lottery. But Rebecca has blossomed into a confident young lady. The most important prayer won out.
Samantha on the other hand sometimes doesn’t want to leave Mrs. Freeman’s house or preschool. While the other kids are thrilled to go home, Samantha is content to stay on the carpet at preschool and read books or stay at Mrs. Freeman’s house and play. One day I pulled away from preschool and just cried as I took it personally.
God knows the desires of my heart, why isn’t He granting me with the financial ability to stay home? I don’t have an answer, but I’ve learned that parenting isn’t really about me at all. It’s about raising my children to love God and be healthy, loyal friends, and well adjusted citizens. And sometimes that takes more than Jeff and I. And that’s OK.
Today was Sam’s last day of preschool and as usual she was the last to leave. I am so grateful for her teachers in Room #1 this year who love Sam’s individual taste in clothing choices, her wild hair, her love of the swing, and her fierce independence and spunk.
This is what Sam loves about her teachers:
“Miss Deirdre is my favorite. She has a red chair. She sings Choo Choo songs. And she is pretty.”
“Miss Shauna is my favorite. She smiles at me. She swings me. And I sit on her lap. I love her.”
“Miss Val is my favorite. She sings Going on a Bearhunt. She paints. She helps me in the potty. I like her this much.” (with her arms extended)
This is Mrs. Freeman (Heather) and her youngest son Gavin who Samantha adores. Heather has watched Samantha since she was an infant. Their bond is enormously strong. And Wednesday was their last day together and it was bittersweet for both Heather and I. Today Sam and I dropped by her house to take a homemade card and flowers.
I am thankful to Heather for loving Samantha as her own. She has 4 boys so she showered Samantha with homemade hair bows, and trips to the Zoo and Children’s Museum. She faithfully took her to a bible study every week where Samantha learned bible songs which she sings every morning. Not only was Heather a great caregiver, she loved my child. I don’t think I could ever put into words how thankful I am for her.
And Samantha, well I didn’t ask her about Mrs. Freeman only because she prays for Heather and Gavin every night. So I know her heart. Lots of “I love her, she’s my favorite, she’s so pretty, she sings to me, she plays with me. And Gavin is my friend.” It’s awesome.
Despite a different way I envisioned my children to be raised, I am beyond grateful.
Thank you Heather, Deirdre, Val, and Shauna. My appreciation is unending.
Now it’s your turn. Link up your blog posts about gratitude. Be sure to check out the other posts of people who link up – let’s encourage one another.