I always thought that sending my kids away to school seemed unnatural, yet when I would have a rough day, I would dream about how much free time I would have if my children went off to school. I thought I'd resent not having time to myself, but I don't (most days). In fact I look at it as a blessing - I tend to be a waster of free time!
As I drove home I smiled as I thought about my sleeping children, home in their warm beds, they will wake when rested, play when desired and eat about a million times between now and dinner. They will learn about God and sharing and probably build a fort in the living room and then make Lego ships. I smiled that we didn't spend tons of money on school supplies or new clothes, I smiled that my energetic 6 year old, who must be a friend to all, will not struggle with kids making fun of him (at least when I'm around) because of how he dresses or if his hair isn't cut. I smiled that his energetic spinning in his chair while we're working on phonics doesn't bother me anymore. I smiled that he loves learning! I smiled as I drove home - what a blessing I've been given - more time with my children. This last year or two I've grown accustomed to the noises and messes and constant chattering - so much that I miss it. My mother watched the boys quite a few times while John was in Vietnam, those times with just Abby confirmed that I love being around my children - even thought its an exhausting job, its a job that fits with who God created me to be ~ A Mother.
I then remembered another moment God had forged into my head: last week while I was spinning at the gym I was saddened by what our class seemed to be in agreement about. The social acceptance that children are a nuisance and a bother was evident as the teacher yelled, "... kids are headed back to school on Monday." - everyone cheered. Then he shouted, "... teachers are back to work." - all the teachers booed. It made me sad that many parents are excited for their children to be away from them and that most teachers are depressed to be heading back to teach them. Who is here for our children - if not parents and educators - then who? Not even our culture values children - we abort them, often sit them in front of television all day long (popular with John's group of children - when he askes what they did over the summer), don't discipline them and then get so angry with them because they won't behave; we're even leaving them our country's financial debts because we selfishly can't control our own fiscal spending. I'm sure I'm making more of the event than I should, but it really made me sad. Children know when they are a burden and unloved.
I most certainly know a lot of great teachers who are excited to be teaching God's little blessings - my sweet husband is one of them! I do know that not all teachers hate their jobs - its just a cultural norm for people to hate and complain about their jobs!