I never really used to think much about it.
There was a time I thought it would never happen to me.
There was even a time when I was in major denial that it actually HAD happened to me.
"It" refers to growing old.
I can picture the scene in my mind like it happened yesterday. I was sitting on the swing attached to my backyard swingset. I was eight years old. My best friend and next door neighbor Mike was sitting on the bar that went across the legs of the swingset. This was a common scene at the time. Mike and I would sit there often, attempting to solve the world's problems. Or something like that. This particular day, our conversation centered on how old each of us would be in the year 2000. We calculated our ages and dreamed of flying cars like the Jetsons had on the cartoon show. Food would be in capsule form--I was very much looking forward to this as opposed to having to actually chew the vegetables I was forced to eat. That day, the year 2000 seemed SO far away.
Right. Each new sunrise and subsequent sunset led to another year which led to more sunrises and sunsets which led to more years...you get the picture. Now I look in the mirror and I realize I am old. No, I am not homebound and unable to get around by myself, but I am definitely not the young child I was that day when the year 2000 seemed like an eternity away.
On the swingset that day, I had visions of what my life would be as a young thirty-something when that much anticipated new millennium finally arrived. I *knew* I would be married and have kids and I *knew* I would be happy just being home with them. For the most part that is what has happened. Except I don't have that white house on the hill I always dreamed of nor do we have vacations or nice cars or money at all. In fact, at this very moment in time there is no money in our bank account. This makes me second guess if I did something wrong by fulfilling my dream of being a stay at home mom.
Part of me--a small part--says "Yes". I should have worked. After all, I worked hard for that college degree. I paid for college completely on my own (excpet textbooks which my parents gave me their credit card for) and I spent many late nights putting together projects and visual aids for my teaching assignments. I taught school for a very short time before leaving to stay home with my kids.
Another part of me says "No," I did not make the wrong decision. This part is definitely louder. I know my kids benefitted from having me home every day. They remember the cookies and cupcakes that would be waiting for them after school. They remember that when issues came up mom was home to help out. They remember that when traditional school just wasn't working for them, they didn't have to suck it up and stick it out...mom was there to homeschool them and give them what they needed as individuals...something a school just cannot do. I know--I taught school remember?
I loved being a stay at home mom and I still do. My youngest is now 16 years old. I could put her in school and go to work and make money. I should. We need it. But I really don't want to. I like doing dishes and planning meals and laundry and baking and cleaning and all the other things that come along with taking care of a home and a family. Yes, I love homeschooling my daughter. Do we butt heads? Oh yeah! More than I care to admit. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I don't want to have to work...I want my work to be my family. I want to volunteer with my daughter at church and community things without having to work around a work schedule. Would I like extra money? Yes, who wouldn't? But I know in the long run extra money is going to burn and be destroyed. My family can live for eternity. I think it is a good investment. Will I complain if I *have* to work? No. Perhaps it is God's will for me to do so right now. I just hope not for I so love being home everyday.