President Benson counseled mothers to "be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going."
When I read that, I realized that the crossroads are my favorite part of the day.
I have been married for almost 17 years, and I've been a mother for 14, and during that time it's always been necessary for me work either part time or full time...until this summer.
- Before the kids came, I was an Executive Secretary for the SVP of Real Estate for The Home Depot. (I LOVED that job...and that man. I stayed until he retired in July 1997. D1 was 9 months old.)
- I taught piano lessons from 1994 until sometime in 2008 when I realized that I didn't actually like being a piano teacher. (I LOVE playing the piano. I just don't love teaching other people how to do that.)
- I sold Pampered Chef from 2004-2006.
- I was the Mendon City Clerk from 2008-2010.
- I was a part time secretary at my kids' elementary school for two years. (I LOVED everything about that job...the people I worked with, the hours, being so close to my kids, and the 30 second commute! I would have done that job for free if they had asked me.)
(sorry for the resume)
In our current neighborhood, we live very close to both the elementary school and the middle school where my children attend. My husband walks the younger kids to their school every morning...unless it's cold...and then he drives them. So he has a chance to connect with them a little in the mornings. But our crossroads with them usually happens after school. That's when the homework comes out of their backpacks. That's when I hear about the good and bad parts of their days. It's mostly business, but occasionally I get some useful insight into their lives.
There is a bus available for D1, my 8th grader, (I've really GOT to find a better blog name for her) to take to school, but because we weren't quite sure of the schedule on the first few days, I opted to drive her there myself. That very quickly became a habit.
In the mornings, there isn't a lot of time to talk, so I've gotten really good at saving little things to tell her before school. She's not as chatty in the mornings, so it's mostly me talking, but it's nice to know that she's starting her day with ME instead of with whatever influence may or may not be on the bus that day. BUT when I pick her up from school, I have more time to linger while we drive home, and that's where all the great stuff comes up! She is totally chatty then...she tells me about everything that happened at school, everything that happened with her friends, every conversation she had during the day, what she ate for lunch, and anything else she can think of. Really...it's like the floodgates open, and she cannot restrain herself. I LOVE that. Because the craziest thing happens when she walks in the door of our house...
...have you ever seen that "frog in the box" episode on Looney Tunes...?It's the one where the guy finds that extraordinarily talented frog and thinks he's going to be able to capitalize on his discovery, only to find out that the frog won't perform for anyone but him. That's totally D1. She talks and talks and talks when we're alone in the car or the store, but the minute you get her home....(ribbit)...nothing. It's the craziest thing.
So I've come to cherish that time alone with her. And now, even though we know where the bus stop is, and we're more clear on her schedule, there's no way in the world I would give up that crossroads time with her. What if it makes a difference? What if I have the opportunity to say meaningful things that she'll remember later in life...when she's at an ACTUAL crossroads. Fourteen is an extremely impressionable age. If I have 30 minutes a day to make a little bit of an impression...I'm totally taking it!
I am so grateful for the opportunity and the privilege that it is to be exclusively at home and to have my kids as my primary responsibility. I am grateful for the crossroads with D1 this year, and the ones with my future teenagers in the years to come.