I'm beginning to think things are done here, at least for a while. I think of things to say but by the time I have some time, I'm exhausted. But I have a moment right now.
My life? It's really busy and really good. I've taken some big risks in the past year or so and they've paid off. Most of them were leaps of faith, literally, and when I look at what led to the decisions and risks and how they've come to fruition I'm stunned by God's hand in my life. The other day Zelda, Travis, and I were talking about how we do nothing on our own, that everything comes through grace, that all we have to do is say yes (and then work our tails off) and we can do amazing things. It's true.
1. I yanked my kids out of the best charter school in the state because of many reasons but mostly due to personality conflicts. I didn't know how I would pay for tuition at the Catholic school we picked, nor did I know for certain if that would be anything like the right choice for our family. I closed my eyes to other choices to keep from going crazy, I picked, and I went forth. But it was ok because
2. I took a job that included free tuition at Catholic K-8 schools in the diocese. That plus the incredible savings in our insurance cost made Catholic teaching feasible again. I prefer this idea because after a semester of subbing, I realized much of my autonomy would have been thwarted in most public school districts nowadays. Taking this job, though, in comparison to another Catholic school job, was a risk--I was interviewing at my parish school, where things would have been familiar; I was interviewing at a near county school where people who sent their kids there were like me. The school I chose is not filled with people like me. In fact they are bewildering. Stressed out parents and kids chasing after success in a way I can't even understand. But it's ok because I work for a great principal who hired me for a reason. Because of who I am. And that's nice. A nice change. I really know what the heck I'm doing after all.
3. I opened my door to a stranger I knew long ago when he was 11. The line that led me back to meeting Troy in the park back in early June? It's jagged and strange. See if you can follow: I really wanted to teach art at my kids' school. I got my certification renewed and then got my art certification. They led me along and made me think it was going to happen. So I didn't take a couple of other offers that were likely choices last fall. Then when I was finally told no, I was devastated, and groped around for something I could do. I started subbing. Then a district cold-called me because I was certified 1-8 and art K-12. I took a job far away but good for my resume. And easy. And I met a kid who reminded me so strongly of a kid I taught back 14 years ago. I'd looked for Troy online about 4 years ago with no luck and assumed he wasn't going to be found. And then there he was. And I got bold and called him. And we met. And then I helped him out with some childcare.
And then he moved in. It's crazy. But he did. He lived with us for about 10 weeks. We became friends. He's out doing work now, five hours away, but this is still home. He spent the summer working things through his head and figuring out who he was and where he was going next. And then he did. God was in those details because otherwise we never would have made it through. The house was crowded, everyone was pushed to limits more than once, and we had to learn how to make these things work on the fly. It was crazytown. A lot of things were hard. I relied on lots of outside friends to talk with and stay sane. I learned out to let people just be. To know that it's really ok. It's fine. It changed who I am in good ways.
4. So what now? What is next? What risk is coming? I think I see some possibilities but I have learned that what I think will happen often has little to do with what will actually happen. What I worry about today means nothing tomorrow. I'm surprised by the challenges I'm presented with. I'm stunned by the moments of grace and powerful connections that are made when I say yes. I'm a risk taker, in the end. Ramon Quimby finally all grown up.
So where does this leave South City Musings? Not sure. I'm going to try to keep up with it, but I have a full-time teaching job and a family and relationships that take my time more than ever before. I will try.