The End of an Era

It was another one of those wonderful moments when I knew the Lord was truly looking out for me. I could see the writing on the walls before anything was official, and in early February I was given very clear revelation that regardless of the outcome of the coming events, I would be fine. Specifically, my family’s finances would be fine. (And my emotional well-being. But that is not the point of this post.) The six months that followed were not without mishap, the entire event was a ping pong game with pretty high stakes, but I floated through as an invisible observer, knowing that while the outcome would affect me directly, either way I would be fine. It gave me so much strength in the face of uncertainty. It gave me the peace I needed to put aside my own fears and focus on those for whom this was an even bigger deal. It allowed me to live my life instead of fixating myself on the things over which I had no control.

Eight weeks ago, the day after my eleventh anniversary, Janel married a very nice man who is not only committed to love her for who she is, but is completely devoted to being a father to Aiden.  I was honoured to witness their beautiful temple ceremony, and the sealing of Aiden to both of them.  (He was a complete angel through the entire thing, an answer to many more prayers than just mine, I’m sure!)  I continued to watch Aiden until midway through their honeymoon when the cousins took over. I have ceased to be employed as his caretaker ever since. They have moved out of state to begin their new life as a new family. Janel is finally living her dream of staying home with her son, and Aiden finally has not only a father, but a mother who gets to see his good hours instead of only his tired hours. 

I’m quite pleased with the way things were between Aiden and me during those last few months.  We definitely finished in the golden days of Aiden.  Many of the challenges he and I had previously had had been resolved.  He and I were in a good groove.  He was happy.  He was maturing.  He was learning new things.  He was happy.  I was glad to feel like I was doing right.

I knew the end was coming before they were even engaged. Engagements aren’t really something that come as a surprise to people who see the bride-to-be three times a day. I knew that Tim lived out-of-state so the possibility was strong that I would lose my job as Aiden’s babysitter. And I knew that while I really relied on that money to survive, that somehow we’d be fine. Either way. If they stayed and I continued to watch Aiden, I could handle that. If they moved and I lost that income, we’d be okay.

As you may have guessed, the piano entered to replace my lost income. I tried to schedule those first lessons for when Aiden was napping, but in the craziness of the summer that wasn’t always possible. It was clear to me that I could not have been teaching piano all along, but that things would be better in the fall. And they are. And, miracle of all miracles, although the past couple of months have been incredibly tight, we have made it through and I now have a full studio of students, the exact number I figured I needed to compensate for the lost income.

It should not come as a surprise to conclude that God was right all along, and that I needed faith to wait things out until it was revealed. I am so grateful that I opened my mouth all those years ago to offer myself as an interim babysitter while Aiden was on waitlists for daycares. That job kept us alive during some really difficult times. Childcare pay is below minimum wage, but it was something I could do when my own children were so young (they were three and one when Aiden first came, severely limiting the things I could do, like teach piano) to bring in a little money. I made half of our rent. But it helped. It kept us alive. And it challenged me to be a better, more productive, more proactive, more strategic mother. It taught my children how to share, and how to be patient. And I think we did some good for Aiden, too. I like to think so. Those two and a half years (almost) I spent caring for him amounts to the longest specific job I’ve ever had.

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