Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quality Time

When our son was born, I had a strong desire to be a stay-at-home mom at least until he began school. All that changed when Bob resigned his regular Army commission to prepare for the ministry. I had to work.

Our son, Bobby, had just passed his second birthday when we arrived in Springfield, Missouri, that January of 1973. The only nursery school with an opening was in a church between our house and Bob's campus. It sounded ideal--until I dropped him off that first morning on my way to work.

We had moved across the country twice in the previous four months. He was newly potty-trained and had spent no time away from me. When he realized I was leaving him in a strange place with people he didn't know, he lay on the floor and sobbed his little heart out. That sight and sound still tears at me, even though I had no choice but to leave.

The nursery school was staffed primarily by college students. The place was attractive and clean, and the teachers were sweet and caring, but we soon discovered that due to their class schedules, our son was met by a different stranger each morning. To top things off, the toilets in the nursery school were standard size such as those found in public restrooms. They were huge, and they roared with a  huge vroom when flushed. An already scared little boy, newly potty-trained, must have thought they'd swallow him up, and he began having accidents.

Before long, he began having asthma attacks, which he'd never had previously. Desperately, we prayed for a solution. That's when Bob met a fellow married student in one of his classes who had a son Bobby's age. His wife was looking for a little boy to babysit who would be a playmate for their son. She was a God-send! Bobby loved her.

Rosie cared for Bobby in her home until he turned three. By then, he was mature enough to thrive in another church nursery school staffed by loving grandmothers who met him every day. He remained in that nursery school until he graduated from their kindergarten and we moved to our first pastorate, where once again I became a stay-at-home mom. I wrote stories and curriculum and taught Bible studies while he was in school or asleep in bed, but I was there for him when he came home from school.

When God called us to the ministry, He also provided care for our child. I was worried that Bobby would suffer from not having me home, but he actually thrived once God led us to the right caregivers. During those years as a student, my husband would often pick up Bobby from nursery school to spend quality time with him before picking me up from work and going to his evening job. My time with my son after work until he went to bed was special. Saturdays, we did fun things as a family.

Because our time together was limited, we made it count. We discovered that the quality of the time spent together was more important than mere quantity.

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