My schoolroom in the weeks before leaving for Ethiopia. Blankets cluttering my busy room as they wait for their long trip across the ocean. A daily reminder of work that needs to be done.
I roll blankets while Sally reads aloud to me from Frog and Toad. I call out spelling words as Eli helps me tape blankets up. Everett tapes boxes closed as we talk about his grammar lesson.
Mommy guilt sets in that evening as I think back on the day. Many blankets were packed up and mailed. Lessons were taught. My attention was not on our children as I went through the motions of teaching. I was counting and mentally checking lists. I wasn't looking at their faces and listening to their questions.
Guilt. They can't learn this way.
As I lament, I hear footsteps on the stairs. It's late and everyone should be asleep. Wondering whom it could be, Everett peeks around the corner. My first reaction is to be upset, as we tucked them in nearly an hour ago. Then he says, "Eli and I were talking. If we put our allowance together, we could sponsor another child in Ethiopia."
My heart breaks. Their allowance? If they pooled their money they would have $40, enough for sponsorship...barely.
He continues,"We were just thinking that we don't need to buy the stuff we save for. It would be better to sponsor another child."
I kiss his forehead and thank him for redeeming my day. What they are learning is much more important than grammar.