Monday, June 13, 2011

Mommy's Heading Off to School! What Will We Do??

That is my beautiful wife. She is so amazing. She is definitely the heart of this family. Even more, she is the principle of organization around here; she keeps all the rest of us from going nutty. You can always tell when Mommy is out of the house: the kids are bouncing all over the furniture and Josefina is who-knows-where while Daddy is reading (or writing) and is oblivious to everything around him. Every once in awhile, Daddy looks up to make sure nobody is on the floor bleeding; otherwise he's satisfied that all is in order and returns to his work.

Well, it's not quite that bad, but....

I am very proud of this wonderful woman. She is a certified Montessori teacher and is the Directress of the Elementary Program at the John XXIII Montessori Children's Center here in Front Royal. Eileen spent three intense summers at Loyola University in Baltimore to earn her certification. She came home on weekends. We had various arrangements to keep the house from falling apart while she was gone during the week; Nana came from California when Josefina was a baby. God bless Nana!!!

But Josefina is not a baby anymore. Last year we did just Daddy and the kids, but we had the daughter of a friend come in every afternoon to make sure the house wasn't falling apart. And so, Mommy got her certification. Hooray! Last year it felt like we were all done. No more crazy summers.

Well, almost....

Mommy can upgrade her certification to a full blown Masters in Education by taking some intensive courses in Baltimore for three and a half weeks this summer (and "writing a few papers" - heh, heh!). Of course I want her to do it. My wife already has a Masters in English Literature, her certification, and her teaching position. But why not top it off with the M.Ed.? It may come in handy, and besides, she deserves it. As I said, I am so proud of my wife. She is at the vanguard of the development of alternative educational institutions, resources of learning that work in cooperation with the needs and educational choices of parents and families. In this way she can educate our own children and also participate in providing the Montessori environment as a resource for the whole community, thanks to the John XXIII Center's uniquely designed programs. [I should put a link here to their website:]

We are especially blessed, because Eileen really is the heart of our home and family, and at the same time she is able to share her talents as a professional educator with the wider community. It is also a blessing because, in our present circumstances, her income is necessary to help keep a roof over our heads. That is another reason why the M.Ed. might be useful somewhere down the road. After all, the only thing we know is that the road is leading us to a good place; we have learned in the past 15 years that it has many twists and turns. And that God is the one who is driving.

So, off she goes to Baltimore. Tomorrow.


Wait, calm down. It's only for about four weeks. And she'll be home on the weekends. All we have to do is get through the weeks. Daddy and the kids. This year we're doing it without any help. The kids are older, after all. John Paul is 14. He and Agnese can pretty much run the house. They can even cook, which is great. It means we'll have food. Josefina, of course, is four and a half. The most challenging task will be for all of us to look after her. But even she has begun to mature to the point where she might actually listen to me if I tell her not to do something.

Needless to say, we'll probably watch a lot of videos. Hopefully, there will also be plenty of playing outside.

In any case, we have to do everything we can to make sure that Eileen doesn't have to worry about things at home for the next four weeks. I expect she is going to have a lot of work to do. The kids and I are ready. We'll make it work, with God's help. But we will all miss her.

I'll be posting more on this adventure as it unfolds.