March 17, 2014

hitchhike-signs-smJames called from the deep south, confident he would find a ride with a borrowed a piece of cardboard and a marker from a farm he spotted off the highway. The generous farmer even offered him a spot of tea.

He reckoned he’d find a ride soon to the airport in Queenstown two hours away and catch his flight.  He’d be home within the day.

As the partner of a free spirit, these are the sort of scenarios I find myself in.  Long gone are the predictable paychecks, the 401k’s, and the tupperware parties.

I could have fallen in love with a CEO, but I didn’t.

I had yet to hit the jackpot with Arithmetic Village (although support growing and consistent). The time and energy that it consumed now seemed frivolous.

Something had to give.

That something was me.

I found myself armed with a resume standing at the desk of local child care facility.

Since that day, I have been there as a reliever. I’ve worked from 4 to 40 hours per week interacting with 40 children between 4 months to five years. As a parent who practiced extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering and attachment parenting, it’s an odd place for me to spend time.

But before my job as parent, I was an early childhood educator and the songs and rhythms from twenty years ago flow back naturally. I look with new eyes and endure the bottom end of the established hierarchy with as much grace as I can muster. I have a clear understanding  of my philosophical differences and set boundaries accordingly.

It has been an exercise in managing my own ego and self righteousness.

The sporadic income flow these last six months has helped keep us afloat. The relationships I have formed with the children has lifted my sense of purpose.

James has shifted from “free food forest man” to “software consultant man” for a few months.  I now have a bit of space to reflect on what direction I’d like to take.

I think I need to borrow a piece of cardboard and a pen….

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