The director of a private school hired me to grade papers. All I knew was that she was overwhelmed and needed me to get this work done quickly. I drove forty minutes to pick up the papers and receive instruction. I assumed the grading would be objective--maybe math tests with an answer key, definite right or wrong answers. To my surprise, she wanted me to grade high school essays! I wasn't sure I was up for the task but thought I'd give it a try.
That afternoon I pulled out the papers and began to read. Lucky for me, the students had just read Romeo and Juliet and were writing papers based on the teacher's assigned thesis and specific points. So I knew exactly what was expected of them. Arielle had just finished reading this play for her literature class at the co-op and had written her own paper, so the story was very familiar to me. I did have to ask Arielle a few questions on facts as I was going over the essays, and she was a big help.
It was a very warm afternoon and we all sat at the dining room table, the girls finishing up school work. As twilight came, a light breeze cooled us off. Liana finished typing her essay on pianist Clara Schumann and Arielle continued work on her research paper on endangered tigers. What a lovely, peaceful evening! At first... Then came interruptions--phone calls, Fred's arrival home and needing food, Liana's cries of frustration over math, a sudden ant invasion, a bee flying over our heads and the girls screaming. Now I am frustrated! How was I going to finish up these papers when I couldn't hold a thought for two minutes?
I read a quote from Ann Voskamp. She was cleaning up the messes left by her six children and she wrote: "I get to be here and do this." Simple words, much implication. I get to be here! I am privileged to be here in my own home with my treasured daughters and husband. I get to do this! Right here, right now, I am able to do this work. How often I need to be reminded to live in the moment and be grateful.
This morning I wake to a chorus of thousands as the bamboo birds chatter to each other, preparing to fly away for the day. They sound so joyful, ready for their adventure, whatever it may be. My dear husband brings me coffee and my daughters sleep on. It's a new adventure for us all this beautiful spring morning. Thank God for another day of life--for an ordinary day of extraordinary blessing.