So a year of after school care has come and gone. I can tell you that I am not much richer. As a matter of fact I've been supplementing our living costs with savings in order to continue to look after my son, and two or three others - give or take a few - afterschool. There have been days when I want to buy something, or we need something and just can't afford it that I start trolling the classifieds looking for something more lucrative. A few opportunities completely matching my experience and expertise have come to my attention. But I don't apply. Why?
Well, there is the time alone every weekday morning while my son is in school until he comes home with his friends when I read, or write, or walk, or do whatever moves me. There is the time I spend volunteering two mornings a week helping the Fredericton Food Bank transition into greenhouses, community gardens, a teaching kitchen, along with providing emergency food and clothing to over 2500 people each month. There is the time I spend with children playing, singing, dancing, teaching them how to speak directly to each other, and how to self-direct their play. There is the time to plan and prepare meals, to work in my garden, to do dishes and clean floors. The fact is that my life is so much richer in time, in energy, in community involvement than it was when I worked 9-5 and made a pile of money. So I'm going to provide after school care again next year. I'm going to be poor but happy for another year.