Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day Jitters? Not a Chance!

My four girls, all smiles about going back to school (not bad for 6:30 AM!)

This week, everyone in the family except me has had a "first day." Today was the first day of Audrey's senior year in high school, Courtney's first day of fourth grade (she is the most excited of all!), and Beth's first day of second grade. Yesterday, Christine went back to daycare (or, if you will, pre-preschool) after over a year at home.

But the most significant first day was Jennifer's. At the risk of sounding overly melodramatic, yesterday was a major turning point in her life. For the overwhelming majority of the eighteen years that we have been married, Jennifer has been a full-time or mostly full-time stay-at-home mom. In fact, the last time she worked full-time outside the home was the fall of 1993, when I was in my second year of seminary.

Monday, Jennifer started an internship as an SLP-in-training at a local rehabilitative hospital. For those of you who don't know what an SLP is, it is a Speech-Language Pathologist (the job formerly known as "speech therapist."). In her internship, she is working full-time, albeit without pay. (she does, however, get credit toward her degree). Thankfully, her hours are not too long: 8 to 3, and she sometimes gets off earlier. Still, it is a big adjustment for all of us for Mom to be out of the house so many hours each week. She will be doing this internship until May, when (God willing) she will graduate with her Masters'. After that, she'll have all summer off and will start working full-time (this time for pay!) next August.

In addition to her internship, Jennifer will have two night classes this fall. Each class meets one night a week, 3 hours a shot. So needless to say, this fall will be very challenging. Next Spring will be a little easier, with only one night class and her internship taking place in a school setting.

At the risk of sounding overly melodramatic, in a very real sense, yesterday was the first day of the rest of Jennifer's (and the whole family's) life. Please pray for us. While I'm on the subject of prayer, if any of you have any prayer needs, please let me know via comment or email, and I will commit to pray for you.


Molly Sabourin said...

Wow, that is exciting! I have a lot of admiration for Jennifer, as getting back into work, school, what have you after such a long time at home must certainly be a bit daunting. I am inspired just thinking about it!! :) It sounds like an great opportunity. I love your photo, by the way. Your girls do look amazingly perky and adorable for being awake and ready to go at such an early hour!

charlene said...

Father James,
The picture of your girls is beautiful! Give Jennifer a big hug for me. Speech therapy gave my father back an ability to communicate after a massive stroke. I cannot image how frustrating his last 13 years would have been without it. My four year old grandson who has autism is slowly learning to understand more of our world, thanks to a wonderful speech therapist and his school. We are all blessed to have Jennifer doing God's work through her profession. My prayers will be with your family as well as my thanks to God for the work Jennifer is doing. God bless.