Even as the sidewalks fry and the boys go off to their respective jobs for the summer, I can hear the first hum of "back to school" not far away and this year it is bringing more than the usual sense of dread. The college financing in this country is insane, second only to our medical system, which is a raging disgrace. Son Number One is half way through, but I have no idea if he'll make it the rest of the way or not at this rate. Son Number Two has just begun. It's a strange system when a parent feels like an out and out failure for not coming up with a quarter of a million dollars for a four-year education, but that's the way it is. I console myself with our blessings. I know people who have to come up with that much and more to pay for chemotherapy not covered by our ridiculous healthcare system. There are people whose children are hooked on drugs and who have no future at all in front of them. My boys are both smart and caring, healthy and resourceful. We have so much for which to be grateful. But in these days of trying to figure out how to make it all work out, it's not only the thermometer that's keeping me awake.
"God is never outdone in generosity," says Sister Miriam, and it has become my mantra. Still, there are some days when I wonder if I did the right thing by giving up a good job and staying home for all those years while they were little. Looking at them, I can't imagine how they could have turned out any better, but there's always that feeling that it's not enough. So I'll buy a lottery ticket when Himself isn't looking (you have to give God room to perform a miracle now and then) and keep plugging away at the two jobs which don't amount to a third of what I used to make fifteen years ago, and figure it out one day at a time, like everyone else. And I'll remember that while it's a hundred degrees here today, I'm not carrying a sixty-pound backpack through the desert. Bless our soldiers and don't complain. Things could always be a lot worse.