by Davis Carman
At Apologia Educational Ministries, many of our employees work from home. I thank God that I am able to be a work-at-home homeschooling dad. When I began this journey of purchasing the company, I had a grand vision of what it was going to look like to work at home. I would be Daddy-on-the-spot, available and ready to take care of discipline or character-building issues at a moment’s notice, and I dreamed of having each of my children spend their junior and senior years at a desk right next to mine.
I admit, I can be a little pie-in-the-sky about these things, but we proceeded according to plan by moving my oldest son into my home office at the beginning of his junior year. I was excited about the possibilities—as long as he didn’t move my stuff.
You see, I’m a mechanical engineer who has a place for everything and keeps everything in its place. But soon after my son moved in—you guessed it—my pens, stapler, calculator, and cordless phone were moved, misplaced, or even lost on a regular basis. My son kept leaving the office light on, and he simply couldn’t remember to push in his chair when he left his desk.
It wasn’t long before I was beginning to see my own son as a problem. After all, I had invited him into my world. I had allowed him to invade my space. I had given up the sanctity of my “man cave” to spend quality and quantity time with my son. Something or someone had to change before this got out of hand.
I was lamenting about the situation one day when a wise friend helped me gain a fresh perspective. It was at this moment that I realized my missing pens were a small price to pay to spend time with my son. I didn’t need a calculator to see that the monetary cost of a few extra pens was insignificant by comparison. In fact, the most important item that had been misplaced, lost, or forgotten was my desire to invest in the life of my son before he graduated from our home school.
Armed with a new attitude, I was no longer easily upset when my stuff started disappearing. In fact, in a poetic way, these little incidents now made me smile. Oh, I daydreamed of the days to come when all my office supplies would stay in their neat, orderly, and designated places. Of course, this only happened when my son was graduated and gone. Suddenly, I longed to be tripping over a trail of socks, paper clips, food wrappers, and other sundry items.
My oldest son graduated three and a half years ago, and let me tell you, he can still take over a room. A good example is when he was home for two weeks recently on Christmas break. We’ve been able to restore order now since he’s returned to college, but maybe you can appreciate how much I actually miss him. Although he did take over a big chunk of my office space five years ago, he also claimed a special piece of my heart.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime.
Both Davis and Rachael Carman will be speaking at all 3 Teach Them Diligently Conventions in May. We are all sure to be blessed and encouraged by this godly couple. Make your plans now to join us in Spartanburg, SC, Nashville, TN, or Omaha, NE!!