I Saw the Sign

Sunday, July 31, 2011 | 2 Comment(s)

When you reach a moment in time, no bells and whistles flare.  Unless you are at a baseball game, no fireworks go off, no crowd goes wild.  What i'm try to get across here is that we really have to make sure we recognize when something important or special is happening in order to fully appreciate it.  More than once it has only been in retrospect that it dawned on me that something unique had just occurred.

I'm pretty sure one such event happened a few weeks ago while mmf and i were enjoying a post work snack on the couch.

Mmf had come home from the elementary school where she was finishing her training.  because she is both all sorts of amazing and an elite educating machine, obviously the school tried to find a way to keep her at their fine establishment.  Unfortunately, the public school system isn't exactly flush with wiggle room when it comes to hiring and firing, and the best they could find was a para position in the kindergarten (another ironic word that i can't spell--aren't we growing kids there?). 

I should mention that mmf has a degree in both elementary ed AND reading specialization, and that she has already worked in the school system here as a para in the nursery school before she went back to school for the later degree.

This job offer was not something to be taken lightly, however, in that it was both a job and brought with it benefits, in a time when schools aren't on a hiring binge.

Mmf came home with this scenario.  Take this job they were offering, or hold out for a reading specialist job--or something closer to her ideal (she works more with 3rd-5th graders).  here is where the moment came.  She asked me what i thought--always a precarious moment in relationships.  And i didn't wait to hear her thoughts first (to not be influenced).  And i said something along the lines of this:

You have, ostensibly, already done the job they are offering you.  You did it and you didn't love it.  the kids were too young and you, being a para, didn't have any real control.  And then you got more training -- training i watched you take seriously and devote yourself to.  I can't see taking this job, secure as it might be, as a step forward.  At best, its a lateral step.  But you are better than that.  You are worth more.  You are more than capable of being a reading specialist and, more than that, you are no longer anyone's para.  You being a para at this point would only give the school an overqualified (aka disgruntled) teacher for a discount price.  And you ain't no discount item. You fancy, huh! 

And, because mmf is a thoughtful amazing (evil genius) person, she heard what i said.  In truth, she was leaning toward taking the offer.  And i get that.  Job searches suck ass and its nice to be wanted.  But she thought about it more, and decided she WAS worth more (is there anything greater than hearing your favorite person recognize their greatness, in even this small way).  She declined the offer.  Another moment. 

The happy post-script here is that this decision kicked off what turned out to be the easiest and most successful job search i have ever witnessed.  A reading specialist position a few towns over was advertised.  She applied.  She interviewed.  And because the world recognizes the same brilliance in mmf as i do, they smartly scooped her up almost immediately.  She got the job.  Doing exactly what she just trained to do.

But that is not the moment (not that we didn't celebrate it like a moment).  For me, this was one of the most critical points in time when i really felt like a partner.  I felt i had to potentially upset mmf for her own sake.  I put our money where my mouth is.  It's all well and good to tell the person you love how great they are . . . but its another thing advising her to turn down a salary and security for the sake of both her potential and her potentially greater happiness. 

I'm really glad i did.  She IS that good.  It's nice, at a time in life when there are no more clear right and wrong answers to life's questions; feeling like you really did help make the correct decision for the person you love.