First Day of School

This morning a perky Teagan bounced into my room and announced, “If you want to know why I’m not looking so tired it’s because I already made my bed for you.”  Brynnlee followed shortly behind her and informed us that “Bus 20 just went by and it has kids on it!”  Then my darling children proceeded to sing simultaneously made up, garbled songs about how they are still wearing pajamas and planning to eat pancakes and a bunch of other kids are on the bus on their way to school.  Funny how sometimes they act like they won the jackpot and other times they sprawl on the floor and cry “you are the MEANEST  teacher EVER!”

Today was the first day of school in our town and well, you see, we homeschool.  Or at least we have for the last 13 months.  It is a wild, dull, scary, normal, overwhelming, simpler way to live our lives and for now it’s working for us.  And I’m grateful.  I tell people all the time that it has improved the girls’ behavior but it wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago that something hit me over the head like the proverbial ton of bricks…

It’s ME.  It’s changed ME.  They are still the same joyful, whiny, constantly hungry, bright, amazing creatures they were 13 months ago.  Momma has changed.  A lot.  And it’s strange because I am with them so much more than the years that led up to this change.  I should be more frazzled and more impatient and more angry…but I’m the opposite.  I’m yelling less and snuggling more.  I’m giving in to their random requests for more love and standing by the rules more so the consistency is dependable.  It’s working.  It’s like magical pixie dust that comes in boxes of books and No. 2 pencils delivered by our favorite UPS man, Danny.  I am scared of the day that calculus comes and I can’t teach them tricks I use because I have never even taken that class, let alone tried to teach it.  Sigh…no use borrowing trouble the husband says.  It will figure itself out because along with snuggling I am also praying more.  It’s useful stuff, you know.  Or maybe you don’t.  Lord knows (get it..?) that I could do it so much more, but at least we are moving in the right direction here.

I no longer rush to catch up with myself or the demands made by other people.  The other night I heard Eric telling the kids to “eat faster because we have to leave for soccer in 5 MINUTES!”  I calmly reminded them that if they ate too fast they would get cramps and with marital eye contact (I KNOW you know what I mean) and a nod of my head reminded my darling husband that we would be ok and there was no need to rush.  We ended up being 10 minutes early.  This is the stuff of magic.  Husband was impressed.  Win, win…because dude is hard to impress.

That being said, some days are hard.  Sometimes the reading struggles with my oldest are hard to navigate and one of them borrows from the tens just to carry from the ones when really none of that needed to happen.  Those days balance out the ones like today when they do every single thing I ask, including volunteering to do more grammar work  (genetically they are predisposed to poor use of commas and run-on sentences so we do this almost every day) because I promised them we’d work on their fairy gardens if they cooperated so the worst thing that happened was me needing to vacuum after we tore pinecones apart in the playroom and I may have lost a couple fingerprints to the glue gun.  WhatEVS.

This is not meant to be pro homeschool propaganda nor is it meant as a PSA for not eating close to soccer practice.  Likewise, I don’t think sending kids to school is a bad call nor is it the cause of all parental misbehavior.  I’m just sharing our story in case other moms are curious about our choice, wondering about how it’s working for us or looking for a way to break into crime with fewer fingerprints.  And more patience.  And if any more retired gentlemen at the library ask me why my kids aren’t in school at noon on a Monday that’s what I’m telling them…

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