I watch, almost wistfully, as back to school pictures flood in. Approximately 49.5% of me, maybe more, longs for the feelings I’ve imagined accompany such a day. In my imagination, after a millisecond pause for reflection on the passing of time, and subsequent tug on my heart and prick to my tear ducts, I turn and find myself alone with a day FULL of possibilities ahead of me. My train of thought went from a party bus full of college tailgaters, to the quiet car on the 6am commute to work. My imagination can be a beautiful and dangerous place that tempts me toward places I’ve not been called to go.
Home-school was SO not in MY plan. I was the one practically counting down the days to Kindergarten from birth. I’ve heard people say ‘baby/toddler years are not their specialty’, I’d take it one further and question whether or not children in general are my specialty. My dream was for the big family, but in my dreams they always started out at 20, 22, 24, and 26 years of age. I dreamed of them coming home for big holiday dinners, fun family vacations, and me offering sage advice that was regarded for its years of hard earned wisdom. Apparently I didn’t put much thought into how I would gather that ‘hard earned wisdom’. I figured teachers were the ‘children professionals’ and such important things like raising humans should be left to professionals. It’s taken 3 kids, countless frustrating trips to the Peid’s office, and a practical impartation from Heaven, to finally concede I’m the professional when it comes to raising my own kids. This is still a terrifying thought.
True confession: I have NO idea what I’m doing. None. This is as far outside of my depth I think I’ve ever been…. and yet somehow, by the grace of God, day by day, it works.
I was ready for the single in the city lifestyle, its what I truly believed I wanted. Flirting might have been my favorite thing to do… ever. A dangerous choice for a hobby when you suddenly find yourself married at the tender age of 22. The thing about that life plan however, I didn’t see a need for God at all in it. I was smart, savvy, and ready to make a name for myself…. So God decided it would work out best to give me someone else’s name… and just keep giving me more people to name, until I found myself so far in over my head, that the only way through it was with Him.
Homeschooling was His idea. I’m still a little pissed about it, especially on those days when we have the 5 hour fights about who’s going to do what, when. I can’t see much more than one day ahead. I got through last year by reminding myself it was just Kindergarten, if I screwed him up, surely God would realize it and let me send him to the professionals this year. No such luck. This year we joined a Classical Conversations community to develop some accountability and community for me… errr the boys. For those that aren’t familiar, CC creates the community aspect by having one morning class a week from 9-12 where all the kids and moms/dads in the community come together and go over the weeks lesson together, and the other 4 days a week we reinforce at home.
Today was our first class (8 kids per class). It was an experience. For anyone that thinks Homeschooling is a bunch of super organized people with robotic children that are perfectly behaved… think again. There were moments of absolute chaos, moments when you just knew those professionals that went back to work with their 25 student classrooms would have this in control in a heartbeat. (Although professionals don’t have to account for my sweet little cherubic 13month old that decided to drop a deuce that slid out his diaper, down his leg, and onto the play room floor of the nursery. Necessitating me to come retrieve said poop slime baby so they could address the more pressing carpet issue with other littles still running amok, allowing me to finish out our first day with the hot look of naked diaper baby because I didn’t bring a change of clothes…. True story…. first day… I am now “That Mom” in our community)
I keep asking God for just a LITTLE more insight into the plan…. wondering if He hasn’t accidentally switched my plan with someone else’s…. or possibly combined two into one….. In my brain corporate working mom and home school mommy are mutually exclusive, apparently that’s not the case in His plan. I was talking with a friend who had met Mrs. Duggar (the 19 kids and counting mom) a few weeks ago, and she said something that’s stuck with me ever since, “She just focuses on what is right in front of her, moment by moment, and trusts God to take care of the rest.” It’s kinda become my mantra. I’m trying my best… and sometimes that ‘best’ includes eating some chocolate and watching trash T.V. because I can’t process one more single thought. Whether God decides to take my job tomorrow, or give me peace about signing the boys up for 1st grade and preschool, and finding full time care for AJ, or I keep juggling it as best I can, I’m just gonna keep trying to focus on the thing that is right in front of me, and believe He’ll take care of the rest.