It's going to be okay-

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

 I'm sitting in my wicker chair that I scored for super cheap second hand, the cushions are old but in good shape and I have the perfect writing desk pulled up in my lap from my mother. Today was a hard day. I grow incredibly tired of pretending otherwise. My kids spend their days away from me and they've never really done that. I love it and it's hard. As a (hopefully) recovering people pleaser, it's difficult.

 In the past year, my children have studied the ancestral Pueblo people through books and talks and visiting Mesa Verde National Park, hiking around and viewing the old community sites. They've copied passages from Shakespeare into their writing collections like "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts." They've had slow mornings gathered around fires and feasts viewing and identifying and studying classical art. They've committed scripture to memory like "A friend loves at all times" and "No one is righteous, not even one". They've stargazed in the deserts of Utah and looked at constellations with adults and posed questions I would've never thought of raising my hand to ask. They've carried conversations in outdoor classrooms with adults over the ponderings of Big Foot in the forests of Colorado. They have camped in Wyoming and hiked through the Grand Tetons. They climbed 14ers. They watched elk cross our roads, shoveled snow for physical fitness and learned to be a contributing part of a family, and they welcomed and helped care for a little girl whose culture and upbringing and home was completely foreign to them. They joined in celebrating and appreciating her culture through festivals, foods, art, and love for her. They visited Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and dozens of trails throughout the West. They read books, so many good books. We didn't avoid the hard topics either. We read about the atrocities committed against Native Americans, the Black community, and more. We spent time in museums visiting dinosaur remains and learning about old mining communities. 

I wouldn't change it for anything. Let me say it louder for myself, I WOULD'T CHANGE ANYTHING.

But they do not know how to divide decimals. They don't even know to write their last names on their homework or ask to go to the bathroom. They only recently learned a grading system of A, B, C, D, F and they all have taken their first tests in the last three weeks they've joined the public school. Their worlds have completely changed and it's hard not to feel responsible for all of the struggle as of late.

I know in my heart that I've given them a great gift over these years at home with me. Evidenced tonight as I tried to help one of them study for a quiz tomorrow-

Him: "Mom, I don't want you to worry. You should know that I don't care if I make an F minus. I'm okay with that."


Gah, I love that kid. Somehow, miraculously, he has the confidence I lack. He is wise for his years (all my boys are) and he can't be bothered by what the rest of the world is doing. He's giving it his best effort and he's comfortable with it. He teaches me every day.

Our lives have been upturned (again) and I regret nothing. They are learning at their own pace and building relationships in the process. The community I sought is ever present now and I do feel like we're all going to be okay. The bible talks about a royal priesthood...not a royal priest. We live and work together. I'm not lonely on a mountain anymore. I have people who will gladly help. I need it in this season.

My children have learned vastly different lessons over the years than most kids their age. This period of adjustment is challenging, but it's a blessing to us, too. I appreciate all who help us navigate a new culture of schooling. Thank you for your patience!

As for me, I will continue to let some control go and give it to God (and their teachers). I can't carry it all and I know my children will rise to the occasion and develop valuable characteristics like personal responsibility, perseverance, hard work, and emotional intelligence. Together. we are all learning just as I purposed to do five years ago. It's going to be okay. 

A year ago, I wrote this - so these yearnings have been brewing for a long time. I felt upset earlier thinking about how I wish I could go back to last August of 2022 and drive on home when I knew. Or how I should have put them in school in January when I eventually did. As the day wore on though I remembered how I would never wish my time away with them. The hard times built us. The hard times are building us.

Julian of Norwich put it this way-

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Clinging to that.

How's public school going?

Saturday, August 12, 2023

 How's it going? I've heard this question a lot lately so I thought I'd answer it in writing since I'm snuggled up in bed on this rainy evening with a carton of ice cream. The transition of my five wild and free homeschoolers to public school has been a fun one. Their first full week is done and I'm proud of how they're adjusting. I have really struggled, though. I've spent my last five years with a slowing down mindset. I've taught my children naturally as they were ready. We weren't on a time crunch and we didn't keep up with the Joneses nor did we even know the Joneses. We haven't bothered with tests or grade levels. Our school was our home, not our school, if that makes sense. With the stressors we've faced lately, I found myself wanting help and I'm so glad I have it now. It has just been hard on me to release the reins to someone else. I love them more than anyone could so I knew they were safe with me. It's hard to send five kids off to be taught by someone else the majority of the day and not worry about their wellbeing. I've told them all every day at drop off that the only thing they can control is themselves. Their attitude, their kindness to themselves and others- that's what I care about. No test or grade can define them. If they try and are kind in the midst of hardship, that's all that matters to me. I do mean that and I've loved hearing about their days when they come home from school. They have so many stories and I think they're making many new friends. There have been challenges and there will continue to be as we try to find the right approach and grade level for each child so some gaps can be filled in over time. The school has been so great working with us. I know it's a lot to suddenly have several new students who haven't spent time in a classroom setting so I appreciate the grace we've been shown by the teachers and staff.

If you are praying for us, here are some specific requests-

*Please pray for Saylor and her confidence as she makes another big change on Monday

*And pray for my mama heart that I can relax a bit and not worry about them constantly

Thank you, friends.