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Thursday, February 2, 2012

{h o m e schooling?!?!}

If you've learned anything about me, it's probably the fact that I have a storybook perception of how life should look and I often struggle with striving for that (I'm blaming this for watching too many movies during my childhood;)). Kids in storybooks live in houses with white picket fences, live on tree lined streets and hop on and off the big yellow school bus to and from school each day (hopefully with warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for them when they return home). This, of course, was the plan I had for my children. I'm starting to think it may not be God's plan for them. It could very well be, after all, that the Hollywood version of what a perfect childhood looks like may not be what His version of their perfect childhood looks like. I am learning to be ok with that.

For a while now, I have had a quiet, gentle voice whispering "homeschooling" to me over and over again. Ryan, on the other hand, has not. Until recently. This afternoon, I got a call from him about how he feels our girls are too busy and we don't have the time with them we need and that he's starting to think that homeschooling may be where we are headed. These have been the exact thoughts I have been wresting with over the past month. So between the both of us feeling lead in that direction, it looks like this is the road we are heading down and now the question becomes not if but when?

For years, I've threatened homeschooling based on a fear of what I didn't want my kids exposed to. Well, while I'm not thrilled with the fact that Emma belted out with "I'm Sexy and I Know It" (lovely) on the way home from gymnastics tonight (thank you, little John Pryer), it's no longer these fears that have lead us here. The fact is simply this: I have a little girl who will be 8 next week (halfway to 16 as I keep looking at it) whom I have not seen for the better part of three years. I rush her off to the bus in the morning and eight long hours later I get her back just in time to squeeze in a meal, a homework session and a quick shower. Forget about it if we have gymnastics, girl scouts or a play date with a friend. I decided a few weeks ago that the girls need to start putting their own laundry away. So far it's happened exactly twice and here's the reason: every time I go to tell them to do it, I realize that it comes down to them having the time to shower or the time to take care of their laundry and the shower always wins. They do need to bathe, after all. And the laundry sits there for another day because gosh darn it, they will have chores if it kills me so I am not going to put it away!

When the girls were all little, I was always busy. But it was a different kind of busy....it was me filling my days busy. Let's go to the gym and then grab Starbucks with friends busy. Let's hang out at the water park all day busy. It's beautiful out and we're heading to the beach busy. Now life is just busy period. A busy-ness that's out of my control. An "I will see you on the weekend and ask you then how your life is" busy. That's not what I want for my family. I want more than anything to speak truth into my girl's lives and there are just not enough hours in the day to do it. I find myself counting down the days until summer when I can see my girls....really see them...and it's only February.

It's ironic to me that whenever I reach a really good season in my life, I suddenly feel an urging to be stretched in a different way. I guess that goes hand in hand with my new year's resolution this year. It seems that whenever I hit my stride in life this happens. If nothing else, it keeps me from becoming complacent and for that I am thankful. I have it pretty easy right now. Every single afternoon (unless I choose to skip it for a playdate), I put Madeline on the bus and Claire goes down for her nap and I have a few hours of sweet silence. Next year Claire will be in preschool and I'd be heading for the glory days of having hours upon hours of me time. I'm pretty sure it's looking like me time with have to wait a few years. But you know what? That's ok. Because when I get there, one thing I know for sure: I will look back on these days and more than anything in the world, I will long for them again. And I know that if I never went through with it, never gave my girls a shot at being home with me, I'd regret it. For me, the biggest heartache of motherhood is how fast they grow and how quickly time flies; if there's one regret I don't want to have it would be not soaking up every second I could with them when I had the chance.

Now comes the question of when and how we will make this transition....but it looks like eventually our playroom will start resembling a school room (and yes, I'm kind of excited to put vintage alphabet cards on the walls).