No, not us. We started school last week so we are rounding out week 2 over here but as I scroll through my social media I’m bombarded (in a good way) with pictures of everyone’s first day of school.
It makes me feel a lot of different emotions. So, as therapy today I am going to share those with you. Is that ok? Alright, good. It’s important to have open communication like that.
First off, I feel comfortable.
Why you ask? Well, I’m wearing leggings (Disney ones so that makes everything better!) and sitting in my robe on the couch. I finished my coffee liesurely, the kids made their beds and got dressed and now they are playing tea party together. This is not how school days went 2 years ago. Of course, I was pregnant so there’s that, but dragging kids out of bed and fighting them to get dressed and pack lunches and sign papers and wait in the dreaded car rider line and all that jazz is something I miss about 3%. Yes, out of 100%. There’s a magic about the first day of school and the rush and excitement but let’s be honest with ourselves, if that feeling is still there next week you better bottle that up and sell it. You have a great product and you can sell it black market style to the sleepy moms at the entrance to the major nieghborhoods. I picture a lemonade stand-real organic looking. Serve coffee and you’d be a millionaire 17 minutes after 8 am. But, I digress. My point is, I don’t wake my kids up but they are up and ready at the table by 8 am to eat breakfast. We could sleep in if we wanted to but my kids are ready for the day and excited about starting our studies. They aren’t lazy. I’m not giving them a disservice by not drill seargeanting them (because that is eactly what it was for me). I am comfortable physically but also emotionally. And I have a lot of pride and joy as they reenact a Disney tea party all the way to the level of one you would enjoy at the Grand Floridian itself. I’m sorry if this Disney connection is lost on you but it’s a resort at DisneyWorld where you pay a lot to meet princesses. The girls served and even read princess stories to the others and Indiana Jones and Jack Sparrow made special guest appearances. This Disney Mom couldn’t be more proud.
Secondly, I feel fulfilled. My children will open their Bible this morning and read scripture. They will inquire about God’s Word. We will openly talk about the meaning and the connection that we have with the Living Word. Yes, they will journal. They will take a spelling test, do a math exercise, zoology lesson, Shakespeare study on Romeo and Juliet, learn about the construction of caves, talk about Christopher Columbus and sing a hymn. This is just today’s lessons. And we will do all of that in just a couple of hours. Then we will have tea time and read a kingdom tale with rich language and topics that some parents would feel are too “complex” for little ones to listen to, let alone enjoy. But afterwards they will ask questions that are just as rich and complex as the story itself. They will collect bark and do tree rubbings today to begin a unit on North American trees while they sit in their chosen spot in the yard and write in their nature journals. After that they will start their occupations which could mean completing some chores, working on a handicraft such as needlepoint (lace cards for the littles) or beading or re enacting the tales that we read. Or they may just run outside in a circle shooting nerf guns at eachother. That’s ok too. Either way, they have a living education and I am utterly fulfilled just in watching them, let alone being granted the great task of teaching them.
Thirdly, I feel a little sad. I mentioned the 3% of missing the excitement of that rush of 1st day jitters. I miss remembering to take a first day picture. I am a little sad that we don’t do new clothes shopping and get a new backpack (but my checking account isn’t sad) which is the majority of the first day pictures. I love seeing what they choose to wear to meet their classmates for the first time. And then to have that forever remembered in a picture is pretty dear to me heart. The other half of my sadness though is knowing how many people think I sit on my butt all day and do nothing but kick back and eat bonbons. That I don’t actually teach my children anything at all because I am not a “teacher” by degree and therefore don’t know what I am doing. I find it sad that this judgement is passed so quickly but it’s deeper than that. I find it sad that we do not empower Mothers more. I am not saying that everyone needs to homeschool their children, but a mother shouldn’t think that she can’t do it because she isn’t capable. We should all be lifting eachother up in the path we choose for our families as long as moral and ethical lines are not crossed. If a mom has healthy and happy children but they don’t dress like yours, what the heck does that matter? Obviously, like everything, the pendullum can swing way too far to either side of this statement, but let’s not be dense about it people. It’s not rocket science. God chose us to be mothers-own it. God also chose that other woman to be a mother-so HELP her by ENCOURAGING her. Don’t stare at her and think those thoughts in your head. Yes, those thoughts. The thoughts that are already in her head when she feels like she is utterly failing at life and she turns to see your disgusting, judging, UNencouraging face looking at her as if you have never done a thing wrong, EVER. Too much? Sorry, maybe I feel a little angry as well. Just smile at the other mom. Nobody said you have to be fake or go give her advice. Just smile-if you feel like giving an encouraging “I’ve been there, you’re doing great!” then that’s acceptable. But don’t you dare scoff or roll your eyes or even think the dreaded “My children never act like that”.
All in all, I feel really good about where I am at right now. I’m not saying you have to follow my footsteps or make all the same choices I make. I’m talking about me. This is my therapy session. And I am totally at peace with my wild ride! Are you?