A lot has happened since I last gathered a few minutes to write in this space. I’ve actually been wanting to put something here for weeks, but it always seems that there are more important things to do: lesson planning, my little business ventures, a couple longer term high priority surprise projects, lesson planning, bills, the AOG wiki (which is unfortunately only slightly above “my blog” in terms of priorities, so equally neglected… I may have to just shelve it until school breaks)… lesson planning. When you scoop out four hours of your day and replace it with school, those precious hours in the evening become critical to home management.
I’m feeling myself fall away. It’s not a bad thing. I spent the first 23 years of my life training myself to not need anyone and live life solo. Marriage, kids… it’s necessary retraining. Painful sometimes, and I sorely miss being able to fritter away time on really mindless things like embroidery, but I feel myself being remade for something better. I try to set my mind to see what can be learned from everything that comes my way.
This weekend I just sort of fell under a giant wave of obligations and child illnesses and then I stabbed myself in the hand and it was just. the. last. straw. I’m regrouping. Sometimes you have to retreat and reassess. I deactivated FB temporarily, I stayed home from church (it’s a bishop weekend visit, so not a light decision. But as much as we all love Bishop Thomas, a sick kid trumps pretty much everything.) I stuck my kids in front of Netflix documentaries, I Liquid Stitches-ed my wound, and I took a day off to get a hold of myself. I really wanted to have a pity-party, but that would have been unproductive. That moment when everything overwhelms… that’s the moment you know you’ve been neglecting prayer, fasting, time with Scripture. FB on my phone is like spending money on coffee at the coffeehouse: a few here and there add up to big bucks wasted. So turn it off already, right?! Save it up and use it for The One Thing Needful, and when I get a grip on things, I turn it back on.
So: school is going well. Sweet Pea loves to learn. We dropped Pacyber. I thought it would be flexible enough for us, and that the Calvert curriculum would be challenging. I was wrong on both counts. We spent a lot of time rewriting the lessons, and suddenly the shiny bait of free art lessons wasn’t so attractive. And remembering to login every morning (when we don’t use the computer for anything else) was apparently not compatible with my brain. So I could foresee trouble with “truancy” (we were doing school everyday. How does logging in prove anything either way? *eye roll*). I pulled out and we’re much happier to be unbound from the shackles of “shoulda” and to be free to pursue what interests us after we finish the basics. The daily grind aside, I’m loving the conversations she has with me. If she was off somewhere else, we wouldn’t be having them. They come about from our daily experience, as the byproduct of interacting with the neighborhood and with the world of books.
A six year old can think… she can make connections. Suddenly I have to really think about what we are encountering. I find myself suddenly grateful for that philosophy elective in college… the Socratic method is a really great learning tool. Ask questions, and see where their brain takes them. Fr. A and I are almost in awe of what she knows and thinks about. I don’t think it’s because she’s extraordinary; I think it’s because she’s free.
The other kids are sort of sadly neglected I confess. Six year olds are not independent workers. But I am watching a wonderful little boy on the weekdays who runs off to have adventures with Mishmish and Peanut, so I suppose the ABCs can wait another year.
I’ve found myself wanting to write so many times, but time is a precious commodity these days. This season will pass soon enough. I’m grateful for these days, as tiring as they are.