Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't You Hate It When This Happens?

When we can't get a sitter to watch the kids and/or have no money to go out anyway, we sit and watch Youtube pranks. Brian is mental for them. This one's good for a laugh. Oh, and watch for Erin D's cameo role.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So This is What It's Like to Breathe

Many of you have been asking how our transition to public school life has been going... thank you for your love and concern! I have felt so supported and encouraged by your comments. Here is the update...

Day 7 of school and we are doing great! The boys really like their teachers, are doing good work, and think hot lunch is awesome. We are getting into the routine of this new life: walk to school, get things done, lunch, rest, pick up boys, snack, dinner, homework, bed. There is starting to form a rhythm to our lives.

But most of all, I notice that I am breathing again.

How to describe the shift? I am not racing around, hurried, bitter, and crabby, trying to do more in a slot of time than is physically possible; instead, I slip upstairs to fold laundry in peace as the girls watch Ernie and Bert. Every minute is not accounted for; there is margin. A huge burden of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders, and the lightness is wonderful. At the end of the day I can actually go to bed--early--because I am not so harried and desperate for a few minutes of downtime and dreading the start of the next day. I have time to read my Bible. Yesterday we were able to go scoop up little Gumpy (Kara's Nathan) while she laid at home pregnant with the stomach flu and take him to the park with us; we were able to help a friend--something I have had no time to do for awhile. Karin revels in how she gets to be the only one at home helping Mom make snack or dessert for later, and she happily sits and licks the mixing spoon. And I look forward to seeing my sweet boys' faces when they come home from school; we spend the rest of the evening asking questions of each other, anxious to hear about one another's day.

I have an inner calmness and at the same time a giddy excitement for this newfound existence. Truly a marked difference from just two months ago!

Still there remains for me a sadness, though. I miss homeschooling--the good parts. When the boys can't remember details of their experiences or what they learned at school, I am sad. I want to talk with them about those things, carry on the discussion of historical events and scientific truths. I want to point to other things that we see and remind them how they relate to what they are learning, but I am limited by the separation between us and the fact that I am not the one teaching them during the day. This is one of the great advantages of homeschooling: the opportunity to turn all of life into learning, the ability to weave it all together, and I dearly miss it. Having seen the beauty of homeschooling, I feel a bit cursed. Though I am overwhelmingly grateful for the reprieve and the chance to be sane again, I will always know what I am missing while they are in public school.

But at the same time, I can choose to focus on what our family has gained and my renewed joy and enthusiasm for life. I see so much good and healthy fruit from this change, and at times I wondered why I pushed myself so hard for so long. Why do we sometimes think that we have to do it all?

If I sound like I'm a bit torn, I am. But even when the doubts and sadness surface, when I question whether this was the right way to go, I always end up answering yes. I know this is the way God has sent us this year, so I will thank Him and trust Him for all of it.