At 6:15 a.m. on Monday morning, my alarm clock went off and I quickly sat up in bed, confused for just a moment about why I was getting up and then remembered.
Today was the day H was going back to school.
I’d gotten used to lazy mornings that lacked of alarm clocks and schedules. With T and M mostly independent when they are home, the mornings have been fairly uncomplicated and rarely rushed. But here we are just a day after Daylights Savings Time took away a precious hour of our nights and moving in the dark to get ready and out the door once again.
It was two weeks ago that things changed. For days, maybe weeks, leading up to that day I didn’t know what was going to happen. While our year of homeschooling had been going just fine I knew that H needed to go back to school next year and I struggled with how that would look, where he would go, what he would do. One day while emailing back and forth with a prayerful friend, she simply included the line, “God has a plan for H.”
And I knew I needed to let it go. I needed to stop trying to plan it all out and just live and know that it will all work out how it’s meant to be.
The decision for H to head back to school was very much led by H. One day after finishing up some school work, for the first time this year, he simply asked about going back.
I quietly texted J at work after the words crossed H’s lips wondering what we would do and I’ll admit I lingered much longer in F’s room that day at nap time, thinking and praying and wondering if this was the direction we would go.
He was ready and excited and wanting to go back and with just a trimester left of the year we thought, why not?
Our goal in homeschooling was to help him learn to love learning again and to want to go back to school again so how could we possibly say no?
The peace that has followed since? Incredible. We know that not only did we make the right decision to homeschool earlier this year but sending him back now is just as right.
I’ll admit it was a bittersweet transition for me. On one hand, I was excited. I was ready to reclaim my days, to not have to spend so much time planning and thinking and teaching and reading about what it was he needed to learn and do. But on the other hand, I have loved the freedom of our days and life. I have loved the time we have been able to have and I really have enjoyed having my littles home with me.
Last week a friend asked when I would tell people about our newest decision to send H back to school for the last trimester and I said I was just following his lead. I was letting H enjoy telling his friends and others about going back to school and the excitement that went along with it. It’s been his joy to share.
He excitedly went back on Monday and loved it. Like riding a bike he jumped right into life at school, excited to see old friends and make new ones. Finding a new rhythm of homework and friend time and life. There is so much peace in this.
When H went off to first grade, I wrote about the bittersweet feelings I had then sending him off to all day school. Ironically an “anonymous” commenter used my words about letting go against me months down the road. That somehow because we made the choice to homeschool I was no longer helping him take flight.
The comment didn’t surprise me even though it stung because throughout our short experience homeschooling we’ve received an epic amount of feedback. From supportive friends and family to friends who don’t really want to talk about the homeschool thing all the way to occasional mean spirited comments and emails from strangers about our decision.
I’ve been called anti-teacher, a terrible mother, a helicopter parent, lazy but yet also controlling. I’ve been told I’m limiting my child’s perspective and yet I’m letting them call too many of the shots.
I’m sure there is more to come. Snide remarks and comments, giving up, giving in, not sticking out a year.
But here is the thing, on April 18, 2006, when they discharged J, myself and our one day old infant son from Methodist Hospital, we didn’t get one of those handy-dandy parenting manuals I thought they were handing out.
So J and I wake up each day with the task at hand of raising five kids the best that we know how, with what we have and know and want. With a whole lotta prayer and introspection and observation and even some mistakes mixed in. This is the best we can offer.
And maybe it’s the idea that this is it. Moms get to run along side that first mile and then moms stay back, they bend over clutching their calves and have to catch their breath and wave their babes ahead.
“You can do it, go ahead,” we say back from the sidelines, worn and exhausted, wanting so badly to keep on going but knowing we just can’t.
And that’s where I’m at.
And tonight, I’m writing this:
And maybe it’s the idea that this is it. Moms get to run along side that first mile and then moms stay back, they bend over clutching their calves and struggling to catch their breath, waving their babes ahead.
“You can do it, go ahead,” we say way back from the sidelines, worn and exhausted, wanting so badly to keep on going but knowing we just can’t.
But there might be a moment, a day, a time, that that babe says, maybe even whispers in a way only mom would understand, “Mom, I need you,” and so we will run along side once again pushing forward until that babe finally turns around and says, “Mom, I got this.”
And so we will drop back, we’ll stand at the sidelines again, worn and exhausted, tired and overwhelmed, giddy with excitement and yet bittersweet emotion and we’ll agree, “Yeah, you’ve got this.”
And that, my friends, is where I’m at right now.