Back to School.

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.

In September 2012, I wrote 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 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.

Comments

  1. Love! It is only my opinion, and I’m not a parent, or a teacher, but I think you have done the best you could with what you were given, and I applaud your courage to do it. I am thrilled to see your journey come to this place, and see H so happy!

  2. Thank you, Jes! That means a lot! I appreciate it!

  3. All that matters is what you feel…not what anyone says, even when those anonymous comments sting. No one knows what’s right for you & yours, except you & yours. Xo

  4. Wow Samara! I can’t wait to catch up and hear about everything. The thing that I think is hardest about parenting is knowing if we’re doing the right thing at the right time for our particular child. Each child is different and WE need to change OURSELVES for them. They help guide us. They tell us what they need if we listen to them then we can be the best parent for them. I struggle with this a lot since adding Sweet Annie. What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? Is he ready? My friends ‘ children are doing it, why isn’t he? Sometimes you have to sit back and listen. Sometimes you have to push your child, yourself, or your spouse. Sometimes you need to tune out other peoples judgements of your parenting, your child , and your decisions. And sometimes you just need to LET IT GO for now. You should be proud that you listened to what H needed. You did what he needed and hopefully he will thrive in the environment that he’s in because you gave him a chance to be himself for awhile. What an incredible year with a lot of change. I think you ‘ll look back and know you made the right decision for H. And no one can make you feel bad about that!

  5. Love this post! How wonderful you accomplished what you set out to do in the beginning of the year with homeschooling H. I remember when you made the decision to home school you wanted H to love school again and learning. That is a true testament to the job that you have done since the beginning of the school year. H is back in school because he has that love of learning back and you gave it to him! There will always be haters out there, but you S, are a fantastic mother and you have done a fantastic job with your kids. You are doing for them what you know and feel is the right decision/path and that is never wrong.

  6. Samara. I am in “aw” of you as I always have been. God Bless you honey! You are wonderful!!

  7. Such a wonderful post, love the description at the end, I’m all teary eyed over here. You are a great mom and I really respect how you’ve handled this whole experience. Big hugs to you! :)

  8. I think it took just as much courage to homeschool him as it did to send him back to regular school – and both ways are perfectly fine in my opinion – you have only ever had his best interests at heart and that is what a mom does. End of story. I’m glad that he is ready to embrace that part of his life again and I hope the journey from here is much smoother sailing!!

  9. What a great post!!! I think you said it all perfectly!

  10. You have said it perfectly…
    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.”
    It will look differently for everyone, but that opportunity for that parental role pops up, sometimes for the briefest of moments and sometimes for a longer season, We have watched our young adults reach ” I got this”. It also happens when walking along side good friends. Its part of doing this thing called life together.