At the end of last year, I was absolutely certain that I would be home with Joe and began to form a curriculum. This blog was started. I spent hours, no, H-O-U-R-S on the Internet, talking with friends, worrying, and crying to my husband about what we should do. God bless my husband and his ability to shift so easily (even though this particular trait is often a cause of frustration) because he was/is so willing to decide together what the best option would be. So. Homeschooling it was. I was at peace. It was going to be a fabulous year. We were planning and reading and beginning to find a rhythm.
Then, Joe handed me his yearbook from Pre-K and said, “Mommy. Don’t get mad. But I want to try to go here. You get to go to church, you know. And pray in CLASS.”
“Here” was a Catholic School where I had taught for a year.
“Here” was a place that I knew to be nurturing and faith-filled.
“Here” brought back a whole host of feelings that I had squashed for so long…..
Basically, I left the school to adopt baby number two, but this didn’t come to fruition because our life savings was stolen by a family member in a Ponzi scheme. (This incident in our family is known as “the great deception”. More on that later.) The most important point is that leaving that school continues to be the biggest, most painful regret of my life. But if it can help Joe succeed? Well. We decided that we should at least give it a try.
So now, somehow, it is as if we are coming home again. The warm embraces from fellow teachers, or parents of children whom I taught were so healing. So redemptive. I cannot believe that despite Joe’s quirky ways, anxiousness, and sensory issues, they are willing to work with him. Work with us. Help us through this time in our lives. He is more excited than I have seen him in a while and yet knows the task ahead of him. It is a challenging curriculum and at times the environment might be a little too loud. But he is willing to try, and that in itself is a tremendous improvement.
My prayer for this year, is going to be this, from Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I know that once school is back in session, I will feel the lack of his presence in a new and profound way. After all, I was going to get to spend EVERY DAY, ALL DAY with him. I had started to make connections with other wonderful homeschooling mom’s. (And truly, my extroverted self is already thinking about what other people think about this decision. I hear the whispers of "she couldn't do it" or "she didn't have the nerve". How crazy is that?)
But I also have to remember what my job as a mother really is:
I am still giving him roots and wings.
I am still his first and best teacher.
I am still going to nurture and teach and explore.
It’s just that the time has changed a little. I do not regret a single moment that I have had with him this summer, and I am ever so grateful for that time. I am also quite aware of how blessed we are to have a whole host of people working with us to help mold and shape this young mind and heart. And if I have realized anything on this journey of motherhood, I need a whole host of others!
So even when earth and hearts shake or especially when I am beginning to be filled with worry, I must remember to do what I tell Joe to do:
Pray about it.
Recognize how glorious it is to be alive.
Remember to give thanks and allow yourself to experience grace.
(And Joe, that chair in the corner, the one that we set for you? It will always be waiting for you to fill it up with your presence. Our "heartroom" that we put in place? Yes, that is still there for you, too.)