Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Life at the Moment, Part 2

My life at the moment consists of a blur of activity tossed together with an eerie lull before the storm of the new school year.

The day of his departure is nearly upon us: Daniel starts school next Monday. My tears will probably start to flow on Sunday sometime in the mid-afternoon and continue until just after Thanksgiving. (who am I kidding? I am crying even as I type this?) I am going to miss my boy so very much. Nearly eleven years of living, laughing, and learning with him - it's not that our life together is coming to an end. Life as we know it, as a homeschooling mother-son team, as tea drinkers and cookie dunkers during morning break time, as ping-pong and tennis buddies, is coming to an end. Having him come find me in my study early in the morning, plop his sleepy body down onto my lap for a few morning hugs, for a report on his dreams from the night before, for a quick summary of the day ahead - those sleepy, slow beginnings to our day, those moments will be harder to find in the days and weeks to come.

My life at the moment includes buying him long-sleeved collared shirts and ties for Chapel Days at school, making sure he has jeans and khakis that fit, a rainbow of short-sleeved collared shirts, belts, and erasable blue, black, and red pens. I am telling him everything I think he will need to know about classroom etiquette, dining room expectations, and what to do when he has to go to the bathroom but the teacher is in the middle of explaining something in front of the class. I am writing checks for field trips, school lunch (how is it that a school that costs over $10,000 per year doesn't include lunch in the deal?) I am hoping I haven't forgotten anything crucially important.

My life at the moment also includes preparing myself and my daughter for the continuation of our homeschool. She is entering the ninth grade, high school: all this stuff counts now! The temptation is to turn our home into a high voltage HIGH SCHOOL with organic chemistry labs going on in one corner, PhD research in ancient Mesopotamian history in another, and the devouring of GREAT BOOKS in the attic. But I refuse to give in to that temptation.

Kristiana and I will continue with a kinder and gentler way of learning. The goal is to continue to cultivate her already healthy love of reading, writing, and learning in general. We will take field trips to many museums, gardens, and animal rescue centers, go to movies, watch Shakespeare videos together while munching on popcorn, spend lots of time walking and talking, and bask in the wonder of life and learning. Our home-grown high school program is not going to become a high pressure daily grind for her; she's got the rest of her life to worry about what the rest of the world is doing and what everyone "out there" thinks she needs to be doing and worrying about as a 13-year-old. These are, indeed, her wonder years - I want her to wander and wonder and grow up with delight and awe for creation, for people, and for all there is to this amazing universe we live in.

In between numerous trips to Target, Belk, and Payless Shoes, we have been reading Treasure Island together and eating watermelon, walking and bathing the dog, playing card games, trying to stay cool in this record-breaking heat, and sometimes even complaining of boredom. Bored? With all the stuff there is to do, like watching the ant trails dwindle (thanks be to God!), vacuuming and dusting after getting the ceiling hole fixed (glory be!), and preparing for someone to come to our home and do some much needed repair and updating of our computers (is it possible for the internet to boot up in less that 20 seconds?), it doesn't seem possible that we could be bored.

On the other hand, a healthy dose of unscheduled time is good for all of us. In just a few days, we will enter into a schedule that we have never known. We will have deadlines and expectations and projects and papers due and more forms to fill out and parent-teacher meetings and new student dinners and parent breakfasts and back-to-school gatherings without ceasing. These quiet days leading up to those days of frenzy are the days that we ought to be most grateful for.

My life at the moment is full of joy and excitement and apprehension and concern.
My life at the moment is sad because our family dynamics will change so drastically.
I am in a constant state of prayer for safety, alertness and discernment for us all.
I am enormously grateful for all these years I have had to homeschool my children.
I am grateful that Daniel has this chance to spread his wings and fly. But I miss him already.
I am glad that Kristiana has chosen to give herself one more year to make sure her foundation is firm before she decides if it's time for her to head out.

My life at the moment is one of looking back with gratitude and joy.
It is also one of looking ahead with the same gratitude and joy.

I dedicate Ephesians 3:14-21 to my children.

For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever.

1 comment:

Dani in NC said...

I was only able to homeschool one of my children, my eldest. I remember when we finally enrolled her in public school for 5th grade and worrying about how she would fit in. Now I am worrying all over again as she prepares to start her first day of high school tomorrow. I'm giving her last-minute instructions just as you did for your son. It never ends!