It’s so true these words. If you get lost, start over again. Tomorrow is a new day. Take a deep breath and try again.
the reality of their world, love amongst chaos
In my mind each day is a blissful realization of my dreams. Dreams of trauquil living space, sparsely furnished with just the items we need, complete with an outdoor wilderness for my children to frolic in. A peaceful routine of daily chores, and learning, spending time as a family exploring, everything around us. This is afterall a new adventure we are in the middle of.
The reality of my days is more a tightrope walk for me, of trying to balance my own needs of a schedule! and of nurturing the boys in an enviroment to explore around them. Something I desperately want, but am not often good at executing.
In my mind we wake up and pad sleepy eyed to the breakfast bar where we have nutritous warm breakfast of something, warm…and nutritous. The reality is I wake early with the alarm to try and get some work done before someone crawls into my lap and wraps arms around me, their little boy head getting between me and the quizzes I’m grading. The other little boy needs a pitchfork to pry him from his nest of books and pillows, and lately cameras.
Breakfast is usually cheerious at the breakfast bar when it isn’t pancakes, because try as I might my older, allergic to the world, is stubborn in his food choices. His younger brother holds true to little brother loyalty and also rarely waivers from the menu.
delicate little footprints we delighted in looking at for several hours before it began snowing again
In my idyllic brain, breakfast rolls delightfully into morning chores and then meeting at the table for schoolwork. The reality encompasses less delightful rolling and more rolling of eyes and exasperated sighs from me that often escalates to grumpy mama voice as I remind them that morning chores are THE.SAME.EVERY. DAY. Hello. Sweeping the floor takes me five minutes but he can drag it out for twenty.
And that is before we begin our assignments. In my mind I am happily answering questions of my offspring as I engage them in conversation about the world outside our apartment. I knit socks for refugees in Uganda while they work on multiplication tables.
But Really, I spend too much time reminding them that they are working on Math, while I am doing the morning dishes and emptying the cat litter my new least favorite thing about apartment life.
I read blogs that talk about unschooling, and living in the moment and the children as the teachers. And well I think that while those places and moments seem very idyllic, they are not my moments. They are not what works for our family.
I am barely cresting the hill of not inwardly cringing when the grocery store clerks ask the kids if it is a school holiday. My children are not embarrassed by homeschooling and I would hate to be the one that makes them realize that even I think we are weird somedays.
And other days I revel in the weirdness of deciding to bag it all and go sledding. Of the fact that even though I have had enough of their squabbling and sent them to their room while I rock in the corner, I find them minutes later, happily engaged in play. Building forts, working out stories, enjoying each other.
At the end of the day it is easy for me to beat myself up for being too grumpy, for being too rigid, for insisting that THEY FOCUS! Or. I could calm the heck down, and realize that my kids are happy. They enjoy their days, I enjoy my days. Sure I get frustrated at having to spend time cleaning their rooms everyday, sure I get frustrated at repeating myself a gazillion times because underwear, just never goes on the floor, even if it is clean.
At the end of the day I have to remember that I have tomorrow to start all over. To do things better. To riff off of what was Great! today and to tweak the parts that could have been.
But mostly at the end of the day I will relish the exhausted six year old passed out in his bunk as his older brother continues to hatch plans for the future, well into the night (I’m sure) and I end the day with the man of my dreams. The one who says to me “I’m glad you are frustrated, I know that parenting is hard, I’m glad you aren’t just watching things happen, slack jawed and not caring”
And he’s right. I am also glad that I am not apathetic to my life, I”m glad that I want peace and harmony and book learning and fresh blueberries once in a while. If it was easy this journey would it be half as delicious?
*Food chain-Eric Hutchinson