I am sitting here with working out a post with the quiet din of children watching a PBS show and quietly painting in their room. The kitchen’s a mess. It’s drizzling outside. There are things to be done, laundry, vacuuming, dishes. I’m blogging. Everything else will wait just a bit. Baby is sleeping. Life is pretty good.
We finally made a decision about curriculum for the older children. We were doing a particular Catholic curriculum that you enroll in their school for. It was good. VERY involved. More involved than what was working for our family. It’s taken nearly 2 years to get through one year of school work. And I really mean BARELY get through. Tears, arguments, attitudes and stress were slowly creeping in and becoming a more regular part of our day than what I was willing to admit.
It was time for a change. I was not sure what kind of change until I picked up the catalog of a gentler approach with beautiful (!! Really!! Our school books should be beautiful. ) texts and a different approach more in line with what my “dream” school would be. I have been up late most of this week due to the inability to sleep from my brain doing circles around what we should be doing. Finally, I reached out to a dear friend whose opinion on learning and what school should look like greatly parallels mine and spent the greater part of a morning hashing out pros and cons of both and thankfully (PRAISE GOD!!) was guided to the choice we’ve (dh and myself, of course.) made. It will work better for our family and I believe that the school year will once again be a time of anticipation and excitement!
However, even with all of the joy (elation??) of finally having the path clearly laid out for our school, my mind continues to contemplate a conversation with another friend. One that was had late at night. I don’t think that our educational “ideal” is the same, maybe not quite even similar, but she is a kind woman with a large heart and was offering the advice she could offer. What I am still chewing on is what she said. I had mentioned that I was so ready to love teaching my children again. To not dread getting up and facing yet another day of more arguing and tears. I wanted to see the excitement and love of learning that we have had before. My goal this year is to fall in love again. Her response was that I never loved it. My rebuttal was strong, that yes, indeed I did. That it was fun and, while work, still such an enjoyable task, when things are done well.
Her reply is what has been my food for thought for the week.
She said that I was lying to myself.
It isn’t pleasant or fun the longer you do it and the older the children get.
I was lying to myself if I thought I had ever loved it, or ever could again.
I was lying to myself.
I find myself becoming more and more determined. I can not become so jaded again as to think that this is a job that must be done and nothing more. That this calling can’t be loved.
I promise, dear children, that I will work, harder than I ever have, to cherish the short time you are mine. Soon enough you will grow and I will only have memories of the sweet faces and eager eyes. What we are doing every day is making memories. Every time I sit on the couch with you to let you read me a story, every time we investigate the living creatures in our garden or how we can piece together a pulley system in out of the swing-set in the back yard. Every time you can rejoice with me in the tiny milestones of an infant sibling, every time you are watching me to pattern your own eventual parenthood from what I’m doing. I promise to love this vocation, that God has called me to, when it’s difficult I will teach you to call on God’s Grace instead of relying on your own abilities, when it’s glorious I will teach you to praise God for the blessings bestowed, when it’s tiring I will teach you to call on His strength.
Dear God, help me to keep my promises.