I see my eight-year-old in my peripheral vision. He has that look in his eyes. The one that tells me he has more on his mind than the usual, "What's for breakfast?"
|First Day of School sans the Cute Signs|
I stir waffle batter with one hand and pour milk for my two-year-old while trying to get a head start on the dishes. The clock ticks mercilessly.
Visions of the mama I know who starts school promptly at 8:00 A.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance and probably some Shakespeare flash through my mind. But I have an agreement with myself not to compare.....focus.....focus. Measure waffle batter into the iron, wash a few bowls hurriedly....focus....
"Mom? What do you do at college besides play football?" So much for the homeschooled child with a well-rounded education.
|Nature Study in the Back Yard|
While taking the butter and syrup out of the fridge, I attempt to explain that football is, in fact, a part of college education to which relatively few attain. He doesn't look disappointed as much as surprised. He wants to know why else anyone would go to college. The look of disappointment flashes when I mention math as part of the equation.
I'm momentarily distracted by a burning smell and remember the last waffle I put in. I evaluate the blackened quotient and decide it might still entice my two-year-old, so I put it on the serving platter.
|Fire Safety Requirement? Check!|
"Mom?" He's not finished. The look is still there. "What is high school?" Another monologue that I will definitely record as part of my 900 hours this year, thank you very much.
I pull a waffle out with a less blackened perimeter and hand a stack of plates to my eleven-year-old and a pile of forks to my five-year-old. Breakfast prep....er, home ec class is almost over.
"Are you going to homeschool us in high school?" Visions flash again. This time it's the childless dental hygienist who has more education than I have affirming, "I could never homeschool." If my mouth hadn't been full of instruments and toothpaste, I might have blurted what came to my mind, "But you make a living putting your hands in people's mouths?"
|See....I don't homeschool either. Only kidding....sort of.|
Focus....focus....he's looking at me expectantly. "As long as God and circumstances allow, yes, I will homeschool you in high school." I finalize the conversation and the breakfast prep and start herding everyone to the table.
Then, he's at my elbow again. "But Mom?" I look down while balancing a serving dish and the warmed syrup. "You know that's the same thing, don't you? God and circumstances. Circumstances can't happen unless He lets them."
I feel chastened. This I know, but I have just spent the better part of the morning lamenting my late start and the fact that the cereal was gone.
circumstances that cause us to start school late...
circumstances that cause tears to well in the late night hours....
circumstances that cause the biggest tantrums to occur when Daddy is off at work...
circumstances that seem unfair and surreal...
circumstances that leave me stranded without a car on the first week of co-op and.....
circumstances that make me question why I'm even here trying to play teacher and cook and mommy all at once.
Those things I've been complaining about and comparing about.....those circumstances are "the same thing".....the same thing as.....God.
I finally smile down at him and look fully into his grayish-green eyes this time. "Yep, as long as God allows, I will homeschool you."
|Home. School. One and the same.|
He grins back and grabs his football. Within two minutes, his deep reasoning turns to an irrational tackle too close to the living room lamp.
I stack the dishes and pull out the school books. And I catch just a glimpse of His smile as I glance down at the cover. Yes, they are the same. All that happens, He allows. For the first time today, I truly focus.