Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I last blogged about homeschooling, which is a lifestyle my husband and I are committed to. Some days are the picture of perfect, happy family life and learning--the cozy kind one might imagine when they picture how homeschool goes in some people's homes (particularly those who blog about it).
But some days are not beautiful at all. Some days we're just stumbling through, grateful for grace and mercy, that the day will end and there will be a new (hopefully better) one tomorrow.
A few weeks ago, my husband was out of town for the week. The. entire. week. I was here with four small children. Three energetic young boys, 7, 5, 3. A teething (four molars) toddler that cried and clung to my leg most days. Most fun I've had in a long time.
Here's part of a raw journal entry (names have been removed):
"[Child] is going through an awful attitude phase, snapping at me over just about everything...
[Child] was rudely complaining about how the letters looked in his Italic handwriting book. I asked him to make just one letter a to try it the italic way, and he just snapped. I walked away teary-eyed...
Here's the list of things the boys broke or otherwise damaged today--
1) Broke the orchid pot. [Child] climbed on the counter [rule violation] to get the bungee cords they've been hooking to their belt loops to go bungee-jumping off the railing outside. They already tore their pants once, so that's off-limits, yet they did it again, and I took them away and put them up high.
2) [Child] threw something at [other child] and hit him in the head hard.
3) [Child] threw something at the lightbulb in his bedroom during quiet time and broke it.
4) Apparently, [child] threw something at my Ansel Adams picture from Justin [my husband] and it broke the glass.
5) [Child] took everything out of the alcove upstairs to see what it looked like empty [we have a storage area going up our stairs]. I couldn't even get out of the hallway of our room to the stairs. He put some stuff back and was supposed to be putting more stuff back, but was actually taking it out again. A big tub of baby clothes fell and the clothes tumbled out, all over the stairs below.
6) [Child] punched [child] in the eye, which gave him a blood blister, then proceeded to scratch him several times. This made him look like he ran into a barbed wire fence (as someone commented later...at church).
7) Not to mention all the food crumbs, water spills, other fights during the day
8) [Child] woke [grumpy, teething baby] from morning nap so she only slept a half hour. Then she cried and clung to my leg all morning.
What a day. Taking a shower and going to bed."
So this was a bad day. I wondered why I choose to keep my kids home with me day after day after day. I was looking up the number for the school district to inquire into where they had enrollments for kindergarten and second grade. Yet, I knew this lifestyle--even on its worst days--was something we were committed to. So I didn't make the call.
We're a family. We're learning to live together and love each other, through thick and thin. The bad days test our resolve, and dare I say, our love for one another. On the bad days, we go to bed, grateful the day is over, and pray for a more hopeful day to come.
And then we receive the answer to our prayers. A good day comes. We learn side by side and have great discussions about things that matter, and we're so thankful we're doing this, that our children are home with us for these talks, for these moments.
If you had a bad day, a better one's coming. It's like the waves on the sea. Bad days, good days, they all roll together to form our story, our homeschooling experience. I'm grateful for what the bad days show us and they ways they help us grow; I'm more thankful, though, for the good days!
Women Living Well
The Better Mom