She’s describing her newest Playmobil family to me.
‘This is the dad, he works at the hospital. The mum works at a restaurant. And this is the kid. She’s just….a free kid, because she’s home educated.’
Can we pause for a moment, just for the collective joy swelling of our hearts when we hear our kids say something like this?
I find parenthood is interwoven with guilt and second guessing myself, much of the time. The top 10% of my brain is telling me I’m doing a great job, to trust myself and the kids. The other 90% is like, ‘Really? You think that’s a good idea? Have you thought about the 83920438 ways this decision (whatever it may be) might screw your kids up?’
I hope I’m not alone in feeling that way.
I do find that I’m better at propping other people up than telling them I need support. I like reaching out to people when they might need a boost. I like inspiring others. But in reality, sometimes, especially during gloomy months full of clouds, ear infections, and sad news, I’m just trying my best to get through every day.
And so it rolls on. Am I doing my best, as a home educating parent?
It’s a fine line, a high and dizzying tightrope, along the border of feeling you aren’t doing enough and feeling you need to leave plenty of free time for small miracles to happen.
My miracle today is right now. It’s 1:26 pm. I can hear the kids; they are in a very involved game of Playmobil that’s been going on awhile. They are building worlds, they are living in them.
I’m upstairs in the office, alone, writing. A lot of stuff elsewhere, a bit in this blog. I find my old anonymous blogs that grew so popular were probably that way because they were anonymous. I’ve never written an inauthentic word, but a great many words haven’t been written because they were too scary, too painful, too much for me to share.
So this little period – be it ten minutes or thirty – is my miracle. I’m thinking and writing and feeling instead of all the other ways I use to numb myself on days when things all feel a bit too much. I’m here, I’m trying. …And downstairs?
Downstairs are just two kids who are free, because they are home educated. Because they follow their interests, because they explore their joy, because they trust themselves to find their way. And really, who am I to second guess that?
They are building worlds downstairs, I’m building worlds upstairs. We’ve put a money tree leaf on soil, to help it take root and grow. Sheet music has been read, youtube videos have been watched, I actually did the breakfast dishes. This day isn’t yet over, but we’ve done enough. Building a world, building yourself, is work enough.