Tonight I’m avoiding the completion a task I’ve been putting off for almost a month. Finally tonight I began it, but now I’m out of ideas and I’m tired. And I just want to quit. So … here I sit.
Let’s back up to about the second week of August, when I began suddenly to feel a panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach when I looked ahead to the beginning of our third year of schooling the girls via a cyber-charter school. That was the first inkling I had that God was trying to get my attention. There were a number of things weighing heavily on my mind regarding school. One of them was that I had been pretty much ignoring the art and music curriculum in an attempt to get the other, more important subjects finished, which we did, for the most part, with flying colors. I just could not, for the life of me, figure out how to finish our school day by 3 o’clock-ish and get it all done.
So, after one day of pondering this and praying about it, my 8-year-old came to wake me up and crawled into bed with me. One topic led to another, and before I knew it, she had steered the conversation to talk very specifically — and happily — about many of the art projects she had done when she was in kindergarten in our public school system. I tell you the truth, she had no way of knowing where my mind and prayers had led me, and how I’d been struggling over this very thing — what they’d been missing out on over the past two years at home with me. I took this to be a confirmation from the Lord that he was indeed trying to get my attention and he wanted me to listen.
So, over the next few days I prayed about it, and to be frank, cried about it an awful lot. I just couldn’t escape the feeling that God wanted me to put the girls back into school.
Now, this is not to say that I feel we were wrong to bring them home and teach them for those two years. I truly feel that the Lord led us to do that. I get teary thinking about the times we spent on each of the subjects. I wholeheartedly miss the one-on-two time with two of my favorite people in the world.
And here I come to the point in my story where I explain the job I’ve avoided — cleaning out, rearranging and re-purposing the school room. Now, I do get excited about reorganizing spaces in my house. But, this was going to be a toughie. I chose to tackle it this evening, when everyone was home and happily doing other things. I thought that would be easier than going through all of last years binders and school materials that would need to be boxed up and put into the basement when I had the house to myself. In a way it was. But it was still a rough job. With every book report, or history paper I piled up, I felt as if I was ripping the bandage from a wound that was not even close to being healed. And though my girls have been in school for a number of weeks already, it was as if this, tonight, truly brought the past two (in many ways) glorious years to an official end.
There were many things I loved about teaching my girls. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. Nor was it always fun. It was without a doubt the most challenging time I’ve spent since I had two toddlers in the house. But I do miss it.
What I don’t miss is the pressure that I felt, being the one responsible for the completion of each subject. Now I know that there’s an art teacher who’s the one dealing with that whole mess — not me! There’s a classroom teacher getting math, language arts and social studies in order! These are no longer on me. (Don’t talk to me about the science experiments. Just … nope.)
I have friends and family who artfully and dutifully teach their children, year after year, and do a beautiful job! I wonder sometimes why I couldn’t be like those moms, whom I so admire.
But then I’m reminded of the two years we did have! And I’m reminded of the peace I’ve experienced since we decided to put the girls back in school. Despite the times of weeping and regrets, God has been clearly reassuring me that he is directing this. They are, after all, his children even more than they are mine. And he has chosen our path, and I have chosen to follow. And I trust my girls to his care and pray for them and sit with them as they toil over their homework. I listen as they tell me about what went badly in their day and what went well. I pray with them as we drive to school. And I know that God is far more capable than I am of supplying their needs.
If only this erstwhile School Room would finish up on its own! But I suppose that’s what tomorrow is for.