Somewhere between Breakfast and the baby's first diaper change, I lost it.
I couldn't find the freedom I know is mine, and I was completely taken off guard
when it disappeared. Where to? I don't know.
All I know is I was sitting on the back porch watching my small ones play.
There was an enamel basin filled two inches with cool water. Cups of various color and size
were being dipped in, poured out, and my sad wilted tomatoes were soaking up a much longed-for drink.
The morning sun was shining straight down - no shadows peeking out anywhere. No shade.
I was content with my lot, dreaming of little tweaks here and there which would improve my
humble program. My "what I am trying to accomplish with my Bugletts" program.
You know. Life.
In the freshness of morning; only happy sounds could be heard and I commenced thinking about
next years school. Actually, school slash learning is a slowly plodding mule we've been riding all summer.
We're not moving very fast, but depend on us getting there - to our destination - eventually.
Some days I distribute more busy work, others less, and most all the days holding an element of "real life"
which offers an education I couldn't produce any other way.
The rocket, sail ship, or log cabin project for example.
Spring and summer are the most fruitful time for our Nature Journals, and even though our garden is
completely overgrown with volunteers and weeds, many of the wild flowers are still going strong in August.
Last years vegetable plot is this year, a bed of daisies - literally. Frogs, moths, beetles, berries, flowers,
frogs, dead mice and voles (thanks to Fred the cat), grasshoppers, various rocks, and even more frogs
than I can count have passed before my appreciating eyes this Summer.
Susanna is finger crocheting, and braiding my hair.
Olivia is learning to read, and fixing breakfast for two younger siblings.
Clayton was inspired to start a worm farm to supply his fishing habit.
Zachary has entered the ranks of voracious readers; Tom Swift mysteries being right at the top.
And I? I am all of a sudden feeling petrified about "Next Year's School..." (spoken here in hushed tones).
As I said, I was caught off guard between Breakfast and the baby's first diaper change of the day.
Somewhere in the interim, when I was unprepared for the blow, I took in 20 minutes of my friend's school plan
(which probably took her hours and day,s if not weeks to perfect) and my school plan
lost it's shine.
My dreams of pleasant improvements upon what already works for my tribe,
became a mad grasp at all the things I should do, must do, need to do...
you know, those things that "other" people are doing. And doing successfully, I might add.
No longer was it fun. No how. It turned to business and nothing but.
And in a 20-minute instant, I lost my freedom.
Freedom to be me. To do what works for me. To do what works for our family. To dream.
I don't understand it, but it seems to be a law of nature, that when considering the methods
that are effective for someone else, I feel obligated to use that exact same program.
Instead of gaining inspiration, I seem to accumulate guilt like it's going out of style.
Not exactly motivating.
In fact, it is actually very much a burden, and an unnecessary one at that!
So I looked and looked for that misplaced freedom. It wasn't in the Biology book. It wasn't in the
new math manipulative's. It wasn't in the proposed music lessons. It wasn't in that friend's fancy Excel charts.
After I changed the baby's diaper I had quite a time recovering from my self-imposed illness.
It wasn't until afternoon that I found a piece of what I was hunting for. In my cold mocha, chocolaty
and caffeinated I found some pep. The possibilities started looking plausible.
In a short chat with another girlfriend, my wise friend asked me "...so what's most important?..."
THAT'S where I reclaimed my freedom. I'd forgotten not only to ask myself that question, but I'd also lost sight of what is important.
I believe that what's most important will be different for each person/family/teacher/momma
and that I have to determine it based on larger farther-reaching goals I want to accomplish.
But PHEW! What a relief to remember that I have a unique family, in a unique situation,
living under unique circumstances, trying to meet our own unique goals! What is important?
I need to sit and really evaluate the question, but I think I know. At least I think I can answer that for
myself in this season; and with that I can decide what mode of transportation moves our family to it's
I'll try to wrap my mind around this query over a few more mocha's, but who knows?
Maybe that slowly plodding mule is just the thing:-)
3 years ago