Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Which I Relinquish all Appearances of Coolness and Embrace Reality.

I had a hard time settling on a title for this post.  Among some of the options I considered were:
"Raisin' 'Em Redneck" and "We Call it School" and "We are "THOSE" Homeschoolers"
and you know what I mean by that last one, don't you.  I bet most of you are grinning because
you either know some of "those" homeschoolers, you attempt not to be one of "those"
homeschool families, or... you are one. :-)

For those of you in the dark, there's a bit of a running joke we (homeschooling) moms enjoy
about the homeschooling stereotype.  I won't digress into exactly what forms this stereotype takes,
and each of us likes to embellish with our own brand of humor, but basically, no one likes to be
lumped into a box and so we resist any outward appearance of fitting some definition that's well
Heaven forbid we appear... dorky.
And here I insert (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that homeschoolers have been trying to eradicate
that stereotype since the dawn of homeschoolism!
 I would know; I'm a K-12 homeschooled veteran dork myself.

My flesh can't help agree with my girlfriends - fellow moms, most of who were also home schooled -
when they refuse to drive a van until every other possible options has been exhausted.
And if they have to drive one, they'd prefer their progeny didn't disembark wearing outfits that matched
their siblings', or were arrayed in an excess of plaid or camo.  Don't we already draw enough attention
to ourselves by our numbers, or the fact that we're grocery shopping as a family event at 10am?

Despite my own aversion to being stereotyped, I'm not one to make a decision based on what other
people think.  If a thing makes sense than we do it.  If a monstrous vehicle is practical and serves our
needs well, we drive one.  If it makes sense to buy the same boots for everyone, we do.  If my
children like camo, leather belts, skirts with jeans underneath... I've been known to turn away a
discerning eye now and then for the joy of watching them be their own unique persons!

All this to say, it's become clear to me in recent years that the truth is:
we ARE "those" homeschoolers.
It'd be really great to be those cool homeschoolers, but then look at who my kids got for a mom.
I'm not complaining, just pointing out the obvious. :-)
I can't help but laugh.  I mean, just LOOK at us?!! 

The truth is such an irony sometimes!
And yes there really is a point to all this blather.

Today, my son Zachary invited his sister Susanna to go hunting with him.
While they were off on their venture, 
Clayton and Olivia built an "Almond Roaster" and a fire, 
and "roasted" almonds.
Zachary returned with his grinning sister 
who was holding a handful of limp squirrels by their tails.  
Then he showed her step by step how to gut and skin them, 
and roasted all three over Clay's fire. 
 The four siblings moved on to roasting (or at least blackening)
other things such as marshmallows, apples, and fingers.
And faces too.  

About the same time, while I watched the smoke rise beyond the picture window,
on the floor of my living room,three-year-old Bryce lounges with his blankie.
Little sister Aloria sits beside him and tenderly strokes his head.  
He knows he is loved.

It looks to me like the kind of life many children only dream of - the kind of friendships
most people never experience, love extended truly and without strings attached.

All of a sudden it doesn't seem to matter that we look like vagabonds and rednecks.
The important part is shining bright from underneath the soot and camo.

Now you can believe me or not when I say these are relatively common scenes in our home.
Sometimes there is more noise and less tolerance, but overall, this is what I get to be a part of
every day.

I've known for a long time that good character is not defined by outward appearance.
I also know that the playing field levels out quite a lot with with the advent of maturity.
There can be an awful lot of insecurity underneath a "cool" exterior.  Whatever we do or don't
drive, however we choose to dress, who we associate with, how we speak, what we say...
if in the end it doesn't come from a heart that loves Jesus and cherishes people
more than any of these external things?
It doesn't matter how together we appear.  It amounts to very little and maybe nothing at all.

And these are the conglomeration of thoughts, chuckles, sighs, and bright praise I found myself
reveling in today as I took in the amazing-ness of the people I call my children.
I'm really really thankful for them, and all the ways the Lord grows me up through being their mom.

And it almost (just almost) makes up for my being... dorky.  ;-D


Diane said...

A million thoughts but lacking sleep to form sentences. Lol so I will say right on, sis. Right on. I love you. Dorkiness and all. Lol :)

Sally said...

Fun post, Ana! And you got your orange rugs!!! Look great! Do you like them? Looks like the kiddos settled right in on their warmth and softness...loving you, -m

Jana said...

Oh goodness...such GOOD-NESS! Substance. I love seeing your children becoming who they are. I love sharing in the process of breaking molds, fitting stereotypes (by default, as the result of practicality and good decisions), and working through the insecurities that tempt us to temporarily abandon the people He is growing us to be. Thank you for your honest friendship!

Momma Bug said...

Stereotypes are safe. Breaking molds is scary. Having a friend or two that can relate is pretty wonderful!
And hopefully we are growing more confident in our value as the Lord sees it :-) It's very freeing, isn't it? To not be so affected by peoples opinions? Get a taste of the peace and freedom that exists in that place, and one doesn't want to go back!

I love you each.
Jana, thank you for sharing your life (and whipped cream) with me. It's been a privilege :-)

Marie said...

Even though we have never met personally...I can definitely relate. Dorky or not I totally get it!!! AND know for a fact that we would feel right at home with you all :)

Momma Bug said...

You bless me Marie! It's a real delight to know kindred spirits are planted everywhere :-)
It would be a privilege to meet you guys one of these days.

lindafay said...

Very 'cool' post. ;)

Seriously, I loved the warmth and love that your children displayed for each other. That's what it's ALL about.


Cinnamon said...

You crack me up girl! Roasted almonds with squirrel, umm, YUCK:-) but hey, they are kids and they LOVE doing that right? Nothing like yummy squirrel for lunch or hey even a snack (tongue in cheek here ---> YUCK!!)

Anyhoo, LOVED what you said. Every bit of it. So true.

I avoided driving a van as long as I could. Now we have 15 passenger van that I thought we'd never fill up and here we are with only 3 available seats if we all cram in there :-0

And just today my two oldest at home decided to walk down the road a bit with swords (SWORDS!!!) hidden under a camo jacket and a cloak. Gee, nothing odd there right?! ugh. Some days I just laugh. Other days I gasp :-)

Such a joy to visit.


Christabelle said...

That is AWESOME! Glad you are well, my friend!

SarahS said...