"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.
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
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