Thursday, November 8, 2012

Putting the Pieces Together... Slowly.

I don't usually play Christmas music this early, but today it just seemed like the right thing.
I wasn't going to fix the froo-froo whipped-cream topped coffee today, but then it started snowing...

And after the bumpy morning ride, I couldn't apply my brain to any more school.

*Side thought here, what's with having to do so much school anyway?!!
   After collecting a diploma I thought I was done.  I didn't realize what was ahead in teaching
   5 different grades and wrangling 2 toddlers while pregnant, potty training,  and trying to fix dinner.

Okay so back to my brain being used up.

I then decided to sew binding on a quilt, and it's amazing how benevolent Christmas music,
mocha and snow can make you when you're doing something therapeutic
- like not overtaxing brain cells. Ha!

I found I could work through a reading lesson with Lina, and a math chapter with Clay, and all of a
sudden my binding was attached.

I have been trying for years to sort out how my roll as mother fits together with that of teacher.
I say years because I am standing on my own mothers shoulders, and I know that she wrestled with
that same question frequently as she taught 3 different grades while wrangling 4 toddlers, potty training,
and trying to fix dinner.  And believe me - fixing dinner is not the hard part!

It's been a slow process, but I'm coming to realize that I am not dividing two roles.
I am one mother all the time, teaching and training and instructing my children as life flows naturally.
Since life's "natural" flow entails a lot of interruptions, accidents, and attitudes, I have to figure it's all
a part of our learning process.

My mom did what she believed was best for her family, but I'm pretty sure she was trying daily to convince
herself of what she believed. It's hard to tread a new path, and that's what she did.

I don't have to convince myself.  I believe in what I'm doing, and that's largely in
part due to the first-hand experience I grew up with. I lived the value, the importance, and the blessing
of how my mom spent her time.

I hope my daughters will stand on my shoulders, will live with even greater understanding of what
motherhood means.  Lord willing, I look forward to watching them work out different puzzles,
not the same ones I  labor over.

I know that what I am doing here with my children is valuable, but I am becoming more comfortable
with looking at interruptions as part of the teaching package and not as a curve I can't hit.
I'm willing to stop and change direction when something's not working, or someone is hung up
on an assignment they can't wrap their brain around.

"Do something else for a while...
Come back to it...
Bring in some firewood...
Go out and catch snowflakes for a few minutes..."

And same for me - I'm overwhelmed.  I'm taking a bit of a break to sew binding on this quilt, to turn
the music up, to sip something that tickles my taste buds, to watch flames lick a piece of split birch.

This is life.

 A few moments of reprieve can refresh the soul to carry on, and that's a lesson which reaches farther
than dividing fractions or cleaning up a puddle of pee on the floor.  We don't always get that reprieve,
but in many cases, who's decision is that?  I get to decide.  I'm the mother/teacher/potty-trainer... :-)

I'm learning.
It's a process, always a process, but I find I can never learn too much about grace! Bring on the grace.

We taught ourselves how to felt balls last night, and today the girls are busy with other colorful

The wire LOVE above my window are letters that Susanna worked for me when she was "playing"
outside yesterday (did we count that as school?).  She also created a USA, and MOM.

There is not much that compares with the pleasure of watching my children develop into their
own people with their own ideas, their own art and interpretations, their own uniqueness.

Shh.... can't say too much about the other scraps and tidbits in the photos - at least not yet :-)


Marie said...

Love everything about this post!!! you are so inspiring with your mothering example as well as all of your beautiful are so right...we are mothers all the matter what the task is at hand! That a beautiful family!Take care :)

Sally said...

Wonderful post Ana!

JMB Ranch said...

What a wonderful mother you are. It is my experience that the role of mother is forever evolving and challenging. You have taken on more than many women and are doing it with such grace. I bet you don't think that all the time, but I believe you are. I am proud for you and so happy for you and your family. Thank you so much for letting me witness it. God bless you and keep you.

momofbugs said...

I know what you are talking about. I find my extra challenge is dealing with several women in the family who are public school teachers. I have to be careful talking to them about homeschooling or they can be really discouraging or imply that we aren't doing things right when we take time to just experience life. I know homeschooling isn't for everyone but I can't imagine raising my kids any other way.