Thursday, August 21, 2008

all i want

Please be forewarned that the Sap-O-Meter runs a little high in this post. It's just that while I was watching my children practice their handwriting, math problems, science terms on the vintage butterfly TV trays set up permanently on our back porch, I began swallowing the enormity of this decision to keep them home, and though I'll admit there was plenty of indigestion (especially when Mary screeched about any and everything while I was trying to help with assignments), there was also this unmistakable taste of relief sweetening even the sour attitudes practically double dog daring me to stop with my bare hands the next school bus passing by in order to shove my crabby students through one of its open windows.

I was afraid, very afraid that by giving in to the dissatisfaction that came from rushing my kids out the door on weekday mornings, barking at them to finish their homework in the afternoons, exposing my Orthodox Christian Children to who knows what - I mean...really, who knows? I wasn't there! (Just a few weeks ago, Elijah looked me dead in the eye and said cryptically, slowly, "Mom, I learned a lot from the kids in my class.") - by devoting my "free time" to educating them myself, I would jeopardize my writing career, become resentful, and ostracize all of us in the process.

One can only fight so long, however, the naggings of the Spirit, which, let me be clear here, I do not believe are always universal or formulaic but rather intensely personal, specific, and revealed to open hearts on an "as needed" basis (or in other words, before every situation and conversation one encounters) before coming unglued. All my desires became oppressors when my role as a "mother who'd sacrifice anything for the good of her family" was watered down to a "woman with children looking outside the walls of her home for legitimacy."

Though I have no idea what the future holds, it is certain to be fraught with tears and trials - trials I will only endure if all I want, more than wealth or notoriety, is to be smack dab in the middle of the will of God, immersed in the lives of my husband and sons and daughters - living for others besides myself or my fickle, foolish, dreams of finding fame, fortune, and fulfillment (greener grass?) "on the other side."


Kelly said...

The struggle between self-fulfillment and self-sacrifice is so universal, especially in our society that pushes us toward roles outside of our family in order to find satisfaction. I have already experienced more of it in my first year as a "stay-at-home" mom than I would like to admit. Thanks again for sharing your own struggles and showing me that I am not alone in this quest for immersing myself in God's will.

H and S said...

Wow you're really doing it!

Elijah's handwriting is beautiful and your porch set-up is a great atmosphere. Will be praying.

Ser said...

I love this blog, Molly, as it gives me glimpse into your everyday life with your kiddos. I'm so glad you feel happy with your decision to homeschool--despite your worries and occasional desire to flag down the passing school bus. :)

Michelle said...

Isn't life funny? You pull your kids out of school. I put Isaac in school. I told my homeschooling friends this morning and you should have SEEN the SHOCK on their faces.

But, so far, so good. Isaac still does 'home-school' at home with his sister in the morning. Then he eagerly awaits the bus (WHEN is the bus coming Mom? WHEN? What numbers on the clock?) and I gladly hand him over to the bus and eventually the hands of my former high school classmate, who is his teacher.

It's only for this year. It's only half-day and I can pull him out anytime I decide it's not working.

I have to admit, I see some adjustment struggles with him here at home, and once again realize what a great decision it was for me to teach Nathaniel at home five years ago when he was old enough for kindergarten. And, why the time is right now for Isaac to go.

Thanks Molly - one day at a time!

Molly Sabourin said...

It was so great to hear from you girls on this one. Your encouragement is beyond appreciated! It is very true, Michelle, that life is funny and unpredictable. I am learning to avoid words like "always" or "never" and trying to stay open-minded when it comes to meeting the specific needs of our specific and unique children - needs which change minute to minute, or so it seems. Good for you for making what I'm sure was a difficult choice for the good of your whole family!

Kelleylynn said...

Thanks for the encouragement even for this homeschooler of 6 where is Colin's Math book? Still sorting out through the masses of boxes...