I wish this post were coming from about 5:30 in the morning, I think that time might lend me a bit of magic. Instead it's coming from plain old 9:21, a pleasant enough time, but not as inspiring as daybreak.
How to begin my story?
I suppose with the mirror.
It's one of those concepts of which I really have no understanding, and am often left shaking my head or hmmphing over. Sort of like "in a vacuum", but vacuum just irritates me. What the hell does that mean? To me they really mean "in a white room with no outside influences", not in a place where things (dirt, dust, debris, everything!) get in, and nothing can get out.
As I said - sometimes "hmmph."
We move to "holding up a mirror" now.
It's funny, I had a flash of serious insight a while back regarding this matter, and then just like two minutes later it was gone, and I haven't been able to get it back. Another is "We Are All One", I accept it, I believe it's an Absolute Truth, but it's not something I've come to Know yet.
I've considered this concept lots of times. One of my friend's favorite sayings is (at least she says it often) is that her child is a mirror for her.
Since long before I started developing this wonderful friendship with her I've heard the saying, of course. But I always thought what people meant was "what you see is what you are" sort of thing. Like... what most aggravates you in another is something that you are guilty of yourself.
Which will sometimes be true, of course.
But yesterday I was at my dear friend's (a different friend) home for an evening party. Maybe twenty people there, including the children.
Four families with young children (plus a few others).
I tell you, in the first five minutes I was like... "woh." I had stepped out of my truck, and onto another planet. The only words I could hear were "get down from there" and "don't climb on that (a treehouse ladder!)" and "don't swing him so high (a sturdy boy of three)" and "be careful!" and "Hey, no running (we were in a large backyard with loads of grass and the children were playing tag)" and "get down from that slide until he is done" and "one kid at a time on the slide!!" that was shouted with urgency, and even "you climb UP the ladder, and slide down the slide!" I couldn't believe it. I'm feeling sort of nauseous just remembering it.
I kept thinking..."I wanna go home." and "I wanna call Melissia." As she experienced something similar not too long ago.
My friend (who was the hostess) caught me in the house talking with my children, and said "All the children keep coming in here and grabbing food and snacks, have you noticed?" And I thought "That's because their parents are preoccupied outside, and are not paying attention and controlling them in here!"
Like my friend did before me (Melissia) I just hung out over at the fabulous (old schoolyard type, metal, large, sturdy) swingset.
It wasn't that I was not wanting to hang out with the adults, I just had been away from my children all day, and missed them, and was really enjoying talking with and swinging all the children.
Someone said something about "he'll talk your ear off" like he was warning me, and I just said "that's all right."
I know I sound accusing, but I really don't mean to be. This post is really about me, and not the other parents.
I had no idea how far I had come out of that thinking. I mean, I know how I think, and I have homeschooling the littles, and its members are diverse. And I consider myself a radical unschooler, and the name itself should tell me something. But I honestly don't consider myself radical. To me the word speaks of bombing clinics and paddy-wagons and fanaticism. I'm not like that. I'm a peace-loving sort of girl! I just want to live well. And happy.
So while I was there, hearing the shouts of warning and doom, I was of course pondering this whole thing. I wanted to go home, as I said. I wanted quiet. I wanted to consider. I wanted to speculate. I wanted to write.
I wanted to contemplate the things I saw of myself. Where I had come from. Where I was going.
I wanted to bask in peaceful knowing that I had found - the ramifications of not caring what others were thinking of me, and not even doing anything with intent to demonstrate, for I had nothing to prove. I was unattached. I was not prideful. I was not a mother who had to prove that my children were worthy of consideration. I had no desire to show another how it "might be done".
I was just being.
In that place, I was free.
Maybe the knowledge will carry me for a while.
I've been heading towards this for a while now I think. Though I have been visiting others' blogs, hearing about their personal journeys - I've put away books. I've not been reading on Always Unschooled. I've not been judging and criticizing myself and my actions. I've been listening to my own heart.
Just thinking, and writing.
Seeking Understanding. Finding Truth.
In this place, too, I am Free.