I'm not feeling nearly as anxious about the whole thing this year as I was last.
Last fall (hopefully there will be an eternity of glorious summer days between now and Back To School) there was a sort of Panic on the Homeschool Front.
I was pretty comfortable with unschooling, was well on my way toward being mindful and living consensually, and had been reading on Always Unschooled for several months - probably a year or more, but I had yet to reach a place of trust.
I still had a need for my children to be considered superior (smart, intelligent, bright, above average, etc).
Which brings me to today.
I was feeling my way around the rules and legalities for making it legal this year. In my state - which is pretty dang friendly to homeschoolers- it's only a matter of sending in a notarized affidavit saying "I will be home schooling (though I felt compelled to change those words to 'home educating') my children according to Utah Code xxxxx.
Okay. I can do that.
Now, as I sit out in my backyard, watching my three loves -well four, Annabelle is barking at them whilst they play- playing and laughing, I am pondering the difference in my mind today, and what it was around this time last year, if any.
A while ago I briefly considered joining the IDMWOPTAMC (It Doesn't Matter What Other People Think About My Children) group. But then I considered that I can't quite make that claim.
I took it as "I don't care what anyone thinks." Not quite there yet. I care what Eric's Mama thinks. And my dear friend Sam. I prefer that the world at large sees my children as shiny examples of a happy and well-lived childhood. I like to demonstrate. I like to show another way things (such as communicating without admonishing) can be done in a public situation. For whose benefit? My children's. Other children. The world at large. My own.
Though sometimes I fail miserably at this, such as when attending the Family Fun Day the other day. There I was, panicking, trying to get my babes to come out of the bouncy slide, as "their turn was over", thinking that behind me were a bunch of Mama's and babies squealing for their turn, steaming in the heat, tapping their sandaled toes, and muttering behind their hands what a couple of rude children I had - imagine my surprise -and chagrin!- when I turned after finally dragging my bouncing babes out of the thing to find the line empty, and no one there. You may note my embarrassment, because it has taken me this long even to be able to mention The Shameful Occurence.
I am doing my best to shed my "he knows so much, and he's only in kindergarten (or going to enter first grade)! thinking.
I'm not certain where the parameters are yet.
The parental pride "I-adore-you-so!-and-think-you're-the-greatest-thing-that-ever-walked-this-earth" opinion and "if it doesn't matter that he doesn't tie his shoes, then it shouldn't matter that he is learning to tell time" thought.
I'm not sure where I should stand.
I mean, I know where my heart lies, and being enchanted by my children is a blessed thing, indeed. I'm just not sure where the enchantment ends and the boast, and pride begins.
Or if it even matters.
But it seems somehow that it should.
I think it relates to the whole Unconditional Parenting thing again.
And I've yet to find my place in it.
Which is sort of strange, because usually I'm pretty confident about the way I go about living my life.
It seems that if there is a correlation between this thought/thinking/consideration, and between a more encompassing one - "acceptance is acceptance, and not a judgment of good or bad" sort of thinking.
I'm muttering and stumbling, I know.
I'm trying to muddle my way through it.
What I mean is.... finding a true acceptance of What Is.
There seems to be no place for parental pride in Accepting What Is (without judgment).
Is it possible to be thrilled by so many little accomplishments, be lit up when your child enters the room, and have them not feel a lack of such appreciation in another critical moment?
I realize that often I think in absolutes, and I really am trying to be open-minded in finding my way to the end...
The end, of course, being finding my own understanding, and being the best helpmate I can be for my children.
I think this may take a while... and I will gladly accept any enlightening words on the matter.