"Are you ready to go back to school?"
Then the inquisitor looks at me with a knowing look and a nod and says something like, "I bet you're ready for them to go back to school."
I don't think my kids are particularly unruly or misbehaved. They do have a presence, after all, there are four of them, but I'm not sure why innocent conversationalists assume that I welcome and relish the time away from my kids that school provides.
There was indeed a time when that Staples commercial rang true - you know the one:
(Like it or not, that's brilliant advertising.)
God brought me home in November 2010. He dragged me here kicking and screaming when I got laid off from my not-at-all cushy, underpaid, grunt-work of a civil engineering job that I didn't really even love. But, one thing I knew (or thought I knew) I did not want to be home. I spent hours per day searching for jobs outside the home - even considered going back to school to get an advanced degree. Anything but being a stay-at-home mom.
I was terrified to death of being with my own children twenty-four hours a day.
Ouch. The truth hurts.
Eventually, I figured out that my kids are pretty awesome. I maintain that they're little sinners just like everyone else and everyone else's children (sorry if that comes as a shock to you - but your kids are little sinners too), but I'm not scared of being around them anymore. This isn't to say I don't have moments when I need a break, and in those moments, Sam is awesome about recognizing my need to reset and calls me out on it, even if my pride gets in the way sometimes. I'm truly blessed to have a husband who has never been afraid of his own children.
Fast forward to now, approaching two years later.
In less than one week, our family will begin our newest adventure - homeschooling.
I've come a long way from doing anything I can to get away from these kids of mine...
It's amazing what you hear when you stop, wait patiently, and listen for instruction. When I got laid off, I cried, went into a funk, and was determined to find a new, better job. Well, I found one (being a stay-at-home mom). It's not the one I would have picked, but it's one I've grown to love. Now, I wouldn't trade it. Little did I know that less than two years later, I'd receive a monumental promotion, of sorts. And, to be honest, I did a little kicking and screaming before I decided that this was, indeed, what God was calling me to do.
I can tell you, while shaking in my boots, that I am nervous, excited, and terrified. I'm confident in my ability to teach the subject matter. I'm excited about the opportunity to teach the heart matters when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we arise. And for all the gaps in my abilities, well, that's where I'll rely on the ultimate source of these abilities anyway:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31I am anticipating the negativity I'll encounter when I go out to the grocery store in the middle of a school day. I'm dreading the questions I'll get like, "Don't you think you're wasting your education?" and "Aren't the public schools good enough for you?"
Since those have the makings of an entirely new post altogether, let me just say that our decision to homeschool our kids is a personal conviction that Sam and I have had. It's not an indictment on the schools, or anyone else's choice to send their kids to any other institution of learning that they see fit. This is not a judgment on anyone else. We heard the call, and we are answering. That's the best I can explain it. I've chosen my own way more than a few times, but this time, we're choosing obedience.
So, to answer the original question -
Yes, my kids are ready to go back to school. And so am I.
Let's get this party started.
For those of you who might not have been along for the ride during which I decided to homeschool - here are a couple more posts on that: