I Love This Child So Much!

A “new” outfit we just bought at Savers. She’s grown two inches in eight months and was busting out of all of her clothes!

This past month has really seen some changes – maturity, thoughtfulness, responsibility and accountability. I want to share these with you because it feels like they activated all at once!

No Arguments or Foot-Dragging Over Homeschool

And believe me, I’m grateful. There is nothing quite like arguing with your child over homeschool studies. Especially when I’ve got a dozen other things I could be doing that I hold off on because she’s the important one here and our years together are few.

We manage to get our homeschool studies out of the way in around three days, two if we really apply ourselves, and Em is jumping in, ready and willing every morning.

Em at the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas

“No, I Need to Keep Practicing.”

Today, a day after receiving a flu shot and three immunizations (with two more to go), Em was moving slow and her legs were incredibly sore. Despite this, when she sat down to play her cello, despite her obvious discomfort, she continued to practice through the pain.

“If it’s too much, you’ve practiced for about fifteen minutes, you could stop now,” I said to her.

“No, I still need to work on these two sections. They don’t sound right.”

And part of me is wondering where the heck my child is, while the other part is petrified she is ready to leave home and strike out on her own.

She’s 12, I think I have a few more years, but still!

Wamego, Kansas has Totos on Parade like Kansas City has Cows on Parade. Little Miss was unimpressed.

Ready and Prepared

Whenever we have places to go and I know we need to work homeschool into the outings, I remind her to look at her weekly study schedule and pack accordingly. 

And shockingly she has not only prepared, but over-prepared. Like yesterday at the doctor’s office.

“I can’t get the internet to work,” Em said, frowning at my smartphone, “So I’ll have to do the Words of the Week later. I’ll just go ahead and the Math Basics review now instead. I made sure to pack it in case I got done with the Words of the Week early.

Self-directed, organized, and motivated.

Knock me over with a feather.

It seems we have entered a new age of our homeschooling parent/child relationship. It’s rather harmonious. When there are misunderstandings, we both explain where we were coming from, and apologize to each other. I remain so appreciative for that – that we communicate so well – and that we work well together.

Crazy Messy But She Loves It

The other day I walked into the craft/Art Room that is directly off our dining room. It is inevitably messy. We clean it up, turn around, and it’s a mess again.

Now that we have my dad going to the senior center during the day and don’t have the television screaming obscenities and other quality daytime entertainment (he loves Paternity Court and Jerry Springer), Em has been making herself at home in the room, despite the mess.

Today she said to me, “Mom, I just love this room. I find the neatest things in it and I have fun thinking of creations I can make with all of the different treasures.”

Today she was experimenting with melting crayon shavings into these tiny glass bottles and then putting them on necklaces for her friends. 

I realized suddenly that it didn’t matter that the room was messy or without any real organization. She liked it, enjoyed hunting through the supplies and discovering new things to craft with. I have given her what I so desperately would have loved to have as a child.

Re-Framing Our Reality

It’s real easy to look at the negatives or to focus on shortcomings – our culture expects parents to be perfect – always patient, loving, and understanding. Especially moms. We have to somehow make a living, keep a perfect house, raise our kids just so, and do it with a smile on our face.

The reality is that life is messy, cluttered, disorganized (yes, even me!) and dear lord, oh so hectic.

No matter how much I cut from my schedule, I still don’t have time for it all. 

But I know this:

  • I have a happy, well-loved child who knows she is loved
  • She makes me smile every day
  • She is a good friend to others and other moms (and dads) really like her!
  • She is someone who I am so very proud of

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