Friday, September 18, 2009
Something to Love. . .
If you were to ask me today how homeschooling is going, I would say, “great.” Today the girls woke up happy and did their chores without reminders. Sarah helped me make french toast and everyone pitched in to clean up. I was even able to catch up on a little work when the girls walked over to the library for reading time. One of the perks of living in a small town is that everything is so close. The library is around the corner, Nana and Papa live across the street, and we can sit on the front porch and see everyone in town as they come to pick up their mail at the post office. We just had lunch and now the kids are busy making towers with blocks. They have learned to balance the blocks in a pattern that is quickly approaching the ceiling. Today is good! I feel grateful for my family and can see the joy in even the simplest things.
Yesterday was another story! By noon I was crying and threatening, in my mind, to send the kids back to public school. The girls were fighting, grumpy, and didn’t want to do any learning. I couldn’t seem to find a way to inspire my children and so by mid-afternoon we were all in tears and ready to throw in the towel. By the time Scott came home I was exhausted ready to turn in my notice for parenting. I am not sure why some days feel so overwhelming, they just do. There is a saying, “When life gets to hard to stand, kneel.” I spent a long time on my knees before climbing into bed early. “Please God, help me have peace, patience, and love for my children tomorrow.”
Today I woke up and the first thing I thought of was something Karen Andreola said in her book, Pocketful of Pinecones. She said that each day she aims to give her children three things:
1) something or someone to love, 2) something to do, and
3) something to think about. I made a commitment to keep our day simple and focus on achieving all three goals. The first one may seem simple because as a parent I love my children unconditionally each day. But how do my girls feel love. Is it in a simple act of putting a band-aid on a cut, taking time to play a game, or maybe helping them in acts of service for one another. Today I would take time to notice the things that made my children feel loved.
Finding something to do is not difficult in our home. There is always something that can be done. My kids have learned never to say, “I’m bored”. This just means that they need extra chores and we have plenty of these to go around. We have lessons to do, yard work that can be done, a house to clean, and play dates scheduled throughout the week. This is one area we won’t have a hard time completing.
Thinking is another matter. I have watched my girls complete entire lessons without actually thinking beyond the obvious. It is like they were on auto pilot and just trying to get to the end of the journey. I want to provide opportunities for my girls that help them to think beyond the assignment. I can tell when they are interested in something because they will begin to ask questions instead of just giving that blank stare that says, “Is this over yet?”
Today is a good day! Small reminders have helped me to see how blessed I am. I enjoy being a mom; I just have to remind myself that life is a work in progress. No my girls are not perfect, my house is not always clean, and some days are better left just being over. But today is a good day! I have someone to love, something to do, and something to think about.