Consider this my formal (and very public) apology. I am full of quite a lot of things...big ideas, lots of words, "it". You may be a close friend, a family member, or that poor unsuspecting woman at the park. You are all so different and, yet, you have one thing in common. At some point I accosted you with my ideas of grandeur. I was in your face. I was overly excited. I was delusional. I was practically shouting my agreement with your choice to home-school and so very sure this was the same choice I'd make for my firstborn. I'd now like to apologize for thinking I could be anything like you. I was an idiot with a dream until a few short weeks ago. The very first day my son started school...nay, the first hour, I knew I could not be one of you. I became hyper-aware of several components that go along with sending a kid off to school.
Anyone who comes within a fifty-foot radius of my son knows the kid loves to talk. He has a preferred volume (LOUD), a set pace (FAST), and predetermined material (TRAINS). While I try to soak in as much of this magical age as possible, Mama's bound to need a little silence from time to time. Unless my eldest is sleeping, there is no silence to be found. There is only constant narration and "Mom. Mom. Mommommommommom." Thanks to the wonders of public school, this introvert mom gets time to get lost in her own thoughts from the hours of 7:50 to 2:50 five days a week! Glory!
While I tend to be a mom who likes to keep busy with library runs, park play-dates, and various other adventures, it is getting more difficult to wear out a boy of five. Gone are the days when one morning outing resulted in a three-hour nap. My little man wants constant action and a game-plan for said action. Who! What! When! Where! Why! Bro, please. It's too much! I cannot give you what you need to properly pass out at 8 every night. Oh who am I kidding? 6:15. Dropping him off at school comes with a guarantee that he will come home that afternoon thoroughly spent. It's beautiful. Now I do realize not all five year old children are ready to jump into the world of full-day schooling. It is, however, exactly what my on-the-go guy needs and I feel like I've won the lottery.
Just those words are probably getting some people a little heated right now, but I'm nothing if not honest. I love the freedom that comes with knowing that my dude's teacher is the one lesson-planning, prepping, and testing. Why shouldn't she be? She's got the credentials and the job! And I'm grateful to her! I will pin the mother of all "DIY-GIFTS-FOR-TEACHER" pins and then grab her a gift card, too. Heck, I'll make her dinner or scrub a few toilets to show just how grateful I am for the thought and effort that goes into my son's schooling. Will I commit to the daily at-home reading requirements? Absolutely. Will I reinforce what he's learning at school? You betcha. There is learning in our home. But knowing that the precise planning and minute details are on someone else's plate is a massive relief to this slightly lazy mom.
To recap friend/family member/random woman in the bathroom stall next to me at Chili's,
I was on the home-school bandwagon. I poo-poo'ed the idea of shipping My Precious off to public school...until I didn't...because I did. I'm a flake. In the grand scheme of things, I'm still pretty darn new to this parenting gig and I'm probably going to flip-flop many more times on parenting issues. I love the freedom that we have to convince ourselves we're so sure of where we stand, only to wake up one morning and decide the complete opposite. That's part of the joy and pain in raising kids. It's on us. We have no one else to fall back on. So I'll continue to reserve the right to be a flake. Thank you for smiling kindly as you watched me try to be like you and then decide I'd better do me instead. That's the kind of support this mothering community needs more of. Cheers.
Free For Lunch!