Saying goodbye to the end of life as I know it, or have known it, isn’t easy. My heart sighs. My breathing grows faint. Every cell in my body grieves the ensuing loss of the familiar. My mind races forward. What will life be like? Snippets of practical realities come before my eyes. I’ll have to keep their clothes organized. Get up earlier to make lunches. Different kinds of lunches. No more fresh off the pan grilled cheese. Or spontaneous lunch outings to our favorite pizza place. No more me being the first person to say, “Good job!” Or seeing their eyebrows widen when they’ve observed a science experiment. I’ll be sure to have my plate empty once they home so they can have mommy time. And so that I can have my boy time. I blink back my tears. Boy time.
My energetic, whiny, brilliant, messy, ask-me-a-hundred-questions in a minute, cuddly boys. For the first time in their lives, and mine, they’ll be off to school. For the first time in 20 years I won’t be a home educator.
Well, I will in a sense. Who I am isn’t changing. What I do between the hours of 8 and 2:30 is. I’ll be excited to help them with their homework. We’ll still have our daily reading aloud time. During the summer months, I already have plans on future science and history field trips, books to read, topics to discuss…
I’ll always be a home educator. It’s been programmed into my motherboard.
While I’m glad that I’ve found a superb private school that will educate my young boys the way I’d want them taught, with the worldview that I uphold, within a small community that encourages parental volunteerism; while I’m still reeling from the undoubtedly divine way this change came about, I’m still sad. I’ll miss seeing those handsome brown faces from 8 to 2:30.
Allowing myself to fully grieve is somewhat new. I still fight off the guilt of entertaining sorrow. After all, this is God’s deal. I kept closing the door, but He kept opening it again. I should be grateful! I’ll be able to write for a few hours a day! Actually write blog posts and finish books! I’ll be able to grocery shop by myself! Be happy Tina!
I am happy. Inside I’m giddy with anticipation. But I’m also sad. And that’s ok.
How many of us allow ourselves to embrace the pain of change and hold on to it until it evaporates within our arms? Not many. However, mental and emotional wellness depends on us permitting ourselves to look our emotions in the eye and say, I’m feeling you. I acknowledge your existence. You are not evil. You are here for this season, for a reason.
After this sincere acknowledgement, my new default when sentimental reflection camps in my mind is to close my eyes and imagine the arms of Jesus hugging me from behind, leaning his head into my neck, and weeping with me. He is my comforter.
What I’ve learned is that one day, my heart won’t feel heavy when I think about the next school year because my soul would have absorbed and processed the memories in my limbic system as well as the maternal affections within the amygdala and this period of grieving change will be over. The science of the soul.
I’ve decided that part of my grieving process is giving back, sowing into, and sharing: insight, wisdom, stories, and lessons that I’ve learned for the last twenty years as a stay at home mom and home educator. I love homeschooling. I love the fact that parents have this option in our nation that acknowledges the divine mandate of personal choice.
So while I will no longer be a part of the local home schooling community, and will be immersed in a private school culture for the next twelve years, I will always support and endorse home education for those that are open to it. I’ll also endorse my new private school. (smile) I’m embracing the reality of Ecclesiastes 3 verse 1.
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven”
In another post I’ll tell the story on how God convinced me that my home schooling days were done after twenty fruit-filled years. He has appointed my next academic year to be something that I’ve never known.
Next posts: Homeschoolers are not Carbon Copies
Personal Growth: My Kids are My Mirror
The Flexibility of A Home School Program
“God, I’m Tired”
The Blessing of Co-ops
Tina C Webb has been a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia since graduated from UVa in 1991 where she majored in English and Music. Her husband, Doug, also a UVa grad and she have six children. Christina – Uva, 2014; Chris – VCU, 2015; Maria – a student a Piedmont Community College; Douglas, who will graduate from the Regents School of Charlottesville in 2018, Jared – a rising 2nd grader and Drew – a rising Kindergartener. Tina home educated the first three from K-12 and Douglas K-10. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969, she’s been an associate pastor, a worship director, an author and a blogger. Her hobbies are indoor and outdoor DIY projects and cooking.