Ah, yes, it was that kind of a week. Kids with colds, one kid who seemed to be coming down with a tummy bug but mercifully did not, an IEP meeting, an interminable appointment at the children’s hospital, where the parking lot is under construction.
But also: a week in which good books were read, and funny pictures drawn, and a cunning turquoise case crocheted for my cell phone by an enterprising daughter.
What I love about this homeschooling life is that even the bad weeks are pretty darn good.
It’s January, and we are back in our semi-annual Ambleside groove. (Also known, hereabouts, as "high tide.") Jane is reading the books on the Year 7 list this year, and since I have read few of them myself, I’m ‘doing’ Year 7 too, and I’m loving the books and the conversation. This life is an autodidact’s dream. I’m put in mind of a story my gorgeous friend Tracey used to tell: how she wasn’t able to go to college right out of high school, and she used to pray for the opportunity to someday continue her education. Then she got married, and she had a baby, and another, and she was delighted to be able to stay home with her little ones. She and her husband decided to homeschool the kids, and the oldest daughter was halfway through first grade when it struck Tracey: that old prayer had been answered. She was reading A Child’s History of the World to her daughter and learning much that she hadn’t known before.
"That’s when it hit me," she deadpanned, telling me this story years ago: "God did let me continue my education. He just figured I needed to start over at kindergarten!"
So here I am, reading Churchill’s history of Britain with my 12 year old, discussing Caesar’s assumptions about the island he was about to invade, and I’m thinking the whole time, I am the luckiest person alive. This is not, mind you, what I was thinking when we spent 45 minutes sitting in an exam room waiting for the doctor to show up, nor during the 20 minutes after the doc’s visit when we had to wait for the nurse to write up the lab slips so that we could spend another 35 minutes sitting in the lab waiting room. Beanie is quite correct in pointing out that my attitude became something less than cheerful during those long, long, long waits. And I wasn’t even the one getting jabbed with a needle.
But the books, the lively discussions, the sketchbook drawing of a blue-and-orange house wren (Bean opts for excitement over accuracy in her nature drawings), the words that fly over yarn and flashing hooks: this is what sticks with me, this is the rich life.