Long ago and far away in what seems like another lifetime, I started to teach my children. I remember reading books on child development and feeling like 5 was such a young age to send our daughter off into the big blue world. I remember my older sister’s example of claiming her son for a few more years….of keeping him close. I remember loving that and choosing that path for our family.
And now, here I am, thirty years and six children later. All schooled entirely at home and then taking various paths…..one to Russia to teach, another to airplane engineering, another to work at various jobs, one to work on raising children of different backgrounds……and then our last two, just finishing and just beginning to ponder where life will take them.
It was THE grand experiment. It was ‘the road less traveled’. It was a path I sometimes boldly traveled and sometimes walked very gingerly. Here I am, looking back, sometimes judging myself for how well I did or didn’t do on this journey. Remembering the work of it all and the love of it all. For I truly loved it. I loved each day with these wonderful people I call my children. I loved them all. I was the mother who cheered when school began, not because my children were going to be away all day, but because it meant we could start again.
Each fall brought boxes of books arriving and happy faces tearing them open to find new treasures. It seemed I was continually looking for THAT book that would find a special place in the heart of each child–books can be our dearest friends if we let them.
So now, I look back. The grand experiment is not over. Their lives will be a continual result of all those years. And what does a mother do when her life’s work is, for the most part finished? A new journey begins……you go from teaching your own to teaching others. Who would have thought? No one could plan this but God. Me? A principal?
And God says, Yes. I trained you all these years. You thought you were training them, but I was training you. Now, it’s time to use whatever you learned from the grand experiment to love and nurture other children. Your children are grown. They don’t need you in the same way, but THESE children do.
And I stand here a little unsure and not quite certain, sometimes walking boldly and sometimes stepping very gingerly…….