What in the actual HELL am I doing? That’s basically the question I ask myself every day. About 100 times a day. I will keep it real. I am scared. Can I really do this? Can I teach my children, keep my patience, and still be a fully functioning adult? No. The answer is clearly no. But can I do it SOME of the time? Maybe.
I spent a few hours today getting myself organized. I came up with a syllabus, curriculum, and grading scale for our first month of learning. My excel spreadsheet outlines the seven subjects we will cover. BAM! I ordered a few more books online and was feeling pretty good about myself. I can do this. I even developed a few “Pre-test” exercises to do with my kids designed to be fun and promote learning. No threat, just a baseline so that we can compare in a month to see how much we have learned. Damn, I am good. A natural. Maybe I was even made for this teaching life.
Then, my boys came home from their outing with their dad. My oldest was interested and jumped right in to the exercises. We were having fun. Teasing, laughing, just playing with it. This was awesome. But there was a dark cloud looming overhead. A grumpy, wet blanket in the room. My younger son decided to throw a massive fit and be awful. I mean, total a-hole first class. It wasn’t long before he had me on the verge of tears. How am I going to do this for a whole YEAR? I glared at my husband as if there was something he could do to fix it. He should be doing something. I just didn’t know what that something was and I didn’t want to suffer alone!!
So, I took some time for myself. Distracted myself with some writing. It is therapeutic for me really. Also, I just couldn’t even look at that child without feeling angry and overwhelmed so I needed to lock myself in a room and be quiet for a while.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear? But one sorry little boy with fresh peanut butter breath.
“I’m sorry, mom.”
“What are you sorry for, son?”
“For being an a-hole to you. For throwing a fit and having a bad attitude.”
“Thank you, buddy. What was that about anyway?”
“I was hungry.”
Heavy sigh and big hugs. He shed a few tears and so did I. I nearly allowed this moment in time to threaten to upend my confidence and commitment to this homeschooling journey. And all because he needed a peanut butter sandwich before he could learn. Or be a decent human being. But we will focus on the positive. He apologized to me without prompting, we hugged it out, and tomorrow will be a new day.
Speaking of tomorrow, it’s our first day of school! We will attempt to complete the pre-test exercises and finish packing for our traveling adventure. On day 2 of the 2020 school year, we are departing to follow the Lewis and Clark trail from the Washington coast to South Dakota and then circle back again. We have 3 weeks in the van and my mom will be joining us.
In the midst of his earlier reign or terror, my son had the wherewithal to say,
“If I act like this when Gigi is with us, she will probably slap my mouth.”
“Yes, she probably will. Better get it out of your system now, I guess.”
This trip is either going to be one of the most amazing times in our lives, or it has the potential to be a complete nightmare. Maybe it will be a mixture of both. Memorable, warm moments that touch your soul via your heart followed by intense feelings of sheer desperation to tuck and roll out of the moving vehicle.
One thing I know for sure. Out of everyone in the van, I am the only one who has been trained to do a PLF (parachute landing fall). I’m gonna be alright.