Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adventures In Twin-Schooling..

As many of you know, we'll be attempting to do an on-line academy with the girls next year. This isn't a slight against public schools, nor is it us suggesting we can do it better; this is a choice that we've thought long and hard about. It's something that we've talked to the girls about in length. If they weren't fully on board, we wouldn't go forward. We are in this with the full understanding that if it doesn't work out, returning to school is always, always an option.

But I'm truly excited about it nonetheless.

I love talking about it. And I love that everyone who I do talk to seems to have an opinion about it. I'm not so closed minded as to feel like "I'm right, you're wrong. Come back when you see that and agree." Not at all.

But I do have to wonder at some of the comments that I hear, just the same.

Opinions seem to come in many shades of agreement or disagreement, varying in ways both subtle and blatant. But there does tend to be one comment that I hear more than others. One that is probably the first in the line-up of "disagreement". Perhaps you've even thought it yourself. It is this:

"There is no way I could do that. My kids drive me crazy. The time they're at school is my time to recapture my sanity."

First off, (and this is important, so please read with an open heart), I understand that comment. Absolutely. Completely. I'm right there with you.

But I feel like this statement does one of two things for me: it either makes me out to be some type of super-mom who is impervious to the devious nature of my children; whose whining somehow does not bother me; or who's misbehavior is just a-okay with my inhumanly high tolerance level.
Or, it suggests that my girls are simply perfect in every way; little Mary Poppins wannabes who strive daily for perfection and achieve it without breaking a sweat.

I wish I could go with both. Heck, just one of those would be stellar. But it wouldn't be true, so I wanted to set that record straight. Here and now.

I love my daughters. Muchly. Being home with them has been a privilege that I never knew I wanted; my highest honor that I almost didn't see due to my strong desire to return to work. I am so grateful for this Other Plan. Completely and  utterly grateful.

That being said, there are days when I want to pull my hair out. We have scores upon scores of "Those Days", racking them up, one by one. It's like they see all the hot button issues before I can even conceive of them, and dig, dig, dig away, managing to grate on my very last nerve.
 We have the days when I have to put myself into time out because I need a break and they need a more calm, collected mom than they've got at that moment. There are days when I struggle with letting go and seeing their independence for what it is and encouraging them to run with it.

The balance is true; there is good and there is bad. But there is so much in between!  So much love and understanding. So much joy and happiness and shared memories.

I feel that these struggles can make us stronger as a family. My reaction (or in some cases, non-reaction) to what they can dish out makes me a better mom. Likewise, they are learning what it is to be a part of our family; what their role in it is. We're all on this journey together, learning from one another as we go.

Keeping them at home next year will not be without frustrations. It will present the usual highs and lows that come with any new situation, but the glorious part is that we'll be seeing it through together. As a family. And we'll be stronger for it.

And for the record, I will miss my "Me Time": going to the store and getting all my shopping done quickly, sitting and reading a book quietly, or heading off to a store just to ramble around with no real purpose. These have been precious luxuries for me during this past year; despite all the upheaval and struggles we've had with school, there was always those priceless hours I had just for me.

But I'm giving them up willingly, and with a full understanding of what we feel is a greater cause. I have no premonition of where this upcoming adventure will take us. No real sense of how it will all pan out in the end. But just knowing that it's something we're all in on makes it all the more sweet and exciting.

So there you have it. My full disclosure on the subject.
I'm not perfect.
And my girls have been known to have their taxing moments.
But together we make for one pretty stupendous team.

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