I sometimes feel as if I've gotten off the path, and that I need to get back on. But then I realize that there is no ONE path. Whatever path I'm on IS the path for that moment. Sometimes life requires that I take a turn, possibly moving off of the chosen path, and when that happens I sometimes get lost. It can take awhile to get back to where I was, before life happened. But, everything that happens, as I circle and veer, is important and valuable and will only serve to enrich my self and make my chosen path richer when I return to it.
Over the past couple of days I have found myself back where I want to be, longing for living the way I want to live; helping my family to create an experience that is rich and beautiful. We have been through a very difficult year, which is why I think we veered into living in a way that I'm unhappy with. The difficulties aren't completely over, but it is time to reclaim our selves and our lives and get back to joyful, intentional living.
Two days ago, as I laid awake trying to figure out what was out of balance, I got a clear picture of my children in my mind. My beautiful, bright children who have been waiting for me to "come back" and live life with them. I felt sad to know I have not been as present as I want to be, but it is understandable considering the curve balls life has been throwing at us lately. I realized that I had forgotten what living and learning is all about. I had a 10 year old in Cyberschool, a 14 year old who is bored and craving interaction with me, and a blossoming and in love 17 year old who is readying herself for her life as an adult and needs me to be emmersed in that with her. I cried for awhile, feeling guilty and like a failure, and fell asleep.
The next morning I sat with my coffee, reading facebook, and from a friend's profile page came a beacon and the flicker of hope and memory was ignited to full flame. I saw a link to her blogs and decided to look at them.......and then I remembered. I was flooded with memories of a messy kitchen table, full of craft supplies, random bits and pieces, and our family around the table creating. I had visions of little hands holding paper against a tree, making rubbings of the bark with crayons. All of these visions of joy, togetherness, warmth, learning, experiencing, and LIVING came back to me. I cried, again, but this time with hope and relief. This could be our lives again, this is what we want and need.
When my son Adam (10) woke up, we sat and talked and I apologized to him. I told him that I know I have not been present, that I am sorry, that I want him to experience learning and living the way I knew it could be. I told him that he can create his life, that he can have choice and freedom and not be burdened by the mundane and unimportant. I told him that if Cyberschool is what he chooses to continue to do, then I would support that and that I would not be negative or critical of it. I told him that these are his choices, but that I did hope he would be true to what he REALLY wants and not what he thinks he SHOULD do. He asked for some time to think about it and I said "of course."
Later, I went up to Erin's room (she's 14). She was still asleep, but I crawled into bed next to her and just laid there quietly. She kind of looked at me, sleepy, wondering what I was doing there. I just sat quietly with her for awhile, as she woke up, and then apologized to her too. We talked a bit, I told her what was going on with me. She's so wise and loving....she told me that I shouldn't beat myself up, that life has been really hard for awhile and that it's ok. I cried and she let me.
Adam came downstairs in a bit and handed me a tiny piece of folded up paper and said, "The jury has spoken." (lol) I opened it and it said, in big letters followed by exclamation points, "UNSCHOOLING!!!!!!!"
After spending the day just kind of regrouping (I was pretty emotionally drained) and just being together, talking, playing a game, and just being, I felt as if everything was going to be ok. I felt like I had my self back and my children's selves back. Last night, while Adam and I played Rummikub, I just looked at him and saw his laughing and thought how much I missed him. But, it wasn't him that was gone. I said to my partner later, "Did you see how happy Adam was today? How relaxed and good he seemed to feel?" She had noticed too.
It's amazing how we find something that really works, that is just natural and right and good, and we still can forget and get away from it. But, life has a way of doing that, I just have to learn what I learn from all of my experiences and try to stay true to myself and to my children. I still feel a little guilty, but here I am, excited and ready to live joyfully, mindfully, intentionally; present to each beautiful moment as it happens.
This blog is a reflection of our lives as: unschoolers, artists, family, revolutionaries, inventors, scientists, philosophers, and everything and anything else that we come up with. It feels so good to be back!
- ▼ 2010 (22)