Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I'm Okay With It

I keep thinking more and more about Samantha getting older. (Party planning, I believe does that to the best of us.) I thought this year might bother me more than most. It seems to bother everyone else. I hear a lot of sadness because it isn't their first year of "school. They are starting to be more aware. They are reaching the age of reason...And then I found that I was actually excited for another year older. I usually am. I try to think about what is to come rather than what we will be leaving behind. But then I began thinking, like I should never do. And I realized...

Gone are the days of rocking a Lavendar scented baby to sleep. Gone are the days of learning to speak. Gone are the days of 2 year old tea parties. And gone are the days of Curious Buddies. Gone are the days of sensory paintings and baby fat. Gone are the days of her "first time in dance." Gone are the days of a 1, 2, 3, and 4 year old. And soon gone will be the days of a 5 year old.

It isn't her getting older per se, that makes me sad. It is the thought of, "How much longer will she lay on the trampoline and read books with me or run around as fast as she can to catch those little lightening bugs? How much longer will she let me hold her until she falls asleep? How much longer will she kiss me on the lips or run up to me in front of her friends and say, "I Love You!" I realize that keeping her young while she is still young will prolong it. Luckily she doesn't have that, "You are embarrassing me." response yet. And she still wants to cuddle and look at the starts. But for how long?

I have prayed and prayed to have a close relationship with my only living child. I can't imagine being closer to her. When something is wrong, she will sit in my lap and cry for as long as she needs to cry. If she is excited, I am the first to know. She wants me to be close to all her friends. And she wants me to partake in all of her interests. I am her rock. I am her critic for her art work. I am her partner in exploration-when B isn't here of course. I am her Mom. And I pray that even as she reaches her teenage years, though they will be rocky, I pray that we will stay close.

I don't believe that is just wishful thinking. I don't know any homeschool Moms in our community that have major relationship problems with their teens. not that there are none that don't. I don't believe that is only possible in homeschooling. (It can go both ways.) I just believe that some of the characteristics of homeschooling make things easier. In some forms of homeschooling, the fight for freedom is not as big a deal. The struggle for time isn't. And largely, I believe it depends on the Mother also. I know that no matter how angry I got with my Mom as a teenager, had she asked me to go outside with her and read a book or look at the starts, I would have done it. I was hungry for that attention, and I can't help but wonder, "What if we, as parents, are pushing our kids away sooner and sooner in anticipation of "the teen years," trying to lessen the pain, and in all reality, we are the ones causing it?" Something for me to think on, but I have another 8 years, so that will give me some time. I wonder what 6 will bring. I am sure it will allow for rocking to sleep and kisses on the lips, even if they aren't in front of her friends. I am excited for deeper conversations, which have already begun. And also for her confidence to grow. She is no longer the new kid in gym or "first year in homeschool" or "just learning to reading." She is well on her road into all of these things, and I think that will bring a new found confidence in her along with many changes in her personality. We will see.

Side Note: I just hope she always keeps her love for art. She is so good at it. She took a break for awhile. I believe she was feeling discouraged in whatever new skills she was trying. I felt myself being pulled to tell her what I thought of her art, in all honesty. So I sat down next to her first thing in the morning last week and I told her about how proud I was. How beautiful and meaningful her drawings are. And how much work I can tell she has put into her art. I've said it all the time, but maybe she never heard me before then. Her eyes filled with tears and she went directly to work on a new Nature Piece. I can tell art is one of her passions, everything about it. Maybe she was feeling discouraged, and that was all she needed to hear, because she hasn't put down her pencil since.


  1. Six! Wow!! I feel similar! I get so excited at what this new year means but the looking back is so bittersweet! I no longer have a chunky little boy who clings too me in every new situation or environment! Gone are the days of Thomas the train! I never thought I would see the day! No more cute little boy outfits:( he has even recently parted from his stage of wearing a hat ALL the TIME! Haha!!! I will miss all these things and tear up thinking back on them! But I'm in the days of a brave little boy! A boy who is much more exploritive than his 3 year old self! A boy who's speaks his mind in EVERY conversation! A boy who loves playing baseball with his daddy and who is now turning to his daddy way more than he use too. He can do just about everything on his own and is very smart!

  2. I am really excited for 6! I had a harder time with realizing kindergarten is over! Kylie is turning into such a sweet girl though I cannot wait to see what this year brings! She is already building up her courage by back flipping and reading so much more. She can now read some bikes cover to cover. Her top two teeth are super loose and will probably be gone by the beginning of August and she has learned to swim without floats. She just turned six at the end of May and I can already see a huge difference then from five. Life is flying by but I am enjoying watching her grow. Like you, I enjoy the closeness of my child and encourage her to be her. I cannot wait to see what this year will do for her! And then onto seven we will go!

  3. @Jessika I just saw your comment! I can't believe Kaedyn has outgrown all of that. :( And he doesn't wear his hat anymore?! Isn't it crazy that kids learn strongly one way when they are young and as they grow they become completely different, even though you were sure they would be one way? Samantha is still very passive, but like Kaedyn, she will speak her mind now she makes friends much easier! I love looking at your pics on FB. See the kids grow. I can't believe it. We met you when you had only 2!

    @Maria: I understand. That would be hard for me, especially if Samantha were starting school this year. Don't tell me that! You mean Samantha will change in just a few months? ;) I was hoping 6 would be kind of like 5. Hopefully it will be better. It usually is.