Sometimes I wonder why I speak of things that are real and concrete in my life. (And even more often, I wonder why I don't.) I rarely share my feelings in this space or even share my thoughts outside of food, crafting, and a bit of parenting. And now I see one of the reasons why...there's nothing like having to eat your words. Well, not so much eat my words in this instance as retract my statements (and my plans).
Not so very long ago, I wrote a blogpost about our decision to send Finn to kindergarten next year at the school we've come to love so dearly, and instead homeschool Elizabeth for 6th grade, which is the beginning of middle school in our area. As luck (chance? divine providence?) would have it, her school has been planning to expand into 6th-8th grades for several years and as it turns out that year will be NEXT YEAR. (It's quite a long story; the short of it is that we knew the expansion was happening but it was originally planned to be a year behind Elizabeth.)
So although I am not one to enjoy having my plans upset, even for an opportunity I'm delighted to see appear, Elizabeth will be remaining at her current school, Finn's new school, for 6th grade. I really have struggled internally with coming to terms with the notion after planning for many months to homeschool next year.
The struggle keeps being verbalized as "but I've already made plans and bought books and a small amount of curriculum pieces" but I know the largest issue is just that I planned to have a year with my daughter. A year to get to know her emerging, growing identity, her tween self, and a year to bond, travel, and explore with her.
I know I may get that time somewhere else down the road, but I was looking forward to next year. I've made mental lists of classic books, interesting topics, off-the-beaten-track art museums. And now I have to release those lists to allow her to follow what I know will be an amazing path, but a path that I won't be able to walk so closely beside her as she travels.
And so I find myself distracted. Finn is still schooling in his precocious 5-year-old way. We're crafting. I'm knitting, baking and growing my various kitchen brews. I'm even still reading, distractedly, the latest book I purchased to hold my hand down the homeschooling lane.
Someone asked me the other day, "aren't you glad you don't have to homeschool now?" I caught my breath, laughed nervously and fumbled for an answer. I'm grateful and appreciative that we have multiple choices that we are able to embrace for Elizabeth's education next year, but no, I'm not glad. I still self-identify as a homeschooling mom, and I wonder how to be that mom when I don't have any homeschoolers here with me.
And so, for the moment, I'm throwing myself into the planning, volunteering, meeting attending and anything the school needs a parent to be present for (and sometimes even if they don't). Which means I'm in this space a little less than I used to be, and my posts are probably a little less meaningful. Still trying to figure out where all of these pieces fit.