After the kids and I lived out of our car for a month on the road, it’s been a little challenging to embrace the responsibilities of a more sedentary lifestyle.
While we were on the road, for example, we opened the van door, and garbage would fall out sometimes. It is harder to justify opening the front door of our house and having that happen.
We are homeschooling two of our kids, and one is back in traditional school. It was a last-minute decision to send them back to school, but our youngest said they “missed learning.”
We are also watching a fifth grader this year while their mom is working. The family asked if they could take our daughter’s place in the homeschool family, but I reminded them that I forgot to teach my middle child the times tables, so I didn’t really see how their mom would be on board with what I had to offer.
This spunky child agreed with me that their mom wouldn’t go for this plan and has seen already that I won’t be any better at teaching this year and has started teaching the times tables to my middle one.
This year, we are home-schooling through a charter school, so we have a little more accountability. I can’t forget to teach my kids their times tables, for example. I have only asked my homeschool teacher one academic question, and the rest of the time I have spent trying to figure out the electronic part of the school.
I get videos on an app from her that I couldn’t open for the longest time for example or send back. When I did send a video back to her, my oldest put his head in the video and said, “What’s up,” and I couldn’t erase it. The video ends with me staring at my oldest in an “are you kidding me?” look that I am thankful is mostly hidden by my face mask since we were on a “field trip” to Costco at the time.
I think the trick to parenting in general is that the sooner you let go of any expectations of your kids, the better. We take our vitamins and say often that we take them for the sole reason of hoping that we can see our kids raise their kids because it will make it worth it.
I want to say it is because of the love and joy we will feel watching our kids nurture and validate their own children, but we are in the trenches of parenting, so it’s mostly that we want to hear our kids say how tired they are from parenting. Then we can laugh and give our grandkids sugar and drive away.
My concern though is that parenting is really intense, and we went an especially intense route of parenting outside the box. I am not positive we will live to see our grandkids since they say stress is the silent killer. So, I am not taking any chances. To the best of my ability, I am letting go of my kids early and enjoying the ride.
For example, we went to a festival the other weekend, and our oldest saw a booth that was selling a book on graffiti including a teachers manual.
One of our family members told me recently that you might not want to homeschool without appreciating the value of literacy. This seems like something you should know before you homeschool, but I can say with certainty that you actually don’t need to know that at all.
So, in support of literacy, I bought the book for our child. I also reminded my child again at the booth for the 17,985 time that there is a place in the world for legal graffiti. As a side note, the gentlemen at the booth did tell me they had a nonprofit for youth. I replied that we had a lot in common because we were also a nonprofit family and we should connect in the future.
It’s not easy to let go. If I am honest with myself, I learned almost everything in life the hard way. I feel like my kids deserve a life that is easier than I made mine because they were born into a harder life.
But I remind myself I must be careful what I think is the hard way to live life and what is the easy way. Is it a hard life when you live your life in a way that resonates for your own soul even if it’s out of the box? Or is it a hard life when you try to mirror your life to those around you even when it doesn’t resonate with your soul? And it’s life, so they are both hard.
The answer is probably different all the time depending on both who is asking and when. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, what makes it easier is the ability to let go and find people that will make me food.