Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sacrificial Self-Preservation

I often describe myself as a stay-at-home, on-the-go homeschooling mom to three pretty terrific kids. This is our ninth year homeschooling. When acquaintances profess that they are impressed with this, I always warn them that there is nothing remotely impressive about it. I do it for self-preservation.

We almost joined a co-op at the beginning of this school year. It sounded so promising ... art classes, English classes, plays. Plus I really like the other moms and know many of the kids. Then they wanted me to teach a class. Fine. I could do that. But it didn’t stop there ... suddenly there were mom meetings, family meetings, cookouts, field trips, teacher meetings. Someone signed me up for the annual staff associative co-administrative ambassador coordinator wizard. (Yes, I warned them that I knew nothin' about birthin’ no darn annuals.) And then told me that in addition to this I would have to take part in fund raisers and volunteer as class “helper” for another class. There were even whispers of mandatory things. Mandatory?

Uhhhhhh, no thanks. I grabbed the oars and paddled our homeschool fannies right out of that little lagoon! I would've had to sacrifice my favorite homeschool value of simplicity to take part in that co-op.

Recently I was asked by another homeschool mom if I took part in many of the activities with the groups in this area. I answered honestly, "No. The main reason I homeschool is so I don't have to do stuff like that ... " She was relieved since she rather thought the same thing, and you can imagine that this was a big relief to me.

I have been through years in public schools, and while I am definitely not one of those homeschool nazi moms who thinks everyone should homeschool or that public schools are bad, I have experienced that run-ragged-ness brought on by parent groups and fund raisers and Fall Festivals, Winter Festivals, Spring Flings, dances, standardized tests, Field Days, teacher appreciation luncheons, etc. One year, I cried for a week after school was out because I was worn out ... and just think about my kids! And in the area I live in each of my kids would be in separate schools. So, I’d have to multiply the above list by three!

Nothing is simple in this world. I realize that. But shouldn’t it be? I admit that I homeschool for the simplicity of it. There is nothing heroic about it. It’s just plain old self-preservation.

Is there something wrong with me?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Magic

The magic of Thanksgiving is an enigma even more mysterious than Santa, the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny. Most will blissfully wander through their entire lives in the dark, never giving thought to the who or the why of it, comfortable in the knowledge that it is dependable and everlasting. If you live to be one hundred, it will appear one hundred times. Oh, but for a privileged few of us, the brave and the strong, the magic is unveiled. If your reading this, you are probably one of the select. And you know, like I know...That at four o'clock on the fourth Thursday of November, after the parades and football games, after your friends and relatives have arrived, after a couple of glasses of wine, when the "others" wander into the dining room and settle in front of their plates... We know, that those seventeen dishes of scrumptious Thanksgiving fare, four desserts and homemade cornucopia didn't just appear out of thin air.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day Nine...

Delirium has set in. My husband has lost fourteen pounds, my kid's cheeks are looking hollow, but pioneer stock will tell and I was built for harsh winters. On these, the days leading to our celebration of Thanksgiving, I feel certain that, had I been around, I would have been at that first feast. Long, disease filled ocean crossings, unforgiving seasons and lack of food would not have done me in. I'm like those little frogs that can hibernate for years until the rains come again, then spring to life, hardy and robust.

My husband has hid the scale, he says I don't need it that I look like the day he married me. He's lying because he wants toast with his butter for breakfast tomorrow. It won't work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day Three...

Day three of my low carb diet

I've lost my will to live. My "all the bacon and eggs you can eat" high is gone. My house is bereft of sugar, flour, pasta, rice, and potatoes. Freezer burned won-ton wrappers are starting to look yummy to me. I've been straining my brain trying to figure out how to make chocolate out of Splenda and pork rinds (please forward your recipes). My kids have taken to eating their PB&J in their rooms out of fear. But I did have a break through today- I was able to get my wedding rings on...