When I Grow Up


I saw this E.E. Cummings quote twice today. I took it as an answer to last night's prayers

“Nafisa, do you like history?” Zach asked a fourteen year old friend who was here tonight.

“I do like history.”

“Then you are going to LOVE the volcano video.”

“Zach, honey,” I jump in, “that video isn’t about history.”

“But it has a lot of historical stuff in it.”

“Well, history, as a subject in school, is really about the history of people.  The history of the Earth is generally considered science.”

“Oh.  Do you like science, Nafisa?”

Ha!  I love it.  He doesn’t know if it’s history or science, but he knows it’s cool.

Today was just cool all around.  Here was our schedule:

  1. Running on the track, playing soccer, and climbing on a playground structure (1 hour)
  2. Memorizing a poem about mistakes and talking about what the poem meant (30 minutes total, done in the car before and after the track)
  3. Hanging out with Dr. Jim, who is helping Zach learn to deal with his anxiety and improve his social skills, while Ezra and I hung out with Wendy at Starbucks (1 hour)
  4. Lunch and basketball with Kathiana, who speaks exclusively Spanish to the boys (2 hours)
  5. Ezra working with the occupational therapist from the public school while Zach played on the playground with his friends (1 hour)
  6. Playdate (1 hour)
  7. Dinner and National Geographic video on volcanoes. (2 hours)

At the end of the video, Zach got up, arched his back, clapped his hands, and announced, “That was A-MAZING.”

Which I took to be a pronouncement on the whole day.

Yesterday was a different kind of day, with reading and grammar and tallying and handwriting.  We also played two Native American games we got from the Children’s Museum, finished book three of the Narnia series and did a lot of indoor soccer and wrestling.  Some days look more like “school” than others, and it’s going to be a lot better for me if I can stop trying to decide which days are “good” and which are “bad.”

Wendy reminded me as we walked around the track this morning of who I’ve said I hope the boys will be, and what I value about childhood and education and family.  And just like that, all of the angsty self-doubt of last night disappeared.

The boys may not learn Latin, but they are excited about connecting with people in Spanish.  And they may not learn about the world in a “disciplined” way, but they are in awe of it. And they may not fit anybody’s mold of what normal looks like, but they are growing up, becoming who they are called to be.

I just need to stay away from meetings — and sandboxes –where I get confused about why we are homeschooling and why we are doing it the way we are.   If you hear me freaking out again, remind me of who I want to be when I grow up. And then remind me that it takes courage to get there.

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  • Wendy

    A man, who we did not know but who was also walking on the track, overheard Tara talking to the boys. He stopped us to complement Tara on her great parenting skills and the wonderful way she uses pro-social coaching strategies to guide her boys interactions. When strangers notice your exemplary parenting skills and their educational efficacy, you must be doing something (or, in Tara's case, a lot of things) right. Go Tara!

  • Marilyn

    Just saying — I did a word study this very same day on "Courage". Most of them came with a promise — "For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you, He will not fail or forsake you," "The Lord your God has sworn to give them this land and you shall give them this land as an inheritance", "for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them and I will be with you", "so that you may have success wherever you go", "for the Lord your God He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath", "for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary", "for there is reward for your work", "for the one with us is greater than the one with him", "He will save you", "for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts", ….

    Take courage!