I’ve gained exactly 19.5 pounds since we started homeschooling last year. Which is why I very nearly turned down the offer to write for this site.
It wasn’t because I have nothing to say. I nearly always have something to say – just ask me. And it wasn’t because I’m too busy to write. Writing is an important discipline for me. I need to write.
Instead, I almost said no because of the head shot. You see, each contributor needs to submit a glam shot of her head for her profile page. For a couple of weeks, I thought I could postpone my decision long enough to drop a few pounds and pay for a real haircut. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to lose ten pounds last week, I considered saying no.
It’s not like I was a skinny minny before homeschooling; I’ve always struggled with my weight. But this last year put me over the edge. Between working part time, homeschooling two boys, each of whom has special needs, and performing wifely duties for a busy chaplain, I stopped all forms of exercise and added a not-so-healthy dose of stress snacking.
At this point, I’d like to tell you that every pound has been worth it, that homeschooling is wonderful and that my boys are thriving. Instead, I can say that homeschooling has been the single most difficult, disheartening, and sin-exposing experience of my life. There are many wonderful things about it, which is why we are doing it again this year. But I can’t afford to gain another twenty pounds, so something’s gotta give.
My spiritual director asked me this week what Jesus was saying to me about my stuggle with weight.
“Back your tuches away from the buffet table?” I guessed.
(I didn’t say that out loud of course. It’s not good to let your evangelical spiritual director know that your version of Jesus occasionally sounds like your recriminating Jewish grandmother.)
Maybe all of this fretting about my head shot is what gives me away as a head case. Maybe it’s my inability to be around my kids without the bolstering from a chocolate bar. Either way, I’m pretty sure that Jesus wouldn’t want me to wait until I fixed myself up before I went out into the world.
Some day I’ll figure out how to take care of myself and my kids at the same time. In the meantime, I’m going ahead with the blog. I solved the head shot dilemma by submitting an old photo of myself. If you want to know what I really look like, you’ll have to picture me with grayer hair and a rounder face. Then you can picture me at my computer, inviting you to come along as we walk this parenting journey together.