Tara was happily married, seven months pregnant, and teaching at a progressive high school in New York City. Then her husband of five years died. Ten days later she had a stillbirth. She went looking for answers and despite her best efforts became a Jesus Freak.
She left New York for Harvard and got her doctorate studying childhood bereavement. While she was there, she met Jeff, got married, and had two sons. She did the best she could with them while they were babies, prayed a lot, and eventually sent them off to school.
But the boys started swearing a lot – even more than Tara does. Ezra came home from kindergarten saying he was stupid and vowed he would become a lifelong smoker. Zach, who was in first grade, complained that school was too easy, even as it was becoming clear that he had significant learning difficulties. Besides, she missed the boys while they were in school. So she and Jeff decided to homeschool them.
Their version of homeschool involves lots of dirt, soccer, television, frustration, laughter, and chaos. Tara tries to squeeze in some math and reading when she can. The boys do their best to go with the flow while their mother works as the program director for after-school programs at their church, is working on a book about the year after her husband and child died, and tries to keep up with the dozens of overnight guests, long-term housemates, and occasional children in need of a guardian who come through their house each year. Some days it works better than others.