Wednesday, May 25, 2016

And that's a wrap

It was a hard year. It was demanding of my time and my heart. It challenged my priorities and boundaries. It tested relationships.

And yet ...

I laughed loudly and found delight in my class (and my children!). I loved the literature (at times, because ... Ovid? No.). My favorites being about the message of friendship and perseverance in Gilgamesh, the easy language of Iliad and Aeneid, and the fun of read alouds with Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
I loved Great Books. I loved my students. I loved teaching.

And I loved home.





While there was probably a bet whether I'd finish the year, I'm glad I did. And I totally thank God for that. I thank him for what I learned as well--about the power of prayer, about integrity, about perseverance in difficulty, about his sovereignty. And even more: trust, faith, loyalty, joy. For every blessing, there is likely an original difficulty that God transformed in ways only he can.

I graded the last of the literature packets and research papers and, just this morning, sent out final quarter grades to the families. Each name belonging to a beautiful soul I had the honor of encountering.

I spent the day yesterday pricing out the remainder of the curriculum I'll be using at home next year, listening to podcasts and reading blog posts. I feel like I'm retraining my brain after years of influence from hustle, rush and rigor to rethinking what it means to thrive and what I want for my kids.

Finding gratitude in all of it--for truth revealed, for friendships strengthened, for prayers and support. That in the tears, there was also laughter; and in the chaos, there was also peace.



‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’ Isaiah 41:10, AMP.

Next year: fourth and eighth grades.

It goes so fast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Connection

During the school year, it wasn't unusual on a weekend to find her asleep still at 8:30--or any home day at that.

Now that co-op is over, there is a renewed energy--even while we still school through math. 

She tells me when she heads up to bed, "Mom, wake me up at seven!"

The difference here makes.

***

Today, I fixed banana pancakes for breakfast.
banana pancakes

house blend pancake mix


The sun is peeking out.

I'm minutes away from ordering mulch.

Erin will help me make protein bars later this morning.

***

Over the weekend, I watched a friend's children so she and her husband could attend a wedding. The kids occupied themselves a lot; at one point, we played intense games of Connect Four (so fun!) and Apples to Apples Junior. Lots of laughter and smiles.

Yesterday, Lanie approached me and said, "Will you play a game with me? I had so much fun playing with you (Sunday) and I realized it had been a really long time since we had done that--just us."

"Sure," I said, and it made me pause to think how much it meant to her. The simplest things can carry complex meaning.

***

Time together is my love language. My kids respond to it. 

"If he remembered his family, that was because a family is the one thing nobody can ever forget." (Abel's Island by William Steig, page 100)

Lanie plays piano music. Erin is outside visiting ants. The dog moves from the sunny spot to the shade. 

I run my hand across the potted mint and inhale its peppery scent. 

Hello, summer.