Every year it happens...the big yellow school bus comes down my street and swallows up most of the kids in the neighborhood. Not mine, though...not mine. And, like all homeschooling moms I know, there are definitely mixed feelings about this! As I watched the other moms standing at the end of their driveways waving goodbye to their kids, a part of me is so very jealous of their chance to go back inside, sit with a cup of coffee, read the paper...perhaps even take an uninterrupted shower! Oh, it all sounds so wonderfully peaceful to me! (I recognize I'm totally romanticizing it--these moms also have houses to clean, meals to prepare, errands to run and a few still have younger kids at home, so I know I'm living in dreamland to think they quietly go back to their house and live in peace until the bus comes back!)
At any rate, like many moms out and about during the summer, I've been asked in the past few weeks about whether or not I'm looking forward to the kids being back in school. I read the funnies and get a giggle out of the comic-strip stay-at-home moms who sit in their lawn chairs with a cold drink as the school bus pulls out. But our family isn't like that. We have chosen a different path. I truly treasure the time I have with my kids and I don't want to give it up if I don't have to. Yes, my kids fight, they whine, they create a mess like you wouldn't believe...they do all those things! But I love it--I truly do (though not necessarily at 5:30pm when dinner isn't ready and Daddy isn't home--I am human, after all!) And so we enter another school year alone on our street but truly happy in our hearts as we do what is right for our kids and our family. Yes, there will be days when I wish they would get on that bus, I won't deny it! There will be times I'll call my my husband and beg him to come home NOW. There will be times that kids won't want to do school and times I don't want to teach them anything. But there will be so many more times that they will be proud of what they have done and excited about a project. There will be new friends and swimming lessons and karate classes. There will be adventures to Boston and trips to the ocean and perhaps even a ski trip or two...oh yeah, and there will be a new sibling to learn about and take care of. Our year will be wonderful! So good bye, big yellow school bus, I'm sorry, but once again, you simply can't have my kids. I'm not done with them yet!