I woke up before 5:30 this morning to check my daughter’s blood sugar. Well, I set my alarm to wake up but seems I have some kind of superpower and can wake up within minutes of my actual alarm going off. What kind of witchcraft is that?
I spoke softly to her, letting her know it was time to check her blood sugar, gently grabbed a hand while she stayed in complete sleep mode then pricked her finger. She was in range, but on the lower end. It’s possible she may still descend so I reset my alarm for 7:00. I got back in bed and since I was feeling rather awake, decided to scroll through Instagram. Still feeling awake I moved forward with an idea I had been mulling over: Choose one word, make a Canva image, then write about that one word as it relates to parenting and homeschooling. I started with TRUST. I didn’t fuss over the design much, made it quickly, then chose a section of an essay I had already written to paste into the caption. No need to recreate the wheel, right? I felt pleased and closed the app. Now, sleep. I dozed off in between roaring meows from our cat, who likes to run into the bedroom, string together three or four blood curdling meows, then run back out.
I think cats could make good money torturing humans.
Despite that, my mind was calm and I was relaxed, but sleep was not coming. So I rolled over and before I could grab my phone the alarm went off AGAIN! See? Witchcraft.
Back to Instagram. The first photo in my feed this time was of four women locked together with smiles and arms. My thought was, “Girls Weekend!” And then I felt rather smug about reading a caption on the importance of girls night or girls weekend. Just another group of women who want to talk about how wonderful it is to get away from their kids. Yay. But that was not at all what I read. The one woman I recognized in the photo (and whose account I follow) started homeschooling multiple years after I did. She had zero plans to homeschool her kids, but quickly realized how bad of a match school was for her oldest child and jumped into homeschooling with both feet. She started a website to share her journey the day she decided to homeschool. Then a Facebook page, Instagram page, a Podcast, the whole nine yards. She was kicking butt and really engaging a large audience. I was engaged too and enjoyed what she was sharing. The passion she had for what she was doing and the love for her children came through clearly in her posts. She was infectious, in a good way.
While I have admired her work and know we speak (mostly) to two different audiences, this morning I felt seriously diminished while watching her light shine. That go get ‘em attitude was in the bag and she was doing all the things I had thought about multiple times, but just could not seem to pull together. And this particular Instagram post really made me prickly. Not only was she doing ALL THE THINGS, she was now starting a new venture with other homeschooling moms. How in the holy hell does she have the time? That’s it.
I got up from the bed. Feet on floor, animals outside, relieved my bladder, and sat down at this adorable little keyboard and my iPad. It is Saturday and raining outside, my brother will be here later for dinner and a night over. I have toilets to clean and a bedroom to straighten up prior to his arrival. I have groceries to buy, a basement in the middle of a remodel, and a body to wash. But damn it, I am going to knock out some of these ideas I have swirling in my head before I get overcome with my parenting responsibilities. If she can do all of that stuff with three kids, I thought, I can at least finish one little project I have my mind set on while both of my, much older kids, are still sleeping.
And yet, the thoughts start coming.
I’m wasting my time. People don’t want to hear how to have a good relationship with their kids. They don’t want to hear about self-directed education. They want to be given lists and curriculum. They want gold stars and stickers in the form of Instagram posts that tell them they don’t ever need to consider changing or digging deeper. Some seem to seek confirmation that being jerks to their kids is OK. Fuuuuuc.
I see a notification on my phone. A comment from Instagram on the Trust post I made an hour ago. OK, Instagram. I’ll read it.
Ummmm. Lump in throat. Tears in eyes. I’m really not going to cry. I’m not. But I might. I clear my throat. I’m feeling a lot at this moment. I stand at the bar, listening to the rain outside, and I smile.
Universe, you are something else. Here I am feeling conflicted about my role, my writing, my contribution—feeling like maybe I need to pack it up and close up shop, thinking that maybe I am too deep, too intense, and that I should pep it up some or stop calling attention to our societal ills, and you go and send me this amazing message at exactly the moment I consider quitting? Not only that, but you do it after I made a post about Trust? Thank you for giving me a taste of my own medicine.
Divine. Simply divine.
By now, you’d think I would know better than to compare myself to other people and families. Does this prove you’re never too old for some good old fashioned insecurity and doubt? No, just proves I need to remind myself that I am on a separate course, following a trail that feels right and powerful to me. And one that I never set out to profit from in the traditional sense, but in the soul filling, I helped someone, sense. So thank you fellow homeschooling momma and human. You gave me a gift today you had absolutely no idea you were giving. Your words were the Yin to my Yang and an affirmation that I may not be everyone’s flavor, but I am a spice that needs to be on the shelf too.