Conversations . . .
Whenever I am out and about with my children, the conversation begins. . .
So, is school out today?
Wow, you sure do have your hands full, don't you?
I bet you have a lot of "help," from your older kids, huh?
So, you homeschool????????
The question people really want to ask me is, Are you crazy?
Ladies, I have to say, I was just not prepared for this constant, on-going, reiteration of explaining myself and my situation to random people. I was just not prepared.
In this, our first year of homeschooling, God also graciously expanded our family. So, it seems like all at once, we became a homeschooling family of 4 children.
It is as though people can accept one or the other, but not both. It would be okay if I had 4 children, but only if I sent them to school. Or, it would be okay if I homeschooled, but with only 1 or 2 children. So to be with all 4 of my kids everyday shocks the socks off of many people, namely other women, many of them are also mothers . . .
Baby JD has had a grumpy ear, so I took him to the pediatrician. I've known the medical assistant since my oldest was 18 months old. And each time the Lord has given us more children, the more and more bewildered she becomes with our family. For the past few years though, one or both of my daughters were in public school, so when I came in, usually everyone wasn't with me. But now, the gang's altogether again, plus new baby. I guess she reached her breaking point and so the conversation began.
Hands on her hips, skepticism in her eyes: "Will you ever let them go to school? I bet it's hard to homeschool 4 kids. Look at her," she says to a coworker, "she has 4 AND she homeschools. Do you want more? You just had them so close together. You can't even go out for a quick trip to the store, because you have to take everyone with you. None of your children can really stay at home by themselves. . ." These were just some of the things she said, in front of my children, of course.
So I replied with a question of my own: "Since they are my children, why wouldn't I want to be with them?" She was at a loss for words. I asked again, "Why wouldn't I want to be with my own children?" Again, a blank stare. (Thank You, Holy Spirit, because in that moment, His Grace fell down to usher in peace, because that was NOT what I was going to offer her. Thank You, Holy Spirit.)
Moving on, this time in God's Grace, I asked her to think about some things, from a different perspective. Why is it in our society we look so poorly upon the children God has blessed us with? Why is it that we have them, but can't wait to rid ourselves of them, looking at them as being so burdensome? I explained to her, that often times, we have to change our perspectives.
If I'm not wanting to be with my own kids for any length of time because they are "getting on my nerves," then perhaps it is me (the parent) that needs some readjusting. After all, children cannot give what they have not been taught (a quote from a friend of mine!). If I am not working with my gifts (teaching, training, discipline, etc.), then their behaviors will show it.
Gone are the days when I can be out of the house in 5 minutes and jump in my car to run an errand. I have accepted that it's going to take at the very least 15 minutes just to get everyone into the van, to run an errand that would have only take me 5 minutes if I was alone. I'm okay with that. I've welcomed that. I know that, so there's no need to be stressed about it. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
I explained that I will willingly receive however many children God gives me, because when you receive a gift, you say thank You, not turn it away. I explained that God opened our eyes to another way of educating our children, one where we are free to teach and promote our family's faith-based values. . .we're Christians, yes. I explained how homeschooling coincides with our daily living. . . it's part of life.
I explained, again; reiterated, again; answered questions, again. By the end of our conversation, her hands were off of her hips, there was a smile on her face, there was wonder in her eyes, because I don't think she'd ever heard that perspective before. . . .God's Grace.
I am praying that through this conversation, she would want to know more about the God who gives Grace to the strange lady who homeschools her 4 children and has the nerve to bring all 4 of them to a doctor's appointment. I pray that God would help me to be kind, less defensive, not so frustrated with all of the questions, because if I can answer in a way that has brought Honor to His Name, and curiosity about His character, then I've done well. . .
So, baby JD ended up needing to be seen by an otolaryngologist (special ear/nose/throat doctor) and I had to take him directly down to the 2nd floor for that appointment. And guess what? The conversation began again. . ."My goodness, you have 4 children, huh?"
:o) God's Grace is sufficient!
|My children on |
Mother's Day 2012