Fall will Surely Come
Can you feel it? It's almost here and it's whispering between leaves of trees. It's that tingly, gentle butterflies-in-stomach, longing for wool socks and worn-blankets feeling that rises to the surface every year at this time. I look out at the greens and, with nostalgia earned from twenty-eight years behind me, I begin to smile for Fall.
Don't get me wrong. I love my babes in swim suits with squishy thighs and adorable, tiny-sized flip flops. I don't wish away my Minnesota summers. Yet, Fall has long been my favorite time of year. There's something self-reflective in it, and I don't mind taking stock.
I think one of my most loved parts of Fall, growing up, was the madness of 'back-to-school'. I'm certain it's when I first developed my love of all things journal-y, and began collecting all colors and sizes of sharpies. The smell of fresh, untouched paper and its possibilities. I've always loved learning. I'm sure it's why I loved and earned my degree in teaching.
This year, Fall is a season that becomes mine to explore again. I've been out of the classroom since 2010 when our first daughter was born. Years ago I would have scoffed at you if you'd told me this, but next week I will start homeschooling our children. I am beyond excited with anticipation of what's to come.
We've created a space for homeschool in our house. While I know that our learning will probably spill out into the living room (dining-room table/bedrooms/hallways/every surface) it's one of my favorite rooms in the whole house. The handmade table that Josh made stands center. We've hung a clock, with which we'll someday soon learn about time - such as how, if we move the clock twelve hours forward, that's Thailand time. I've created reminders that this is a room where mom and dad believe in your every ability and every talent. A space where learning to love and loving to learn happens. A space where we gather around a table together, committed to exploring our world together.
I'm excited to homeschool. I count it an enormous gift that I'll watch their lightbulbs click-on when something connects and watch their interests take shape. Those of you who know my middle child understand why I smile with anticipation of the questions and comments she'll produce.
I understand that homeschool is...strange...for many of people to understand. Why homeschool, when I used to be a public school teacher? Why homeschool, when I know the value of immersing children in a rich social climate (they'll still get this, fyi)? Why homeschool, when I work many jobs and could open up my schedule to more work/money/potential? Why homeschool, when I've expressed how hard it can be to be a mom and have days that completely overwhelm me?
Here's the deal: Homeschool, for our family, was a very God appointed, prayerful choice. It isn't the very-best or only option for our kids, but rather, one that we feel is a really-great option for them right now. We aren't trying to shelter them; I actually value the lessons learned when life is less than perfect. We're not concerned with surrounding them with only 'Christian' teachers and friends. We don't think we're better or above public school - nor do we want to compare our decision as better/worse to what each of our friends choose. To parent well is to spend time with Jesus, asking Him what your family needs, and that's what we've done and trust our community to do. This also isn't a permanent, forever choice. We hold each year with an open hand.
The simplest way to explain it is this: I love teaching and really feel capable and lead to teach them right now. I'm committed to using this time to raise tiny-disciples and grow our family relationships as we navigate adoption. God is in this and it's so, so good.
Also, I don't do jean skirts. Yet.
Our family life is about to undergo transitions, as is true for many of you. Kids start school and go back to school. Some of us start jobs, or enter a season without a job to count on. New marriages begin their journeys, and we say goodbye to loved ones no longer with us. We are filled or drained with anticipation.
The second hand keeps ticking and Fall will surely come. And I wonder, what within you whispers with the wind. What comes that brings you excitement. What must be left behind, giving way to the vibrant colors of autumn.