Enduring

Sometimes the path is hard. It feels hard to put one foot in front of the other. The bushes along the path scratch up your arms and legs. You stumble and trip on the rocks on the path. You fall down and cry. You sit in the middle of the path, sobbing.

You also know that you must go on. You know that the path won’t always be so difficult and you must put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, even if you don’t progress for a while because you keep backtracking to see what exactly led you to this hard path. In the end, you’ll get there.

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My planning is done. Everything is tidy. Our first day of school begins today. Grades 1, 4, and 10.

Last night was very hard. Parenting teenagers is not for the faint of heart. My first reaction is to cancel today and feel angry and sad about my plans being derailed. But I know my other children would be so upset to not begin, they are so looking forward to today. And I don’t want to wear the martyr hat. So, I remember I’m the captain of the boat and I put one foot in front of the other and navigate into unknown territory. I let go of expectations and just jump in and see where it goes.

I’m sure tonight I’ll post plenty of pretty pictures that will make some out there feel less-than or jealous that I have it all together. This is why I’m sharing this blog post. I think sharing our struggles, the truth behind the pretty pictures, is a gift to others. We are all human. We all have our struggles and fall down on our face sometimes. It’s easy to pretend it’s all roses with the internet. But the truth is: life is hard sometimes. Parenting is hard sometimes. Mothering can sometimes makes you feel like your heart has been ripped out. We must endure and push forward. Feel it all, give ourselves a hug and keep putting our feet down for the next step. That’s all there is to do.

A time of reflection

I haven’t blogged in nearly two months. It has been a time of adjustment and reflection. There have been some bumpy days (weeks?) and I’ve had to do lots of inner work and refining my own habits to find a sweet spot again. I’m getting there.

I’ve joked half seriously that I should start a blog called ‘Things My Kids Tell Me’. Not with the purpose of complaining or making jokes, but so that other moms out there don’t feel alone in their struggles. It can feel so isolating and depressing to think to yourself that the (unkind) things your child says couldn’t possibly be said by other kids, because no one you know has ever shared such things. I mean, we don’t really talk about it. Social media is full of the edited happy moments and lots of happy faces. But that’s not real life. And no matter how amazing you are as a mother, it is no insurance against your child saying hurtful things to you. Because what comes out of their mouth is a reflection about what is going on within them. I’ve found again and again how powerful it is to speak up and share with friends what happens within my house. It is sure scary to be vulnerable in that way, but I’ve found again and again that it not only is healing and helpful for me to share but that other mothers then feel less alone. Mothers then open up to me about the things that go on in their homes and how they’ve struggled. Our culture doesn’t do vulnerability very well. So, it takes intention and practice.

In our house, we’ve been in the thick of the 9 year change. I think we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that light is still a far way off yet, truth be told. I’m remembering how absolutely vital the inner work piece is and how making time for mediation and mindfulness and fun are is not optional. It is necessity. I’m reminded again and again that the only thing I can be in control of is how I react. So, I’m in charge of me, and that’s my main job as a parent.

I have taken some photos here and there of our homeschooling and life. Things are moving along nicely and we are settling into a workable rhythm. Lots of grace is given, daily. Grace, flexibility and self-compassion. Those are my tools lately.

Censorship

Yesterday, I was getting all riled up about Facebook censoring certain video links. I was trying to post a link to this video (go watch it, it’s important info) and FB would not allow me to link it, saying the link had been blocked as containing unsafe information.  Whoa. So, I tried and tried, and nope. No way. If I had any doubts about the truth behind FB truly censoring posts and trying to manipulate information others are trying to share, they are gone. Now, I see the truth.

But, it got me realizing something more personal about censorship. I’m guilty, too. I do it all too often. I haven’t been posting much to this blog because I was feeling vulnerable about sharing my truth. You see, when I set up my blog, I decided to make it so that my posts are automatically shared to my Facebook profile. Well, this led to me filtering what I shared, because all my FB “friends” would be seeing it and my mind imagined all the ways they would judge me.

While I long to share my thoughts and feelings with others, to connect, I also have always been scared to allow the wall to drop and be totally vulnerable and honest. Ironic, since that was the point of this blog: to help me move past that and be raw and honest. I believe we are in an age where being vulnerable and speaking our truth is more needed than ever. Thus, beginning today, here I am. Unfiltered. I’ve disabled my Facebook sharing setting to get me started, though I am building up the courage to share with anyone one day. My blog remains anonymous for now, but that may change in the future as well.

Furthermore, I’ve decided to move my homeschooling talk to my old blog. This blog will be about my journey coming home to love, the one truth. Inner work abounds, mystics’ poetry, realizations and discoveries. If you are reading along, welcome. Otherwise, I’m writing for myself here as I don’t expect to have any readers.

Homeschool weeks 19&20

Yes, I’ve been a little preoccupied. I think about writing a blog post on this or that, but it doesn’t happen. After June 7, I should have my free time back. These days, I spend most of my time phone banking for Bernie. It has been quite a journey, honestly. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone again and again these last few weeks. I even mustered up the courage to go canvassing, door to door! And I’m so glad I did, it was an awesome experience. And I’m so glad I took the 12 year old with me, I think he really benefited from it. We only had one rude, cussing person. Everyone else was kind. Bernie Sanders has ignited in me a passion and hope for our future.  Until a few months ago, I literally ignored the news and purposefully stayed in the dark most of the time. I still filter what I read because some news affects me on a deep level and is too much to handle, but I’ve never cared so much about a politician, let alone a presidential  candidate. Ok, I won’t go on more. This isn’t meant to be a political post.

Two weeks ago, we went and saw Bernie in person! I know, I just said no more politics. But, it was the highlight of our week. It was a hot day and the lines were long. I left H. home as he hates heat and lines. I. and P. came with me. We all loved it. We didn’t start anything new, homeschool-wise, that week, because that event was all day, with the waiting, and we were then only left with 2 school days before I. went to his outdoor school on Friday. So, we did math, knitting and music with I. Well, music happens daily. In fact, most days I have to tell him that’s enough, time to put the violin away.

Last week, we started our geology block. It’s our last big block of 6th grade. A few months ago, when I told him we’d be doing geology in the Spring, there was lots of complaining, saying it sounded boring. But, now that we’ve begun, he absolutely loves it!

He finished his 6th grade math workbook. That felt like an accomplishment! However, based on experience, I know we can’t put math away until September. And, I. agrees. So, I’ll be pulling out occasional practice problems, just review, over the next few months until he starts 7th grade in September. I’ve also decided that I’m going to have him work on foreign language over the summer. That somehow always gets pushed to the wayside after a few weeks. We will probably use Duolingo. In the past, we used it  to learn some German, but he’s lately really expressed and interest in Japanese.

P. and H. are doing lots of playing, of course. P. has started singing and making up songs. H. is getting most excited about starting 1st grade in the Fall. He has his own garden and it is bigger than mine!  He is such a help in the yard, he does all kinds of weeding and planting and likes to water the garden.

We took a family trip to the forest this weekend. It was drizzly weather and wonderful. After our walk through the forest, the kids played on the bank of the river, finding rocks and snails. P. of course managed to get water into her boots and her pants soaking wet. If the weather had been warmer, they would have all stripped down. But, it was still fun, even in the cold wet weather.

I am wishing more and more lately that I had a smart phone. I downgraded to a regular  not-smart phone a few years ago to assist me in being more present in my life. (It really worked.) But, that also means I can’t snap pictures as easily for this blog. I have a regular camera, but my laptop is down until I get a new charger and so I can’t upload the pictures. This is why you don’t see more pictures here.

Speaking of pictures,

Our babies are getting big! They are between 7-9 weeks now. They don’t need a light anymore and they spend their days outside. They still do spend their nights in their brooder inside our house, because I think it’s still a bit cold outside at night. But, I expect in the next few weeks, we’ll transition them to being fully outside. We are pretty sure we have one rooster, the langshan. But, only time will tell.