Tuesday, October 8, 2013

That One When He Went to School.

My oldest boy started school this week.

You know....school, as in the brick building with all the children inside.

As I've written before, I can't remember a decision that every caused Mark and I more anguish.

But, once made, it is a decision we found both necessary and right. We weighed pros and cons for months. I sought the advice of people I trusted with the honesty of my heart, and perhaps I was waiting for someone to just come out and tell me what to do.

No one forced our hand or tried to convince us of what would be best for our family. That was our conclusion to make. Because, we could have done many things. I could have decided to "unschool" the kids for a year or two, or have a 2-3 day homeschool week, or even enlist more help to delegate Martha's appointments and household work.

I knew I could do it; that it was possible with a certain amount of creativity and sacrifice, but I wasn't sure if that's really what I was supposed to do.

So, we prayed very hard, and very intentionally. My previous post, "Of Miracles and Madness" details that journey.

When it came down to it, I was very tired and pulled in too many directions. I am a huge believer, and supporter of homeschooling, but this wasn't what I wanted it to look like.

It came down to this.

I was told recently that our lives will likely take about three years to slow down; stabilize. That in three years, we should have a better idea of our daughter's health and development, that we should see things coming. Her growth will slow, she'll be stronger. We'll know that much more.

But in three years my sweet second son will be 7. My baby son will be 5. If I stay the course for three years, try to tough it out, I will miss it all....them. When I think of how well-prepared my oldest was for homeschool work, how he shows leadership and kindness, and all the time I've invested in his care and formation, I think, "How can I not do the same for these two sweet boys?" "Will I forget them in the mix of trying to do everything I can for my oldest and youngest?" How can I keep delaying their desire to read stories and build block towers, to sit on my lap and snuggle for no reason at all?

I only get this one chance with them. I'm not willing to let it pass.

My views on homeschooling are indeed very strong. But they aren't as strong as my beliefs about motherhood, and my role to each of the children and what I owe them right now, in this family.

What my children need from me in this moment is to be their mom. For however long...with all that entails. I'll give up one thing to be better at the other thing. They deserve that from me, they deserve the best I'm able to give. And I'm bold enough to say that I am doing the right thing here.

Putting my children into school  never once entered my plans before. I refuse to think of this as a defeat, however. We are deciding, with God's grace, to take this decision in stride. The second I start to see our situation as something to grieve, I'm toast. I won't go there, I refuse to go there.

Instead, I'll say "Let it be done," and echo my somewhat reluctant "Fiat" and trust with confidence that the Lord will continue to carry us through.

With Joy.


Sarah said...

He looks prepared!!! Well done, Mama!

Monica Fogarty said...

You are amazing Mallory! You and your beautiful family are in my prayers.