This thing happened today. Dare I say, a magical thing.
Let us, first, remember that I am a mother of four children. Not a ton. But plenty to keep up with. I often call myself a “reluctant homeschooler”, like many other women out there who have found themselves in such a situation as myself. We're on year five of homeschooling so it's not like we're “new to this”. Five years ago my husband left his job as a school teacher at a private Christian school to pursue our farm and work here on the blog full time. That was the right decision for our family (and hey, I certainly didn't mind having him by my side as we navigated the last five years of having small children which was simultaneously beautiful and also the hardest thing I’ve done ever).
That time was a whirlwind. A tornado of child bearing, nursing, discipline, decision making, goal setting, and trail blazing.
But we're not there anymore.
We've now found ourselves in a new tornado now of algebra, literature, latin, and multiplication tables. And here we are. As I’m sure many of you are as well.
At the end of last year, a group of like minded families in our community decided to pull together. We're certainly not alone as homeschoolers and happen to be surrounded by a fantastic group of families that are way more talented than I when it comes to teaching. (Ah, let’s be honest. It doesn’t take that much to surpass me. Hey kids! Anyone want to do a class on food photography? No? Bummer. That’s all I’ve got.).
But, again, back to my point: this thing happened today.
I’ll spare you the details, but the result of this collaboration means my children now “go to school” with these other families two days a week. 8:30-2:30. Stuart teaches classes to some of the other students while our children are simultaneously taught by other parents. Some teach history. Some grammar. Some literature. Some science. Some Latin. Some math. Some art.
I tell you this, dear reader, because for the first time in my entire life today I marched all of my children out of the door – spit shined (or at least as much as a farm kid can be spit shined…. there’s a 100% chance someone had chicken poop on their shoes) – for their first day of class.
And then they were gone. Each to their prospective classroom with other children and other teachers. Away from the home. All of them at the same time.
Now, I tell you this to tell you what it was that actually happened today.
I WAS HOME ALONE. FOR FIVE HOURS.
I. WAS. HOME. ALONE.
Do you know when the last time I was home alone for five hours?
The answer is never.
I’d say it was bittersweet, but it wasn’t. I didn’t lament their absence like a proper Mom probably would have. Rather, I cracked a sparkling water and dove head first into testing and developing Cooking Community recipes for October the entire time they were gone. What clarity! What quiet! What space! What’s this running through my mind? A thought? A complete thought? Have mercy!
I barely even looked up from my work until I heard the large diesel pickup truck pull into the driveway, bringing with it a gang of tattered looking, rosy cheeked children (and an equally exhausted looking Stuart) with heavy backpacks and empty lunch bags.
It filled my heart to hear their chatters and stories.
School for us now is a hybrid. Three days at home. Two days at “school”.
I, like so many of you, am holding on for the ride, staying open to change and new possibilities, and wanting more than ever to fill my children’s hearts and brains what what is GOOD, TRUE, and BEAUTIFUL.
But I just needed to share with you that it was exciting. For all Elliotts involved.
Also, October’s Cooking Community recipes are shaping up to be quite fabulous if I do say so myself. I’ll give credit to the thing that happened today.
Mama was alone.
And THAT was the magical thing that happened today.