It’s official. We are homeschoolers. I know people have opinions on this topic. I am being brave and putting it out there.
But, so far so good! Things have been smooth, and the troops are happy. More on this later, I’m sure.
No car seats. No stroller. It was shaping up to be an easy flight with 2 young boys. Three seats together, with a kind man across the isle. (From the sounds of it, we lucked out, because the lady behind us sounded like a mean ol’ nun who would have caned anyone who even thought about being impolite. I thought, briefly, about saying something to her about her preachy demeanor, but decided it was better to keep my mouth shut.) The boys were very happy with their pasta dinners and their toys. Two hours in and they were still content with an iPad and a Leapster. No big surprise there, but it still was blissful. Seven o’clock came up quicker than any of us would have liked, because I knew our littlest boy needed to sleep, since he hadn’t napped. The boy had other ideas.
For a bit, he laid on my lap, and his big brother graciously allowed him to prop his feet on his lap. I read stories to him for a long time, and was hoping that’d be it for him. I was wrong, oh so wrong. That was all the rest he needed to decide it was time to be wild-eyed. He flailed and flopped, kicked and hit, laughed at me, and topped it off by yelling (on a crowded airplane), “You’re hurting me. Stop hurting me.” I explained to him, in my ‘scary-calm’ voice that I was not hurting him, but that if he kept hitting me, I wasn’t letting go.
I really have no idea how long that went on for, but finally, I gave up, switched myself to the middle seat and completely ignored him. (Perfect parenting, right? He should have gotten bored and fallen asleep, right? Thanks to that kind man across the isle, he had some built-in entertainment, complete with pictures on the man’s phone.) I wasn’t happy about it, but I had been defeated, and was watching from the sidelines.
We landed and I was still furious. I couldn’t wait to get off that plane. But, of course, it took forever to get the door open and all the people in front of us to move. While sitting there, that unlikable lady from one row back came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I have 4 kids, and I couldn’t have done half as good of a job as you did.”
I think I said thank you to her, but I was crying so much, I couldn’t speak. She actually kissed me on the head at that point, gave me a hug and went back to her seat, and I continued to cry.
Then, that little guy who caused the ordeal, asked, “Momma, why are you crying?”
I couldn’t speak. I wanted to tell him exactly WHY I WAS CRYING. Thankfully, the lady came to my rescue again and said, “Because she loves you so much, sometimes it comes out in tears.”
The people behind me were even consoling me.
I don’t think I did that good of a job. I think I was too harsh with him. But, even if they were ALL lying to me, their lie was welcomed more than I can say.
I was at a lovely MOPS meeting today — first one in over a year — and I am so happy about the wonderful ladies I have been grouped with! We had a fantastic conversation! The theme was bravery. How can we be brave as mothers? Well, honestly, the first thing I thought of was getting up my nerve to play tackle football with my boys. Silly, I know. Glad I didn’t say it at the meeting!
But, I did listen to a lot of what the other moms were saying. There was some great discussion, especially centered around our self-worth as mothers. What are we doing? What should we be doing? What is our job exactly? How do we balance being a caregiver/housekeeper/chef etc…? One of our fabulous leaders threw out this question: What do you do to hold on to your identity?
I was totally befuddled by the last question. I’ve always been stumped by this question. That seems terrible to admit. Actually, it pains me a little to admit it — kinda embarrassing. Today, was no different, but I did have the added help of having many other moms right there who were answering the question for themselves. I listened.
Another question came: What are you passionate about?
Well, that helps! That’s an easier question to answer, I think. I thought.
So, I listened some more. Everyone at the table seemed to be passionate about whatever their career choice was.
My career choice was to be a teacher. But, I’ve often thought that I don’t want that to be my identity. I want more than that. There has to be more to me than just my career.
But, that’s it! I am passionate about teaching. It doesn’t matter what. I teach math, reading, gymnastics, art, science, cooking, anything. I just love to teach people stuff! I loved teaching my students. I loved teaching adults. I love teaching my kids. It makes me feel like I am worth something, because I am helping someone, giving them knowledge or skills.
And here’s where the light bulb really went off for me today. It bothers me so much to send my son to school all day, everyday, because my passion is teaching. My identity resides in teaching my sons. What am I worth as a mother, if I don’t teach my children?My identity is teaching and helping others. If there are two people on this earth who I want to share my passion with, it’s my sons.