I didn’t realize I was stressed until the text came in. Squinting at the words on the screen, ridiculously small for my middle-aged eyes, emotion poured forth as the tiny words coalesced and their meaning penetrated. An internal dam broke, relief flooding through me as my breath whooshed out, a soft emptying of my lungs. It was that released breath that illuminated my hidden stress, pent up worry freed to the air, a small, dark cloud, vanishing in an instant. Poof!
Jerry is a rough-skinned newt, but don’t let that put you off. He’s actually quite soft, albeit slightly bumpy. My daughter spotted this visitor lounging on our brick walkway, early in the morning.
I was instantly captivated. I think I actually squealed a bit in my delight. Interrupted from my morning beauty ritual, my face was only partially on and my hair was in a not-so-fashionable turban. I didn’t care. I grabbed my camera and fairly flew out the door. I’m glad I had my clothes on.
The dreadlocks were glorious. Brown, with streaks of gold, they flowed down the young man’s back ending at his waist. I wondered how he had gotten them so long, and so uniform. I wondered how heavy they were. I wondered how he washed them. Does one wash dreadlocks? Now understand that I am not a lover of this particular hairstyle. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I generally appreciate a head of flowing, fluffy, just-washed looking hair. I tried the hippie thing years ago and it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If I never smell patchouli again, I shall die a happy woman.
I feel the need to unburden myself today, but please don’t tell the ladies at my homeschool group. If my secret were to get out, I fear I may be lynched as the chiefest of all hypocrites. At the very least, I’m sure that they would cross the street when passing me by so as to not be tainted with my particular brand of heresy. I hesitate to let it out here, but, I simply cannot hold it in any longer:
I hate homeschooling.
There. I said it. Is that thunder I hear? Am I to now be smote mightily?
I almost missed a birth in my kitchen the other day. It was the birthing of a dream; an idea that, once conceived in my youngest child’s mind, was demanding to be born. “I want to fly, Momma.” She stated matter-of-factly. “Can we buy a helium tank and some balloons?”
Being the proverbial wet blanket, I continued loading the dishwasher and listed all of the reasons why we could not bring her idea to fruition. It would never work. We could never afford enough helium. We would need special equipment. On and on I imparted practical wisdom which I assumed would settle the matter. I was mistaken. My youngest, like many a family ‘baby,’ is stubborn. Bone-deep stubborn. “Can’t we at least try?” Something in her tone took me aback. She was serious. She really wanted to try this.
I was not a conventional little girl. Dolls were okay, but I much preferred trooping through the woods with my BB gun. Shooting birds and cutting them open to see what was inside—now that was a good day’s fun! When my friends dreamed of being teachers and mommies, I held firm that I would be a mortician. Or maybe a woman body builder. Anything but what was expected of me. So why is it, that when I began homeschooling, I suddenly became a conformist?