The winds are a-changin’. I am not a fan of change. Who likes wind or change anyway? Not me. I like routine, structure, and schedules. I like sameness and familiarity. All those things are comforting to me. Call me boring; I don’t care. I sleep better at night when I know what the next day holds. I’d rather my schedule never change, my children never grow up, and nobody ever die. It seems those three areas of change drain my energy the most.
I feel stressed when my schedule is messed up with something as routine as a dentist appointment. I know it’s coming….every six months….for every family member, but I’d rather it not interrupt the flow of the day. This week has been filled with such appointments.
And then there are bigger changes like when a season of childhood ends…like we don’t go to story time anymore…that’s for toddlers and preschoolers. Just when I established a routine geared toward babies, toddlers, and preschoolers….they went and got older on me. It happens like that every time I finally adjust to a new season and find a comfortable niche. Change inevitably happens. I know that’s how life is. I know I have to adjust to the changes that come my way….maybe even embrace the changes. But that doesn’t mean I always like it.
Of course, the worst to me is when a loved one dies. Surrendering to that change takes on a whole different level of abandon.
Luckily, the change I’m writing about today falls in the middle category….the kids growing up kind of change. Yep. I have spent many days wishing they’d all grow up and move out….or at least daydreaming that I could send them off to school for a whole day. Equally, I’ve spent days wishing they’d all stay little forever. I miss the days where comfort was found in cowboy boots, “babbies” (special blankets), juice, hugs and snuggles. People always told me I would miss those physically exhausting days. They were right! Those treasured days were filled with early mornings, sleepless nights, laughter, love, wonder, curiosity, giggles, frustration, weariness, and peaceful sleeping angels by 8:00 p.m. every night. The days flowed one into the next with the same activities repeated over and over again. Those days flew by all too fast.
Presently, I find myself trying to remember to enjoy the remaining years I have with my youngest three while learning to let the older three go a little more each year. Hard stuff. Hard changes. Changes to which I have to learn to surrender…..even embrace. Necessary change, but never easy.
We are gearing up for a school year like no other. The first big change we had in schooling was when we first took the leap to homeschool all those years ago. That was a big change. But I still had my babies with me all day. Most of our days were still the same, with maybe a half hour or so carved out for school time. It was a good change. It gave us a focus for a bit of the day. But the rest of our days continued on without interruption.
More babies came, relocations occurred, more children and time were added to the school schedule. But the next big change I remember agonizing over regarding school was choosing whether or not to homeschool through high school. I didn’t know anyone who had done that. I wasn’t sure I could do that. It was scary at the time; but once I walked through it with the first one, it wasn’t so scary anymore. It wasn’t much change….just more of the same. We continued on with our regularly scheduled lives and added record-keeping to my list of homeschooling duties. Preparing transcripts was the only real change for me with high school schooling.
Finally, it came time to send the first one to college. Although he attended one class on his first day, and he chose to live at home to save money; it was a change for our family. The little ones were devastated to see him drive away from home. They weren’t quite sure what to do without their biggest brother under the same roof all day. Change occurred. We adjusted. He adjusted. It was time. And, we all survived.
This year, I find myself already holding my breath, and the new school year hasn’t even begun. Heck….I’m not even done with last year’s work. Geez! At what point do I surrender to that and say, “We’re done”? I don’t know. I’m determined to finish last year’s work. It’s how I’m wired.
But why am I already holding my breath? It’s not only that I’ll be sending the second one off to college for the days, and that I’m not sure I’ll be able to exhale until I see that he can make the transition. But, it’s also the fact that the face of our homeschool is changing too quickly for me to catch my breath. TWO are leaving our homeschool this year….not just ONE. TWO! That makes a total of THREE in three years. Not too many years ago, I survived the one big year when I homeschooled all six children. And just like that, I’m back down to three. My first two will be in college, while my third has chosen to attend public school for the first time ever. From homeschool to public school. I’m excited for him, nervous for him, happy for him, worried for him.
There are a lot of changes on the horizon for all three of my older boys. And, changes will be apparent for the ones still homeschooling with me as they adjust to being the only three here all day. Pages in our homeschool journey and lives are turning faster than I’d like. “Life is full of changes — We are invited to surrender to them.” I better get use to surrendering. We are now on the other side of the homeschooling mountain which I once viewed as an endless, almost impossible journey.