Somedays, I feel like the old lady in the grocery store. You know the one. The one who tells you to enjoy these days because they will soon be gone.
I know, I know. When you’re in the thick of child-rearing, baby-wearing, diaper-changing, nose-wiping, it’s hard to imagine looking back on these moments or days fondly.
I thought that after my first child was born. As I limped around with a healing episiotomy and two milk-filled boulders on my chest, I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do that again.
An older mom friend said,
“It’s okay. God gives you amnesia. You won’t remember the feelings of all the hard things. You might remember them intellectually. But you’ll look back on this time with different emotions.”
She was right.
I did get amnesia. Apparently so, because I went on to have five more children. And those early postpartum days are a fog of lala-land. I know intellectually that they were difficult and sleep-deprived moments, but what I feel today is the joy of falling in love all over again with another beautiful soul.
And so, I say, yes, these days will soon be gone.
Lord willing, amnesia will set in and you’ll only remember the good parts.
Already, I feel this in regards to my earlier days of homeschooling. Once upon a time, I had routine. I had naptimes to look forward to. I had willing little ears ready to hear as many stories as I was willing to read. A coloring page could take an hour before someone complained of boredom. That’s us, circa 2003.
Life then seems so, so simple.
My children were all little and one day looked very similar to the one before. Honestly, I miss those days.
I’m probably not old enough to say that, but I do.
Today looks quite different from that day ten years ago when I only had a kindergartner to teach and two little ones along for the ride.
We’ve got Latin this afternoon for the tenth grader, yesterday General Science and Marine Biology for my boys 12 and older. Piano lessons in the afternoon for the fifth grader. Not to mention math, grammar, history, literature, and spelling for the masses. There’s activity here and there.
On any given day I do one or more of the following:
- prepare three meals and a snack
- nag someone to do his kitchen job or put away his clothes
- find out where someone is and why isn’t he doing his math
- listen to someone complain about the (grammar, math, history, French) task at hand
- referee arguments
- read stories
- troubleshoot a faulty Internet connection for an online Latin class
- drive someone to piano lessons, science class, hockey practice, swim school
- find an older child reading to the younger ones
- find big kids playing Little People with the 4-year old to keep her entertained
- listen to a child flawlessly recite a poem that she’s been memorizing for grammar
- overhear an older student help a younger one with a math problem
- be surprised by a child telling me how truffles are hunted by specially-trained pigs in the woods
- stand amazed that I get to teach this wonderful group of beautiful souls
Variety is the spice of life, yes. And yes, sometimes it wears me out emotionally and physically.
However, while God has given me amnesia for some of the hard things of the past, He’s also given me foresight to see the future.
These days will pass quickly just like the old days did.
I will miss these crazy, chaotic moments when I hope against hope that the experiment is working. I will miss having someone to nag. I will miss that there won’t be little people to play Little People with. I will miss the random factoids and the fun.
I will (hopefully) laugh at myself that I ever wondered that the experiment wouldn’t work!
And so these are days to enjoy, with their good and their bad. These are days to be mindful of. Someday I will miss my kids at ages 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15. I’m taking these days for granted. These days, as hard and as chaotic as they seem today, will someday seem simple. 2003 seems simple to me now. But, I know intellectually that it very much was not!
Remember these days, whichever days you’re walking in, are days to remember.
There are fabulous days and some we’d rather forget. But, what a privilege it is to walk them alongside our kids.
A look back at Jessica’s homeschool days:
What is something that you’ll miss from these days?