Nothing to hide ~
Written by Kari Patterson
Do you ever wonder how your kids will describe their homeschool experience someday?
I try not to dwell too much on it; we do our best and hope they’ll look back with fond memories and maybe even a bit of gratitude. But it does cross my mind now and then.
I recently sat with a group of women and, over the course of a few weeks, we took turns sharing our stories. We focused on things that have shaped us; childhood, school, significant experiences, etc. We had a mix of homeschool, private, and public education.
We had some from religious backgrounds and some not so much. Lots of variety. As I considered these stories, and compared them with countless others I’ve heard over the years, I was struck by one common theme:
Those who had the most overall positive childhood experience were those whose parents were the same in private or in public.
Lots of religious activities didn’t matter much if home was a place of shame or fear. An excellent education wasn’t as important as that sense of stability that there isn’t a show going on, no one’s pretending.
We aren’t perfect, but there’s nothing to hide.
We recently finished building a home out in the country, next door to my dad. It’s a sweet opportunity for multi-generational living while still having enough space that we don’t kill each other. (smile)
I love the privacy of living in the country. But on the other side of our house, we have, shall we say, quirky neighbors. They have a lot of cameras.
We know from experience that we’re watched and I’ve finally decided that’s fine. I chose a full-glass front door. Except for the bedrooms, none of our windows have coverings.
Here we are, one of those crazy homeschool families.
Go ahead and watch.
Sure, you’ll see a lot of sweatpants, and I’ll rarely have makeup on. You’ll occasionally see me very frustrated with my 5- and 2-year olds. You’ll see us sitting up late with our teens, talking around the fire-pit or asking hygge questions in the hot tub.
And even if someone was listening in, that’s great. Because it’s a good reminder that for the sake of my children, I want to live with nothing to hide.
It’s healthy to ask occasionally, “If this were all on film would I be okay with it?” If an outsider were watching would I act like this?”
Tears spring to my eyes when I remember some of the ways I treated our oldest son, Dutch, when he was young. Back then we didn’t know he had Asperger’s.
It was so hard and I got frustrated so often.
Now at almost 17-years old, he’s a delight. We have such a close relationship.
He knows his imperfect mom loves him dearly, and we’ve both grown over the years. I try to remember that now, as his little brothers push my buttons.
How will I respond?
This isn’t a call to perfection, hopefully that’s clear. It’s the heart of one mom who wants, more than anything, for her children to experience a healthy childhood. Where what you see is what you get.
Where stability, honesty, and integrity are words that might surface someday as they share their story. This matters so much more than which math curriculum we used.
Sure, they might still need therapy. (We probably all do!) It might be painful to hear the ways we fell short.
But oh, that they too would know the peace that comes from having nothing to hide.
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