Beginnings and Endings and a Longing for Home

coffee and toastHere I am, after mommying and homeschooling for sixteen years,
in my house alone……
which happens once every never,
but looks to be a  regular thing these days.
Thinking  I should be tapping out some profundity,
thinking after “graduating”
two kids from homeschool to brick and mortar school,
immersing in  alphabetical order to algebra,
  Peloponnesian War to  piano lessons,
Latin adverbs to literary devices,
Shakespeare to  Seurat ,
and wow…..sooooo much more…..
 I thought I’d be a rambling tangled train wreck of emotion
on this day.
With them gone.
Seems taking a few years to talk yourself into getting used to something
does actually work. Huh.
The reality is….   we’re all ready for the transition….which, in our case…I kinda see as a  moving forward of life….. I do.
We’ve made our decision.
It’s a solid one for them and we’re prepared….
at least tangibly prepared.
Emotionally prepared? Not really.  Not me. Not fully.
The journey of homeschooling….? There aren’t words to describe
the positivity, the impact, the generous ways in which the homeschool journey led us to
grab life, live it fully our way on our terms, according to our schedules.
My kids wouldn’t be who they are now, young people
making their way in the secular world, without the experiences
of everyday family, everyday academics, everyday faith, everyday theater,
everyday sports, everyday music.
Everyday presence of each other.
I’m not used to this now…this scattering of people in my household.
I’m not used to being here with them there
and being needed in different ways after all these years.
Way back in the days when home meant bathing and nursing babies,
cuddling on the couch with picture books, crafting for the liturgical season,
baking chocolate chip cookies just for the heck of it….then gradually,
phonics, then multiplication, then world geography,
then sentence diagramming,
then soccer practice,
then costume making for the latest community play,
then, before you knew it, comparison of FDR’s policies
to Woodrow Wilson’s….
and on and on………until the complexity could be overwhelming.
But we were together and we conquered it.
And not just the curriculum.
As they get bigger so do their problems and
now, home means something different.
It’s  being present and soothing hurts and sitting around a dinner
table marred by the painting and the nicks and cracks of many years
of meals and talks.
It’s the chauffeuring and the togetherness.
It’s the juggling of emotions and the navigating through the intense
rough days, weeks, moments when your child is hit
with bad news, tragic news, as ours was this summer.
It’s not the everydayness of lessons anymore but it is the constancy of
safety, support and unconditional love.
It’s the thoughtful little things that matter most, that are the hardest.
Creating home is the work of life and love, tangible and intangible.

Author: Christine Mooney

Christine Mooney loved her life as a homeschooling Mom! Her essays are included in Bezalel Books’ Stories for a Homeschool Heart and Joseph Karl’s God Moments 2 as well as “Mater et Magistra” magazine. Please stop in and visit her for a bit at her blog, Campfires and Cleats .