So much has been going on. So much has not been going on. I’m in limbo. Last week Riley went to shadow for a day at a local special needs school. She was so excited. She had no qualms about me leaving her there. She marched confidently into her day. Just a couple of hours in, I got a call. They had given her math work to do, along with the rest of the class. She panicked because it was presented in a way she wasn’t used to. She raised her hand, but the teacher was busy with another student. She wound up crying and running from the room. She managed to finish her day. She felt happy about it. When I picked her up, the principal said she’d be meeting with the teachers about Riley and getting back to me. It’s been over a week. No word. I called Monday, left a message. She has not returned my call.

Seth was supposed to visit a private school this week. He’s been doing quite well with his PANDAS, and hadn’t been sick in months. His tics were becoming less severe. Hardly noticeable if you didn’t know him. On Saturday they flared up again. On Sunday night, he complained of a sore throat. By Monday it was severe. We had to postpone his visit.

It’s a great school, but I’m left wondering if this is the right thing to even consider? Will being in school just keep exposing him to more strep? Will he constantly be sick? Will it be a never ending battle? Is it worth it? Neither kid is entirely thrilled at the possibility of going to school. They are perfectly content being home. It’s me having a hard time with it. But why? Is it really that bad?

I’ve figured some things out over the past few days. I have a friend whom I love dearly, and I’m in daily e-mail contact with her. She runs a thriving business. She can’t imagine doing what I am doing, homeschooling. It is her worst nightmare. So, whenever I have a bad time…I find a great ear in her. I can commiserate and she can be all, “Girl, you have to get out of that house! You have to get their butts in school!” It feels like she actually kind of pities me being at home.

And she means well. And I’m not blaming her. I’ve certainly been asking for it. But it’s not what I need.

When she has bad days or weeks at the office, I never say, “Girl! That job sucks. You should quit immediately. I don’t know how you stand it! Close down the business!”

I tell her, “You are smart. You can do it. You are good at it. You know what you are doing.” Because she is smart. She is good at it. She does know what she’s doing.

I need someone to tell me that. I need to ask for that.

My kids just might be homeschooled for the duration. If that is the case, rather than running to someone to validate why I hate it, (and btw, I only hate some parts of it, just as she only hates some parts of her job) I need a different kind of support.

Homeschooling is such a radical departure from mainstream society. There is little validation for it. Even in the homeschooling community, families are going about it in so many different ways. I never quite feel like I’m doing it right. I always feel lacking. I always feel worried about the future. Their futures.

Settling into bed the other night, I said to Todd, “If I knew we were all going to die in an accident in fifteen years, I wouldn’t change anything about what we’re doing right now.”

He replied, “Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that.”

And we laughed! 

I hate feeling unsettled. I hate not knowing what is going to happen. It’s so unnerving.

I feel like it’s time to shut out the opinions of everyone else in the world, and listen to my own heart. Trust my own instincts about what’s best for them, and what’s best for me.

Today in the shower I put a hot washcloth over my eyes and pressed down until little sparkles appeared behind my lids. I felt a calm come over me and a sense of gratitude.

Thank You.

Thank You for this.

Thank You for the not knowing.

Thank You for this moment which will lead to the next beautiful part of our lives. It’s okay not to know. It leaves the door wide open to possibilities.

Previewing this post I click to enlarge the photo I chose and notice Seth, our angel baby, ahead of us on the path, both feet off the ground.

This entry was posted in appreciation, homeschooling, PANDAS, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Open

  1. joy says:

    You can totally do this. You are strong, and patient, and deeply empathetic. You are absolutely the right person to do this for your kids. and they are the better for it

  2. kario says:

    You are so amazing. I love that you can be in this uncomfortable situation and find gratitude. I am in limbo and am feeling nauseous, kicking and screaming the entire damn way! I know that you will make the best decisions you can for yourself and your kids. I also know there is no “Right” choice – that there are many paths and they all contain lessons and amazing insights and you are just aware enough, just mindful enough to find them all. You are a terrific mother and a terrific teacher – conventional or not. I’m glad you are examining what is best for you in this as well as what is best for the kids. I have faith that you’ll find a good outcome.


  3. Carrie Link says:

    NEHBM that you and HT can laugh together. That, alone, is “enough.”

  4. Meg says:

    And here I am, wondering if I did the right thing for my kids by NOT homeschooling! It’s in the nature of parenthood to question and doubt, because it’s not an immediate reward kind of occupation. If you flubbed making a cake, you’d know it in 22-25 minutes, but in raising a child, even when they are grown, you can only take credit/be blamed for some of the results. Here’s what I know: you put love into everything you do for your children; you know them better than anyone; it’s in your nature to question everything – even yourself; there is no single RIGHT choice. Every option has its pro and cons. FWIW, I think you are doing a fantastic job, and we all have frustrating days, no matter what our “job” is. (((Love)))

  5. *m* says:

    “It’s okay not to know.”

    I needed this today, as I fret over the path ahead for my son. It is so easy to fall into the mindset that there is a right one and a wrong one. I hope I can find the calm and gratitude that you did in that moment.

  6. rhemashope says:

    you’ve been on my mind a lot lately. by the end of this post i too felt a peace in the not knowing. i have always admired the way you mother riley and seth. no doubt you will find the best way to give them what they need.

  7. Kathee says:

    My son transitioned from private to public school this year. Everyday my heart aches because I wonder if I should be homeschooling. Many days I feel so much guilt because I know they waste so much precious time on ridiculous things during the traditional school day and there are too many children for each to have the attention and focus to bring out their best. Sometimes it feels like his childhood is slipping away so fast and he is only 8. You can and you are doing this – everyday! Your children are thriving and one is so happy he is walking on air!
    I am not good at advice, all I can offer is my own experience. You say “homeschooling is a radical departure from mainstream society.” That seems like the perfect reason to continue homeschooling! Michelle, this and your last post mean a lot to me. My husband and I are trying to figure out how to make some changes so we can live more comfortably and stop getting so caught up in “consuming” and spending and keeping up the Joneses! Thank you. I wish you peace and happiness as you experience all the possibilities.

  8. Gloriana Beausoleil says:

    From one AutMom to another, I applaud you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your community here can be a great source of strength and encouragement. Yes, this parenting thing, when we’re doing it with heart and soul, is truly a humbling experience. And a place of humility is a where grace abounds! Hurrah.

  9. Me says:

    I’m so happy you can pour all that out right here. I know you’re going to find your way. You always do.

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