Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mommy Dearest?

OMG!  My youngest shared with me tonight that she's frightened of home school!  She never cried before the first day of public school, but tonight she is actually in tears.  Am I as scary as Joan Crawford?  Am I the Mommy Dearest of the 21st Century?

It all started after church today.  We enjoyed a wonderful service followed by a nice family lunch.  However, within ten minutes of being home, the kids were at each other's throats.  Too hot to send them outside, I sent them to their individual rooms instead- a luxury I won't have when we move to Fripp.  I decided too much free time and too much television was eating away at their brains and patience with each other so I went out to the garage and started pulling out planned activities for our first week of school.  I didn't want to start school this early, but all our neighbors going back tomorrow and the lack of structure of summer was making my kids turn into a pack of hungry wolves. A little pretesting and geography activities might be just what they needed.  I spoke to each child individually and told them we would start our school tomorrow and then sat down to make sure I had all my materials ready for our big day. (I'll explain my curriculum in another post, if you're interested.)

I thought this would be the most stress-free school opening we have ever had; until bedtime, when Wyatt came to tell us that Emma was crying.

I should have known something was up when she came to me earlier with her journal and asked me to write down review questions for her to study before she went to sleep.  Stupid, Mommy!  I dismissed her by saying, "Don't be silly!" and "Brush your teeth!"

I went to her room and there she was in her Cinderella nightgown, curled around her teddy, crying.  Crying because she said she knew she would fail my class.  Crying because she thought she would disappoint us.  Crying because we might yell at her if she misspelled a word (we never have and never will.)  And she cried and cried.  And, honestly, I cried, too.  I cried because I had started this whole sabbatical home schooling thing and now I was traumatizing my baby over it.  Who wouldn't cry?  Joan Crawford, probably.

Anyway, we lay together in the dark with her turtle light throwing stars on the ceiling and discussed the exciting new things we would do in our very own school.  I assured her I would not be mad at her if she misspelled a word and that I would always love her no matter what.  She said her prayers and her big brother came in to sleep with her.  I stood in the door and prayed that we were not making a big mistake and messing our kids up for life.  The same prayer I have prayed since our children were born.  They say the only constant in life is that change is inevitable, but some things in a family never change.

Now, I've got to go to sleep.  For better or worse, I've got school tomorrow. (BTW- It starts at the sensible time of 9:30!)

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