Wood Banner with Swirls

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No.2 Pencils

So often the big event we Daydream about is a Giant Let Down. For example, the build-up to the Christmas holiday with the shopping and decorating and the wrapping of gifts....
We envision the family gathered, donning our "gay apparel" and laughing as we clink glasses together in a jolly toast. The children play merrily with their new toys and everyone is sentimental over the birth of our savior. Perfect.
Then Christmas day arrives and Sister shows up late as usual,  Uncle brought cheap gifts, Grandpa is asleep after a pre-meal turkey sandwich and Grandma is griping at Mom because she can't find the mixer. The children are fighting over a toy and not a soul has mentioned a baby in a manger. Giant Let Down.

I often think of this....how we build things up in our minds and reality just can't live up to our perfect vision.

I've been Daydreaming again about laughing children and folders of organized work and family adventures and exploring the worlds of art and music and theater and history......a yellow warmth pours into our sunroom and the children are seated on the giant rug. My shabby framed dry erase board stares blankly from the West wall and awaits my Expo marker. I command their attention with my animated narration and they participate eagerly. We then frolic out of doors to tend to our vegetable garden. The children sing a happy song as they tug at the weeds and pick the harvest of our family labor. Sigh. Can't you see it? I am certainly wearing a cotton dress and one of those large garden hats. Perfect.

Then I am stirred from my thoughts by a screaming child insisting that her sister has purposely hidden her jazz shoes....and I realize that we're late for rehearsal and that the girls never finished their homework because we couldn't find any pencils! So off we go and then to grab dinner after - home by 9:15 and homework gets completed in blue ink. Baths. Bed. 2 hours of work for mom. 5 hours of sleep before the alarm. Real.

Today was the deadline for turning in a Letter of Intent to Homeschool in the state of Arkansas for the Spring Semester. It is something I've thought of many times and I've tormented over this decision for weeks. Pray. Wait. Talking with the husband. Talking with the children. Pray. Wait.

Today I walked out the door at 12:02pm and drove to the Administration Office with my Letter of Intent and Curriculum Description. Anxiety gone. Breathing comes easy. Corners of my mouth curl upward. This Marketing Consultant will soon be a Homeschool Teacher! A few years ago, I would have laughed at the thought. Today I smile. And as I walk out the door to fetch kids from school, I walk out the door happy! We are going to take this thing a semester at a time. It most certainly won't be like my Daydream but I am confident that it will not be a Giant Let Down either.

We are all excited about our new adventure but the sunroom doesn't even resemble a classroom and I think we'll need to purchase some No. 2 Pencils!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

These Wooden Beams

About a year ago my mother, upon returning from a weekend get-away with her sister, came bearing gifts. We had moved recently and she proudly presented a wooden plaque for the wall of our sunroom that stated, "A house is made of wooden beams, a home is made of love and dreams.".  It meant more than she would know. My husband and I had purchased two homes before this one and each was new with fresh paint and crisp white trim. Each had new counters and new appliances and new driveways and new landscaping and new neighbors who were less than a stone's throw away.

We both dreamed of a lawn larger than a basketball court, a place for the children to run and play, a place to visit with family and friends on hot Summer days and Crisp afternoons in late Fall. And I secretly dreamed of bright colored walls and carefully sought out accents. We listed and sold our second home in suburbia to move into a older home on the outskirts of town, and going on one year here much has changed but much remains to be done. There are days when I think we should throw in the towel on the place and run straight for the newest subdivided neighborhood but then I remember the dreams that moved in with us. I remember the mural painted by two sweet little girls on the walls - that came before the fresh coat of paint - a color chosen by our family of four. I remember the calloused hands that held the big rubber hammer that pushed each piece of wood flooring flush against the other as the floor in our living room was transformed. And I look out my bedroom window at the giant oak that has lived here for decades before me and know that my roots were dragged with me when I left my home for college all of those years ago and that I've carried them until now. Justin and I have found our "home" with our precious girls and I know that our roots are intermingling with those of the giant oak and are becoming quickly attached as we build, together, a foundation for love and dreams.

I hope that you will visit often as I share what happens behind "these wooden beams" and the other wooden beams that I encounter. They all have a story!