Monday, August 23, 2010

I have the E Ticket and it's not all it's cracked up to be!

Well, for my girls, today is back to school day. Emily is in
eighth grade and Jules entered middle school (6th grade)
today. They were ready, happy, loaded down with their
books and schedules and Jules might have been a bit nervous
but overall, they were READY. Em assured Jules that she
would walk her to her homeroom and any other classes
that she needed help finding and I felt really proud of both

I have homeschooled for two years until a back injury derailed me so I have experience in both kinds of school-homeschool and public school. I also taught in public school for 10 years. (We don't have money or desire for the kids to be segregated at a private school.)Each year that my kids have been at public school I drove them to school in the morning and they rode the bus home in the afternoon. WHY? Because I wanted to pray with them on the way to school and bless them before they entered their day. Some mornings were glorious prayers and other mornings I was so fatigued it was, " God I am too tired but you know what they need, please do it today."It was a special time for us- and I loved it.
This year both kids got on the bus this morning and will be riding it home this afternoon. Ok, no big deal. Except that when Em rode the bus sometimes in the am last year, I still drove her to the bus stop at her friend's house to have those last few minutes to pray over her or tell her how capable she was or just to say, " GIVE ME A KISS, NO I AM NOT WEARING LIPSTICK EMMY!"
So they were going to walk to the bustop today. Good.It's time for them to do that. I ran out and said to them" Please don't go, I"ll eat you up, I love you so!" (an old
favorite we say all the time from the classic story Where the Wild Things Are.) Em looked at me and said, "OH MOOMS, do you want to drive us to the bus stop?" " YES YES YES!" Jules said, " I wanna ripstick to the bustop." (A modern day skateboard).
Then she looked at me and said, " But I will ride with you guys." So I prayed the most thorough prayer a mom can pray in 2 minutes and they kissed me and out they got.
I got home and Jon said, " YOU GET TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TODAY!" I looked at him and said, " Yea, only I don't want to really." He said, " Rest today
read, do whatever!" I said, " I feel lost today Jon." Not sad, not depressed,
not unhappy, just kind of lost feeling- like someone gave me a freeE ticket at Disney (if you aren't old enough to know what that is, it was the tickets that let you go on the COOL RIDES AT DISNEY like Space Mountain or Pirates of the Carribean and when your E tickets ran out, you had to either buy a whole new book of tickets or ride Dumbo or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) It was a treasured thing. So I have the E ticket and am standing in the middle of Disney World thinking, " But there's nothing I really want to ride today." BIZARRE? You bet. I told Jon, " They are growing up and learning to live without me."-they now do their own laundry, make their own lunches,and have always done their own homework,
unless they were stumped.I don't ever and will never "bail" my kids out of an assignment they forgot or left at home or waited until the last minute to finish. "And Jon, that is good and right and profitable for them, and I know that. But I miss them. I miss just knowing that they are upstairs being silly and making stupid dance videos. I miss driving them to school and having six minutes to pray instead of two. I missTHEM, the essence of THEM in my home." He said, "I understand."

So while there may be mothers settling down with a cup of coffee today saying, " Praise be to God for school starting!", I am not one of them. I want the E ticket but I want to go on the rides with my kids. That doesn't mean I want to homeschool- I know that I cannot and do not want to educate them to the standards that they are educated by six different individuals at school. I am honest about that. I don't have the energy to do it with excellence.I just wish kids still came home for lunch- maybe we could hop on Space Mountain and then they would say, " WOW, Mom, that was awesome, wanna go again?" And we could. But E tickets don't exist anymore, kids don't come home for lunch anymore, and there is a mom in Florida who is going to have to adjust to riding the rides alone.

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