This week is something special.  On Sunday, August 3rd, I got an email re-instating my daughter’s open enrollment status to homeschool.

 

See, we had decided, between the diagnosis and the meds, to send our four youngest to school this year.  I cried during that meeting with the principal, a lovely, warm woman who showed much compassion.

I was broken and willing to make the best of a bad situation, to throw myself into the fray and try to cheerfully accept that my little girls, 6 and 7, would be going to school all day long this year.

I know there are many of you right now contemplating this same thing.  You’re burned out.  You’re frazzled.  You do SO much for your family and there is no short supply of crazy at your house.  I understand.

There have been days, in the past three years, where I have met my husband at the door, asking him to consider school.  I have been homeschooling seventeen years.  I don’t ever remember a time that I was “burned out” and no longer wanted to homeschool until shortly after William’s birth.  It was my first head-long run in with a spat of depression that sunk me like a stone.  This was followed by two rough miscarriages and my hormones were incredibly out of wack.  And I was no longer grateful.  Gratefulness is not a cure for mental health.  Some people think it is.  Mental health is a medical condition and should be treated as such.  Thankfully, what I now suspect was my first and last battle with postpartum depression, is in the past.  But I have to tell you, I still very much had the attitude that I was very ready to move past this stage of pouring myself into my kids and get onto what I wanted to do.

I enrolled in college (online) and decided I could homeschool and go to school.  And I did and I did so successfully.  I finished my Associates degree last year with a 3.9 adult GPA.  (I am not telling you what I had to drag in from age 18, lol.)  But, emotionally, I was withdrawing, eyes on “greener” pastures.

And then this.

This.

I got slapped in the head with Motor Neuron Disease as a diagnosis and it became very clear I was losing all of this.

As I type this I am kissing the tousled little blonde head of a sticky little boy in Cars underwear.  Potty training is NOT going well.  A nine year old is making her first attempt at crepes and the kitchen is going to be a disaster.  For the first time in 21 years of parenting I have Sharpie on my walls.  (The newly turned 3 year old is a creative little firecracker.) My house is a disaster.  My washing machine doesn’t know how to stop – it just rolls through spin and back to wash so you must constantly watch it.  This morning my coffee machine had to be rinsed with vinegar 5-6 times before it wanted to make my coffee.

Sometimes blogs give the illusion that life at THEIR house is so lovely, so serene.  And you sit down and look at your kids and your house and you feel like either you or them or BOTH are a failure at this homeschool and mom thing.

Life can be ugly.

It can hurt.  A lot.  It can be sad.  It can be illness, fatigue, chronic disease, terminal disease.

I cannot begin to say that homeschooling is right for every family.  But I can tell you that families are worth fighting for, worth pouring yourself out, worth living and dying for.

This morning I praise and thank my Lord for this gift…. The gift of one more day, one more week, one more school year to enjoy my precious (and precocious) little girls and teach them of Him and His glory.  And I will fail and I will  do it imperfectly, even ME with all my experience, and I will stumble.   But I will try and I will laugh and I will cover it a lot of it with love and all of it with prayer.  It is enough.