Leah Jones, Kansas City fountains

I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been too busy living life. The last two weeks I’ve been running around like crazy, getting things ready for Leah’s homeschool graduation, which I am so dreading! Everything is almost done now. I’ve missed you, though!

I’m still crying a lot. Yes, STILL. Every time I see school supplies. Yesterday Leah and I went on our last homeschooling week‘s field trip (do you feel my agony from writing that?)  to eat at Fritz’s Restaurant where they deliver your cheeseburgers and fries by a little whistling train and to explore Crown Center in Kansas City.

Leah’s less-than-enthusiastic response to Fritz’s was typical teen disdain: “This is for BABIES, mom!” I wanted to say, ‘You ARE my baby!” but I knew that would go over like a lead balloon and I’d get the rolled eyes, which she has down to an art.  Besides, I liked the little train!

After we ate, we left (without the train engineer paper hat) to walk around Crown Center. When I saw the Crayola Store, I became teary-eyed again. I know, grow up, right?

That’s the problem. Growing up happens way too fast. Why don’t we ever notice while it’s happening?

For so long I’ve had the identity of “homeschool mom”…homeschooling for over 15 years now. How do I suddenly let it go? Or at least it seems sudden.

Yes, I have done other things in life. For the  last 1 1/2 years. I started an online business for my Speaking and Book Writing. (I’ve also been an editor and personal assistant to the CEO of a national organization, a pizza maker making an average of 30 to 60 pizzas on Friday and Saturday nights, a flight attendant, an executive secretary doing transcription/word processing for 7 executives, a waitress many times, a newspaper featured news/police beat reporter, and a J.C. Penny catalog clerk.)

It’s not like I’m an empty-shell person, a non-person, that I’ve stopped existing just because I had children or started homeschooling our kids. I am my own worst enemy my own person, not just wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend.

God wants us to use our gifts for His glory. He doesn’t want us wives and moms to have totally child-centered homes, for our identities to be completely wrapped up in our kids until they leave home. It’s not healthy for our children, our marriages, or ourselves as women.

BUT I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!

When I shared my feelings with some friends this week, they joked that I could find other children to homeschool. Yes, just go to the mall and ask some random child and her mother if they mind if I take her home and can begin to homeschool her.

One friend of mine admitted she had struggled a lot, too, when homeschooling ended: “Yes, I grieved over leaving homeschooling. I STILL miss it and it’s been several years!! God started planting the seed of leaving it a couple years earlier cause He knew I would have trouble leaving it, too.”

Another friend, who’s been homeschooling for 14 years and still has a 3-year-old whom she intends to homeschool until high school graduation, had a different view about the final homeschool year: “Let’s see, I’ll be 60 years old when I’m done. YEP, I will DEFINITELY be ready to stop by then!”

Seriously, this ache inside me is BIG. What’s a girl to do when she can’t homeschool any more? I LOVE homeschooling. What am I gonna’ do now?

Here’s just a few things I have on my homeschooling-is-forever-over list:

  • Rise up and not regret. Remember and cherish the happy, fun times. Be thankful for the privilege of homeschooling.
  • Keep dreaming big for me, Ray, our kids, and grandkids. Good things are around the corner!
  • Have fun and laugh a lot.
  • Strive to please God (not man) in all I do, say, and think!
  •  Start letting go and watch Leah learn to soar on her own.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Try to make myself believe this list.

As my sister Maria and our daughter Heather told me, it’s not like Leah will stop learning new things just because she’s graduating or we can’t still do fun things. We can still go on fun field trips.

Maybe this is even a brand-new, even funner chapter in our lives.

Just putting the books down and going on a road trip (letting Leah drive, now that she has her driver’s license!)….until the day she drives away, all on her own.

Now I’ve got tears again…  🙂

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” ~ Coco Chanel

Have you ever gone through a time like this where your identity was changing? Please leave your comments below.

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    3 Comments

  1. Beth Jones August 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Beth, I know the feeling of not having time to pursue other things. But I don’t regret it at all. I am so thankful for homeschooling. Thank you for the encouragement. And you are right…you don’t have to wait to pursue those things in your heart. Begin today! 😀

  2. Beth Jones August 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Beth, I know the feeling of not having much time left to pursue other things. But I don’t regret it all. I am so thankful for homeschooling our daughters! Thanks for the encouragement…And you are right. You don’t have to wait. Start today! 😀

  3. Beth August 16, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’ll be 57 when my youngest graduates. I have to say that although I wouldn’t do it any other way (send him to school, etc.) I do feel like that doesn’t leave me much time to pursue other things before I start… getting old! But that’s ok. It’s not like I have to wait until he’s gone to start doing some of those things. Maybe just get him into Kindergarten before I get too busy with other stuff! 

    Embrace this new time. Have fun with your graduated children without any pressure for credits! 

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