July 1 is a new "school" year in my state so my first year of homeschooling is officially over. This seems like a good time to reflect on how life has changed during that time.
I begin with Jace because he was the catalyst for the miracle of the past year. It is almost inconceivable for me that the angry, sad, insecure, short-tempered boy that left me weeping on my knees begging for answers ever existed. I spent so much time worrying about him, worrying about how his issues affected his sister, worrying that he would never be happy. I also spent a great deal of time angry with him and wishing we could just have one day without rage. Now I have a boy who is happy most of the time and I don't see rage anymore, ever. He is self-confident, he is self-motivated, most of the time he has self-control when it comes to his temper (and when he doesn't it is so much better and more typical of most little boys). Don't misunderstand, he isn't perfect, but he is his most perfect self. I have tears as I write this because I am so very grateful to have my boy back.
And what a surprise it has been to find the real Kya this year; I didn't even know she was hiding. At this time last year we thought she would stay in school because she seemed to be doing fine and Jace and I were only going to take a year off anyway. That didn't last long. We quickly realized that it was difficult for Jace and I to go anywhere around the school bus's schedule. Kya quickly realized that Jace and I were having grand adventures during the day while she was stuck in school and then had still more homework when she got home. At the end of the first quarter she came home too. And, oh how she shines at home. It is sad and frightening to me that she appeared to be doing so well on the surface when in fact she was paralyzed by being "good". She was a good student, a good girl, and good at being whoever she needed to be to keep everyone happy. Now she will tell you that she is good at being herself (in fact she considers it her best talent). She is no longer shy or timid, she is so confident, she laughs so much more, she recognizes what she really loves and follows it. Again, I am so very grateful.
Finally, I can't talk about the transformations of this past year without talking about my own. I have more time to be the kind of mom my instincts have always told me to be. I also have more time to be the me I've always wanted, separate from anyone else's expectations of me; I take the time to pursue my own goals, to dig deep and learn my true self. Even my husband, who at first wasn't sure about homeschooling or giving up half of our income, has noted the change and sees that we are ALL so much better off now. A lot of this past year has been possible because I simply have time but it is also because I am no longer embedded in a system that is broken and therefore I am less broken. When I was teaching, much like the early days of my parenting journey, I thought everyone else was doing it right and the reason things weren't working was because I needed more structure, more consistent rules, more, more, more. Now I realize that the reason I couldn't be consistent, with both my children and my students, was because deep down I didn't believe in the rules everyone was thrusting upon me. Like my children, I too am more calm, more confident, less stressed. On top of all this I have been lucky enough to find the most amazing group of women- a group I never would have thought existed in my little part of the world. They have restored my faith in the world and perhaps more importantly in my own instincts. God, The Universe, A Higher Power, whatever you choose to call that which is greater than ourselves, has ordered my steps in the journey to find all of these missing pieces to my puzzle this year and again, gratitude is the word of the day.