“No one said it would be easy, but no one said it’d be this hard.” – Sheryl Crow
Don’t get me wrong. I expect it to be hard. There are just some days, some months, heck even some years, when I feel like I’m in a battle — and I’m losing. Between the bills piling up, the family members falling apart, the friendships that seem more like long lost acquaintances I used to know, and the dreams — mine and my kids’ — that seem so far away or dashed altogether, well… It’s just hard.
Even as I write this, I feel — something, hope perhaps, something urging me to not give up, to remember the good things, to hold firmly to the belief that I’m making the right decisions for my family. Maybe it’s more accurate to say the hope that I’ve made the right decisions for my family. I can’t very well go back and correct them now if they were wrong. My oldest child is entering her senior year – homeschooled since Kindergarten. I’m more aware than ever of the ‘against the grain, swim against the tide’ nature of the decision to home educate my kids. It’s good! I believe it’s good. But, it’s easier, 12 years into this, to see some of the choke points, some of the rough spots in my parenting and in our homeschooling.
And so I force myself to remember that this isn’t about producing the most popular kids in their neighborhood peer group. It’s not about competing with students their age on standardized tests. It’s not about giving my children what we call opportunities but what amounts to frantically busy lives with little time left to be children. It’s not about making stars. It is about making a loving home where the kids feel secure in their parents’ love and the friendship of their siblings who always have their back. It sometimes seems like they don’t have as many or as deep of friendships in the groups their in because they don’t. They have a family instead of a peer group. We didn’t want them raised by the schools. We didn’t want them to adopt the values of the other kids in the neighborhood or whatever random kids they sat next to in Study Hall. We wanted to raise them in a different way than we were raised.
No one said it would be easy.
It reminds me of Mr. Beaver’s description of Aslan in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, when Lucy asks if Aslan is safe:
“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
So, we press on toward the goal… (Philippians 3:14)