THESE ARE THE DAYS

There is one thing I am learning now that my children have started staying home with me and are being home schooled.  After having been indoors for weeks because of on again and off again snow storms I have seen comments by other parents that are all too familiar to the woman I once was and it only caught my attention because I realize I no longer feel this way.  I no longer look forward to the day that my kids will get out from under my skin and go back to school.  I use to feel this way usually by the time the end of Christmas break rolled around or near the last 2 weeks of summer break.  When snow storms would come, after just a couple days, all I wanted was for them to get back to school so I could have some peace in the house.  Maybe you haven't felt this way but for those who have (and I know you are out there) I realized something. We just had a big snow storm and I don't feel this way.  This is new for me, normally I would be ready to kick them outside and lock the door.  Not that I would do that, but I have FELT that stressed out before.  And that has led me to realize that I missed a lot of their life. It's not because of public school, but it was a default that I willingly accepted without question and it affected the way I interacted with my children.  For 8 hours a day, five days a week over a period of almost 6 years I was not around them to be a part of what they were doing.  They were in school, learning, growing, and maturing without me.  And when they were home I gave myself to them but apparently there were conditions to how long or how much of me I would give because I would grow tired of it after a few forced days of  "closeness".  But now I don't.  Why?  Because I know them better now.  I knew them well before, but not like I do now.  I know their personalities so much better now that I know before they spiral out of control, how to defer it.  Now don't get me wrong, we didn't just drop them off at school and check out of their lives.  We were not those parents ever and their previous teachers could testify to our participation and devotion.  Sure, we worked them through their homework diligently and attended school events and helped when we were able, but that wasn't anything compared to the time they were away.  What I didn't realize was, I needed that break because I had become accustomed to them not being with me much of the time.  Since they have been home I have been through a transformation.  From wanting a break so badly I could cry myself to sleep and sometimes through the afternoon to now having reached the realization of who these little people are that we created.  I have been through a personal wringer, but I survived and surprisingly, I am so much stronger now.  I knew my kids before, sure, but now I know them better.  I am amazed at how much closer my oldest daughter and I have become in such a short time, because I am the one speaking into her life (whether it be spiritually or just mentally or emotionally) MOST of the time.  And I have found that I listen more and because of that, she does too.  WOW!  Can I get a hallelujah!?  Now, I don't say this at all to imply that children who go to school publicly are not being raised well.  If you have any insecurity at all about how you raise your children you might go to that place automatically so I need you to force yourself now to actually hear what I am really saying in this article.  Listen to me closely, I don't care if you home school or public school your children.  I want you to check your feelings towards them to be sure you are bonding with them as completely as you need to be in order to lead them the rest of the way.  One day they will stand on their own feet and in their own decisions.  Do you want them to want to get away from you after a short period of closeness?  Because they will learn this from you and when you are old and you need them the roles will be reversed.  This is a wisdom that I have received out of prayer and a lot of self contemplating.  I hope someone can hear it.  I'm simply saying that there are many many things being missed and wanting them to get back to school after just a couple days off IS A SIGN that you could be closer with them.  Odd isn't it?  That being too close for a short period of time with them would reveal that you may not be close enough?  Now, this may not be true for you, but it is something I have discovered and it only presented itself to me after seeing so many want their kids to go back to school for the sake of peace and quiet and realizing that I totally understand that but strangely no longer feel that way.  I had to ask myself what has changed and now I am sharing what I believe that is with you.  Be careful that we don't wish our time with them away while they are younger.  They may do that to us when we are older.  I know how it feels to need a break, TRUST ME I DO, but I also know that these are the days we can not get back again.  And one day, if we haven't made the most of THESE days we'll regret it for the rest of ours.  I know, they wear you out and they frustrate you.  Come up with ways to use free time more productively, but don't wish them away.