This past week was filled with teaching moments. Sure, Sweet G was taught that grabbing toys from her siblings would result in time-out after time-out. Alizea was taught that there are 6 cases in Latin Grammar and Soren was taught that despite his fight, he will still take a nap. But the lessons this week, were mostly for me. The recurring theme was that the
day days were not about achieving my plans or being “in control” of my idea of how the day should go…sure I can set goals and when we need to make it to the store for milk, we gotta go kicking and screaming. But this homeschooling journey is teaching me that perhaps just as important as striving for that daily schedule, structure and order is being flexible and trusting that the Lord also has His plans waiting to be discovered in the secret corners of my mundane everyday.
The first example was early in the week when I was getting the boy dressed (which can be just as exhausting as my 2 mile jog) barking orders at the girls while nervously running around half-dressed grabbing necessities for the diaper bag and shoving something that somewhat resembled breakfast in my mouth before the babe got too cranky and upset. Well, as I feared, just when I went to scoop her up from the playpen and put her in the car, she had fallen asleep. While I was tempted to get frustrated, irritated, even mad that my little people had ruined my plans to run some important errand, (so important that I cant even remember what it was) and had they listened the 1st time, all would be just swell, I knew better so it was on to a different plan. I locked up the house, grabbed the monitor and Alizea’s catechism lesson sheet and we took off, with bikes and scooters for our morning walk around the culdesac. As the kids were stopping to observe the rolly pollies, lady bugs and changing leaves, I was reading to Alizea the explanation of the phrase “Full of Grace” as the lesson was studying the Hail Mary prayer. The main point was that when something is full, there is no room for anything else. She clearly showed that she understood that if Mary was full of grace, then there was no room for sin in her heart or her life, which then led to a discussion on original sin. She seemed to be really interested in the conversation… “Yeah, Adam and Eve were our first earthly parents.” “That’s right Sweetheart. From them, all generations were born” And then…..a pause ……with a pensive look on her face….”Who were their 1st kids? Mimi and Bapa???”Trying with every ounce of my being not to burst out in laughter which undoubtedly would have embarrassed her, I said “Good guess, it was actually Cain and Able” to which she replied “Oh yeah, I remember” 😉
And that, is perhaps what I love the most about home educating. Being so intimate with her learning that I have the privilege (& I need to remind myself of this from time to time, hence this post) to see firsthand the amazing capacity for reasoning whether it be Language, Mathematics or theological truths, and in the same moment, being reminded of the beauty of her innocence. God definitely makes it fun when I open my eyes and He reminded me that I never would have been able to experience that dialogue in between games of “red light, green light”, to see the sparkle in her eye and expressions on her face as she discovers what God has created for her had I been so narrow minded in my vision of how the day ought to play out.
The next example was at the tail end of the week. 3 of us ended up with colds, the youngest 2 had had bad nights with teething and my sweet one was having a very sour morning. I had hardly slept and I was exhausted. And rather than spend the morning lesson time somewhat peacefully with a sleeping baby, I was comforting 2 cranky, whiny, tired ones, wiping snotty noses and guiding one into the corner for the 5th time in 15 minutes. I was drowning in the noise and feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged. I saw the goals I had made for the day just slip away and I felt as though I was failing Alizea in the time she needed of me to accomplish her studies. I audibly cried out, “Lord please help me”. Almost immediately, I heard a voice. No, God is not speaking to me audibly…yet 😉 hehe…Alizea had began to pray “Lord, please help mommy to get everything done she has to do. Please give her patience and help her not to get frustrated because she has so much to do…… In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen” I got the biggest knot in my throat and felt so incredibly consoled by my daughter, by my Lord, and the message was clear: Marisa, It’s ok. You are giving your daughter an opportunity to step outside herself and be a help, a support. You are giving her the gift to meet a need, the need of her mother. You are allowing her the chance to put to practice all that you are teaching her. That is your job today.
Your presence is enough.
(And I guess it didn’t hurt that less than 24 hours later, I knew I would be getting an overnight date with the hubbs. alone. dancing together. alone. driving down the coast with our gourmet coffee drinks. alone. mass together. alone. breakfast together. alone. 1st time post baby 4. awesome-ness. THANK YOU Mimi, Bapa & Nini for making that happen!!!!!)