Two weeks into school and I was finished.
I hit the wall in September that I don't usually hit until June.
I love home schooling my children. But what started out as a fun adventure had somehow morphed into a crazy Ben-Hurish chariot race. Through the years we've quadrupled our number of children that need to be educated, we've added several instruments (with lessons!), not to mention ballet, basketball, art, Spanish, Friday School, etc.
I sat Dave down, on the Friday night of the second week, and told him I was pretty much finished.
He was unsure of how to take this.
He thought maybe he should quit his job and help me.
This scared me into clearer thinking.
My thoughts were that we should chuck everything extracurricular.
Who cares that we've invested thousands of dollars into lessons? So what that we bought Avonlea a harp? Why does Craigslist exist if not for the superfluous harp?
Dave and I hit these thoughts back and forth rather like a lame game of badminton when suddenly, he scored. "How about asking your mom to help?"
The room pulsed with light for a minute as we paused.
My mom will be 72 next month. She still works full time and then some. Maybe she'd like to retire to my house? Hmmmmm.
Dave pounced on my uncertainty, "Go down and ask her right now." (She lives next door).
I went. I asked.
She replied, "Can you hold on for two weeks so I can give my notice?"
I fainted (in spirit if not body).
Apparently she was ready to retire, ready to jump in and help me out for a bit, ready for God's next adventure for her. However, I'm not sure who's in for the bigger adventure, her or I.
We are in our third week of togetherness. Rowan and Rose climbed into bed with me this morning and I inhaled and had an urge to throw them in the frying pan and saute them with some onion. Upon questioning I discovered that mom's been slipping them whole pickled garlic cloves. They eat them like candy at her house.
Last week she told me to clean up the Lincoln Logs and I had a crazy urge to tell her that Rosy spilled them and not me! Why should I have to clean them up! It's not fair!
She drove the kids to piano and sang Jewish songs in Hebrew at the top of her lungs the whole way home. The children were slightly traumatized and only agreed to go with her again if she gave them more pickled garlic. It's a vicious cycle my friends.
Rowan asked her if she was alive when Pompeii was buried. She wouldn't answer him. He was rather offended. "I still don't know," he said sadly.
All in all, I feel like this is how life was meant to be lived. The stories she tells, the songs she sings, the garlic she propagates, all add to the richness, the fullness, the aroma of our lives. There is a circular sense of rightness. There is a give and take that is generous yet careful of boundaries.
The wall that I was hitting has disappeared and life is a fun adventure again.
And I feel what I sometimes only know, that God loves me very much and he cares.
"Rosy if you get off of me I'll give you some pickled garlic!"