Hug Your Season
I’m not alone in my adoration of autumn. There is something magical in the advent of fuzzy socks, hot apple cider, and our annual leaf nature study.
Or maybe this is just what our homeschool looks like.
I also can’t be the only one who has been busy “pinning” pumpkin recipes alternately with pumpkin science experiments. We never let a pumpkin go to waste in our house. That pumpkin used for exploration will soon become a batch of pumpkin butter or a pie, just in time for Thanksgiving.
I think one of the beauties of homeschooling is that you are more aware of the fragility of the seasons. I’m talking about the seasons of life. We spend most of our waking (and much of our sleeping) hours with these little people. We have spent years not only caring for their every basic need, but have journeyed with them to the prairie with Laura and her ma and pa. We have read countless poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and memorized our multiplication tables…over and over again.
We have explored the solar system and had dozens and dozens of enlightened conversations about forgiveness and the wonderful grace of God. We’ve taken countless nature hikes and attended hundreds of music lessons, swim team practices or ballet lessons.
For those of you with large families, there always seems to be someone who is learning to read or being potty trained. For those of us who have small families (we have one beautiful teenage son), the seasons seem more pronounced and shorter.
This year has been a year of reckoning for me. I know that I will never bear a child from my body. Our only son was adopted when he was an infant and the one pregnancy I had, I miscarried. Deep in my mind, I always knew that it wasn’t going to happen. But somehow, my heart always thought there was a chance. Over the past few months, I’ve caught myself pining for what could have been. I never intended on being the mother of an only child.
I still carry with me the names of all my potential children. I can even see them in my mind’s eye.
Ironically, it has been because of a health crisis, one I have carried with me for years, that has allowed me some perspective. Am I not embracing this season of my life because I am still caught up in another?
I imagine I am not alone in this. I’ve encouraged many a young momma that she will eventually get some sleep. There always seems to be something that we need to get past or need to press toward. Or maybe we can’t just enjoy where we are right now.
My epiphany came in the bathtub. I have always enjoyed a good soak in the tub. I have even developed somewhat of a little ritual. This particular evening, I threw in a handful of Epsom salts and sprinkled a bit of grapefruit essential oil in the water. A good murder mystery was waiting for me on the counter beside the tub as I laid back in the warm water.
My friends, there is something to be said for having a quiet house with time enough for me to read in the bathtub. I remembered. It had been several years since a little voice called out for my attention while I soaked in the tub.
Instead of feeling heartbroken, as I am given to do, I was kind of okay with it. The trips to Hobby Lobby BY MYSELF. The cups of hot tea and a good book in the afternoons. My wardrobe of cute clothes with nary a spit-up stain…unless it was self-inflicted.
Homeschooling has changed, as well. There is a charge for more independence. We have spent more time exploring in-depth things my son is interested in. I have become more at peace with our lifestyle and methods of schooling.
It’s a good place to be. And I’ve realized that I haven’t been able to enjoy it to its fullest because I have still been clinging to what might have been or what used to be. It’s important to grab ahold tight to these precious passages in life. We might miss what God intends us to see.
There is peace in embracing the seasons. Whether it be with a baby on your hip while you try to teach long division or a teenager who has just discovered the lure of his independence.
Either way, take each day for what it is: a gift.
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining