There is something that happens when people are introduced to their own fragile mortality. I, myself, have had to deal with life and death matters more than once.
A few weeks ago, the fragility of life was no more evident than after the passing of a long-time friend. She was a beautiful soul. She had been given a death sentence by the doctors and chose to confront the disease with life. My friend, Mindy, was also only 40 years old and the homeschooling Mama of 4 precious kiddos.
Her sweet babies have been on my heart a lot lately. We are told children are far more resilient than we give them credit for, but we all know that what her kids are experiencing must be confusing and extremely sad.
What I don’t doubt, however, is that Mindy told her kids every day that she loved them. She understood that time was precious.
I know, too, that in the last months of her life, she wasn’t as concerned with who was behind in division or who wasn’t reading at grade level. She had the benefit of supportive friends and family who helped her fill in the gaps, but I imagine that her energies were focused on those relationships in her life.
As I mentioned, I can speak about this because I have dealt with illness and traumatic events that threatened to take my life. There is something that happens when there is a possibility that you won’t see your child reach adulthood.
If you are wise, you begin to change your perspective. You understand that the lessons you are passing down to your children are lasting ones that will make them kinder people. Hopefully, they will see in your life the importance of chasing after their Creator with all their hearts. They learn that God keeps His promises . . . even when we don’t see the answers to prayer we hope to see.
Despite my own experiences, I still find myself worshipping at the altar of homeschool expectations and busyness. I get so wrapped up in the educational and household goals I have for my family. I have to say that my friend’s death reminded me once again of those lessons I promised myself I never would forget.
This past week, I set aside the schoolwork in my house. My son and I sat together and talked about things Mamas need to talk to their teenage sons about. I made his favorite macaroni and cheese and a big pan of brownies. I introduced him to a quirky band I enjoyed as a teenager in the 80’s. He wasn’t as impressed with the group as much I was when I was his age. We read the Psalms together and prayed for family and friends we knew were suffering.
Next week, we will return to our study of the Revolutionary War. I will give him a test on the digestive system. We start reading My Side of the Mountain once again because I think it’s good to reread those books that mean something. His homeschool co-op theater class will act out something awesome . . . and he will worry about whether or not he should try out for the spring musical. And yes . . . we will probably make a pan of brownies, read another couple of chapters in Psalms, and pray some more for those we love and those we need to learn to know.
You see. The homeschooling life allows us to make every moment count. It allows us to think about the mundane things like cooking our favorite dishes and long division (if we so choose). It gives us time, if we take that time. It lets us fill our homes and children’s educational experiences with the things that matter to us.
Go hug your people. Tell them that you love them. Don’t just encourage them to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Show them. And bake that pan of brownies.
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