It gets better

1300 feet high, no rope… Image by Maria Ly

I’m not one for pie-in-the-sky platitudes (though clearly I’m okay with cliches). Being told that things will get easier, make more sense, or feel better in some time that is not now can feel like a pat on the head, not a rope thrown down a cliff.

But things will get better because you strive toward that end—that’s who you are. You are a responsibility-taking initiator of “good things.” I know this about you because you homeschool. That’s the only kind of person who chooses this life.

I also know that you are an intrepid researcher because you homeschool. Those are the sort of people who take on the education of their children without degrees or training. They’re the kind that tackle Big Huge Risky Tasks because they have such unswerving faith in their abilities—at minimum, their ability to research and apply what they need to know to achieve their ideals.

Oh, I know it doesn’t always feel that way. Some days you feel like curling into a ball on a beanbag chair sucking your thumb. Those days don’t last too long, though, because you won’t permit it.

You’re the kind of person who after a few days of self-pity, looks into the mirror, gives a yourself pep talk, and re-ups the commitment.

You most certainly do have that confidence. People without it don’t homeschool.

This is the rope. Thrown down the cliff to you.

It’s not a list of practices like breathing or running.

It’s not a set of precepts about education and child development.

It’s not the “perfect curriculum” that relieves you of the obligation to teach your children.

Nope.

The rope –> YOUR own tenacity and audacity. That’s it!

Today’s difficulty is merely one in a long string of challenges that you will attack with spirit and drive. Sure, it’s not always rainbows and licorice in the middle of the muddle.

Of course not!

But you know that. You knew that when you started. It’s like running: you know you’ll get tired and out of breath. Well, here’s that moment. Keep running.

At the core, you can trust that you will be better at this thing called homeschooling tomorrow than you are today. A year from now? Even better. The next to last child? Better than the first two. You will get the hang of it.

Wait. I hear some of you say: “What if I never do get better at it? What if homeschool never feels happy or serene or satisfying the way I want it to be?”

Guess what I know you’ll do? You’ll figure out something else! Your drive to ensure a quality childhood for your children will leave you tireless in your pursuit of a better situation. You may have to change course. You may stop homeschooling after several years. Who’s to say that is the wrong decision or an admission of failure? It might be the most powerful act of self-advocacy in your entire adult life!

I trust you!

You can figure out what to do!

Here’s what I know: homeschoolers are ethical, sincere, committed, hard-working, optimistic, and resourceful.

That’s you!

I trust your choices on the basis of those characteristics alone. Whatever you do, your life with your kids is going to get better and better (even through the messiness of teens or toddlers). That’s how it works for parents like you.

Catch!

Grab the rope—it’s you! You can pull yourself up, by your own strength of character. It will get better.

I’ve got cookies at the top. See you there.

Cross-posted on facebook.

One Response to “It gets better”

  1. Melanie says:

    In the midst of one of our best homeschooling years ever, I’m struggling hugely in another area. You have so encouraged me that the tenacity that has gotten me this far in homeschooling will get me through everything else too. Thank you!