Once upon a time, I broke a longish blog silence with a post about homeschooling, public schooling, and depression. And I sat back and wondered . . . what will people say?
Honestly, most of the time people don’t say much about my blog posts. Maybe I’ll get a couple of likes, a couple of comments on Facebook. Sometimes it really bugs me. Sometimes I don’t worry about it. But if you talk about school choices, life changes, and meds, you never know. In the circle I live in, there are a lot of people who would consider public schooling and even mentioning medication in relation to depression to be controversial, if not downright sinful.
Thankfully, I have the most amazing friends. Friends who have reached out in so many ways to cheer me on and encourage me. Friends who have shared their experiences– with depression, with chronic illness, with public school, with making hard choices. Friends who have just offered such sweet words of love and advice and friendship.
This is what it’s supposed to be like, y’all. We can rip each other to shreds easily enough. Or we can see a person who is mourning– even a person whose grief is one we cannot fully understand— and we can cry with them. We can lift them up, be one more little stitch in the threads that are holding them together.
Last night, when I sat here typing all those words, I was grieving. Today I’m rejoicing. You know how these life transitions are– so much bitter, so much sweet. Today I am seeing the sweet, and a lot of that is because of the kindness of my people– unexpected people who have taken the time to reach out to me.
I am excited for my kids to go to school, to have opportunities I cannot give them in homeschooling. I’m excited for R to be able to take high school math and science from good, qualified teachers who actually understand chemistry and electricity and quadratic equations. I’m excited for G to be able to play sports and have a whole group of kids to play with every day at recess. I’m excited to teach S without distractions and time crunches.
I’m excited to have a little extra time to go calling with my husband and participate more in his ministry. I’m excited to volunteer at the school and show up with balloons on birthdays and make a super big obnoxious embarrassing fuss. I’m excited to cheer for the Vikings and to go to winter concerts and school plays. I’m excited to have a parent-teacher conference that doesn’t involve just talking to myself.
I’m excited to see what God is going to do in all of our lives as we learn new ways to trust Him, new ways to grow together, new ways to serve and laugh and reach out. I’m excited because I know that God has led us down this road and He is not going to fail. I’m excited to see where the road leads, to know it may lead through hard times and valleys but in the end it leads to what is good.
This morning I sat on the floor and labeled a pink binder, four spiral notebooks (one sparkly one with unicorns on it!), a box of crayons, a box of colored pencils, a pencil box. I labeled scissors and a puppy folder and a stripey lunchbox and a backpack covered in shooting stars. It’s sitting where I can see it– propped against the wall– ready for an eager and nervous third grader to carry it off to her classroom next week.
Today I ordered math curriculum and worked on a daily school schedule, and I discussed the fine art of lunch packing with a brand new high school freshman. And I read message after message of love and support. Life is changing– new flavors swirling into the already beautiful and rich life God has given us here in Tiny Town.
All of these things– backpacks and totes of homeschool materials and new gym shoes and friends who love me– are good gifts from my good God who loves me and my children and never fails me.
Bitter and sweet. Like a good cup of coffee with my favorite chocolate caramel creamer in it.
New school year? Bring it on.