Saturday, May 10, 2008

Early morning reading

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite sights these days. Many a morning, usually right after breakfast and while I’m drinking my second cup of coffee, the boys will slip out of the kitchen and busy themselves with a quiet activity of some sort. I might peek my head around the doorway and find them looking at their wildlife cards or setting up a game of checkers. But more often than not, I find them looking at books. And usually, they are sharing a book and Aidan is “reading” the story to August or, as is the case with his nature magazines, explaining the pictures and concepts to him. It’s wonderful to see Aidan reinforcing what he has learned by turning around and sharing that information with August. There is something about this time of day, too, that just lends itself to this gentle and patient interaction between the two boys. Almost a “golden hour” of sorts.

And I am so thankful.

Thankful for the gift of being able to ease into our days with routines that are quiet and calm, not hectic and frenzied. Thankful for the gift of time that allows us the opportunity to determine what we do next rather than being directed by another’s imposed schedule.

Such is the gift of unemployment, I suppose. And, believe me, I am daily looking for the gifts that lie hidden within this time of waiting and watching. Since the boys and I have had the pleasure of John’s presence for the last four months we have also had the unique opportunity to weave the patterns of our days together. I’m growing awfully fond of having John with us and it will be a huge adjustment when he is away from the house for large chunks of time during the day. It has caused me to think about how this time of transition is having a big impact on my understanding of our family’s approach to homeschooling. Although the plan has been for John to be the primary wage earner while I take on the bulk of the homeschooling responsibilities, our experience of being together a lot has caused me to stop looking at it as so cut and dry. As our days play out I find that it’s not always that I will be this pivotal figure that will make things happen. When we are simply living, things are happening. Our choice to homeschool is really becoming a lifestyle choice. The incredible truth is this: the four of us really enjoy being together and in that togetherness, we also manage to engage in both individual and communal activities. So we find ourselves, more often than not, trying to figure out how to fashion our days so that we can be together as much as possible.

One would think that all this togetherness would be enough to drive a person crazy. And there are moments when that is true. But most moments find me incredibly grateful for all that I have been given. May it only continue to be so.


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  2. Holly, thank you for so eloquently describing family togetherness as a wondrous blessing. I too enjoy those moments with our kids and wonder what life would be like if daddy were here regularly... how would we incorporate daddy into our world? Ben has often fantasized about being with the family all day and everyday. Again, thank you for allowing us to live vicariously through you and John.
    P.S. It's amazing what the kids learn from dad just by being in his presence. I've also learned to loosen the reigns of "mommy-teacher" and let Ben share.