Saturday, June 8, 2019

I blinked

I blinked and two years have passed.  I feel like Rip Van Winkle of the blog world. Do people even blog anymore? I'm not sure, maybe I should do an Instagram poll to find out?

I woke up and it's June 2019.  This year Maeve turned 20 - one teenager down and one to go.  The biggest news of the year is that Hilde graduated high school!  


Hilde's graduation signals the end of our home school journey. The Perrin Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies is officially shuttering its doors after having graduated two stellar pupils.  You should quit while you are ahead, I say.  Hilde will be attending Washington College in the Fall as a Quill & Compass scholar for the American Experience.  This honor is awarded to students who want to pursue careers in history, writing, public service, etc. which focus on what it means to be an American and how the American Experience was formed.  This is a perfect fit for a child who fell in love with George Washington at an early age.  Her love of history took off in high where she devoured historical biographies.  The scholarship comes with many internship opportunities through the Starr Center for the American Experience.  She can hardly wait to get there and get started.   It's Hilde's version of being a kid in a candy store.  

Generally as a mom, I am immensely proud of my children. In fact I often wonder how I got so lucky.  As a home-school mom, I had a little more hand's on planning of how their education would unfold.  No home school parent wants to admit this but there were many times I wondered if I were doing the right thing.  Was I making the best decision for them?  Would they be literate and love learning? (These were two goals for educating at home). I crafted lessons, chose curriculum, joined co-ops, bought hundreds of books without really knowing how it was going play out. Well, it turned out pretty well for me.  Maeve and Hilde are both literate and love learning, so goals accomplished.  They also know how to study, how learn something independently, how to arrange a schedule that fosters success and when to ask for help if they need it. Home-schooling doesn't teach all of this but it allows space for all of this.   I can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Come to think of it being a home-school parent is really just parenting.  You have no idea how to do this, you figure it out as you go and you hope for the best.   The only sure sure thing is the love you have for your children.  Everything else is a gift. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What a Year

Hilde pointed out a few days ago that it has been a year since my last post. Really a year?  This year has flown past in a blur.  It has been full and has left little time for blogging.

Aside from all the regular family things that I juggle and a full time job, it was Maeve's senior year. My first born is now an adult and headed back east for college.  1855 miles away to be exact. This is awesome and terrifying.  Hilde turns 16 in 2 days and will be driving.  We have started college visits and are planning her last 2 years of home school.

When I catch my breath and look up from the piles of forms I need to complete, I realize I am headed into a new season of motherhood.  My daughters no longer require my assistance to stay alive. In fact they help me keep all the plates spinning. Although they still prefer me to cook dinner, they are completely capable of being self sufficient.  The scales of mothering are moving from the hands-on end to tip toward the emotional-support end.   Instead of feeding, dressing, and chauffeuring, I am now encouraging, guiding, and conversing.  We have great conversations about how to navigate life, how faith forms our decisions, and what their futures may look like.  I get to be part of these discussions but I can no longer choose for them.  I am keenly aware that my daily physical presence in their lives will be a thing of the past. I want to impart all my wisdom to them.  The irony is that wisdom is gained through experience.  So while I can share my stories with them, it's up to them to cultivate their own journey.  I can't walk through life for them but I think I have helped them be prepared for the trip.

Right now I am working on being fully present for every last moment.  That means choosing watching Merlin (our latest Netflix binge) over blogging.  It means saying yes to yoga class with Maeve (sometimes, because yoga is hard) and making sure we get to see Wonder Woman and Spider-Man in the movie theater.  These things may sound silly but time spent together is the foundation of connectedness.  Go make your own list.  What are the things that bring you together as a family?

Next on our list is a family vacation to Ireland.  I cannot wait to share this adventure with Maeve and Hilde. Once the dust settles in September and I've stopped crying about leaving Maeve in New Hampshire, I am sure I will have tons more to blog about.  I don't want another year to fly by.




Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weeding

I used my Saturday Power Hour to weed the “flower” beds by my front door this morning.  If this doesn’t seem like an event to write about, let me explain.  It’s July in Oklahoma which means the morning temps are already in the 90’s and it’s been upper 90’s for weeks and triple digits for the last few days.  It is a heat advisory weekend.  It will be hot, hot, hot until Halloween; therefore not the best morning to be outside gardening.  However, the choice was between sweating profusely and having to stare at weeds that were almost as tall as I am.  The house was two weeks away from looking abandoned.  I really want my house to look nice.  I want to present a pleasing image to the neighborhood or at least not be THAT house. So, out in the heat I went.  As I was sweating weeding I realized that if I had planned my landscaping according to season, I wouldn’t have to be outside in July.  If I weeded and mulched and planted in April and May, these weeds wouldn’t have taken over.  The problem is I didn’t want to work.  I really want there to be garden fairies who magically work all night so I can wake up and enjoy a beautiful yard without having to do any work.

The unfortunate part is that life doesn’t work that way.  The only thing I don’t have to work for is God’s love; everything else requires planning and participation.  You might be saying, “You can pay people to weed.”  Why yes I could; that still takes planning to earn the money to pay professionals.  I need to be willing to do the hard work in order to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  

Our spiritual life is the same way.  I have been spending time getting back to basics, intentionally carving time to read scripture, examine my life and actively seek God’s presence and direction.  Returning to a schedule, a rhythm, of my everyday life to plot a course in the direction I want to go.  If you don’t plot your course, you won’t get where you want to be.  You get tossed about from place to place.  Most people wake up and wonder how they got here.  I don’t want to be that person.  Not being that person takes work.  That’s where desire and reality collide.  I don’t want to put in the hard work of examining my life.  It takes time, it can be painful because I make mistakes, I would rather binge watch Sherlock.  So things slide, the calendar fills up with events and I am very busy.  Then just like the weeds, I wake up one day and realize I am overgrown. I forgot to schedule the important things.  I forgot that I can’t do everything.  I forgot to orient my to-do list around the person I am called to be.  So, when this happens, it takes extra effort to weed and prune and clear away the weeds that have encroached on my purpose.  It takes more work than if I had keep the constant, steady rhythm of daily discipline but the alternative is letting the weeds overrun the place.  


While I am weeding I ask myself these questions.  Does my current calendar clearly show that I invest my energy in what I called to be?  If not, what needs to go?  Does my calendar include time and space to listen to God? Invest in relationships? Have fun?  If not, I am too busy and I need to stop.  Am I better than I was yesterday, last month, last year?  This is tricky because there are seasons and if you work on one part of your life, you will then turn back around and work on another.  Maturing is more of a spiral than a straight line.  Here’s my biggest questions: Does my energy go to the things I am uniquely called to do?  There are many things that distract me, have I chosen the best thing? These questions are hard and the answers usually require more work but they are worth the work because the alternative is a life of weeds.