This week I begin my 18th year of homeschooling. Even as I sit here typing away, I’m waiting for my 18th box of curriculum to arrive in the mail. (in the early years I NEVER would have started this late!!) In the years since we first began this journey, we’ve lived in six houses in two states. I’ve used materials from more than ten different curriculum companies and gone on more field trips than I care to count. I’ve watched two of my students go on (successfully!) to college and am about to launch the third into life beyond homeschool. With just a few credits needed to graduate, this should be a pretty easy year for us. And with that I should be done. Should be.
Most people remember March 19, 2003 as the start of the “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq. We remember that date for a very different reason. Oh, it was “shock and awe” alright—but of a very different kind.
I woke up that day feeling just a teensy bit queasy. I was just a couple of days late, but that’s not all that surprising for a woman skipping merrily down the road toward “the change.” Just the same, I thought I’d better check it out. I still have the little stick that confirmed my never-imagined fears!
So I stared at that little “+” sign, silently willing it to fade away and whispering the only thought my mind would allow. “Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no.” Of course my next thought was to call my husband, never thinking that perhaps it would be wise to prepare him for the most unexpected of news. Surprisingly, he accepted my words calmly and logically.
“No, honey. You’re not pregnant. It’s just menopause.”
It seemed at the time that I had just two options. I could allow him to enjoy his self-protective fantasy for a few days, or I could burst his bubble quickly and painlessly. I chose the latter.
“Honey, menopause causes many strange, even inexplicable signs and symptoms, but I really don’t think it causes positive pregnancy tests.”
Later that same day, the Americans dropped some really big bombs in Iraq.
–Back to the present–
So here I am. I should be starting the final lap of the homeschool phase of my life, but instead I find myself crouching at the starting line. Again. The books just arrived. Little “shock and awe” is sitting on the living room floor excitedly looking everything over, imploring me “Mommy, can you teach me now?” I really didn’t think I’d ever be here again.
13 more years of books, schedules, lesson plans, records, field trips, frustrations, and joys.
When he graduates I’ll be 58.
Is it too early for a drink?