All Grown Up and Suddenly Gone

When our eldest son was born, he was the tiniest baby I had ever seen. He was born ten weeks early, and at nineteen inches long and just over three pounds, there were dolls at our house that were bigger and heavier than he was.

It was two weeks before we were allowed to hold him. The nurse tenderly lifted him from the open warmer that was his first bed, careful not to tangle the forest of tubes and wires hanging from his tiny body, and laid him on the bare skin of my chest. His fingers splayed open against my skin, and I ran my finger gratefully over his delicate hand, almost afraid to touch him. Finally allowed to feel the weight of him, I swore to keep him safe and close and never let him go.

But tiny babies don’t last. They grow up in the blink of an eye, and before I realized it had happened, he was a man.

This week he made the decision not to stay at home for his first year of college, as we had been planning. He’s moving four hours away to go to school, and is planning to move by the end of the month. Suddenly and unexpectedly, eighteen years of raising him is in its last few weeks.

He was such a hard baby. Six weeks in the NICU left him uncomfortable with being touched. He screamed and pushed away from us whenever we snuggled him close. He hated the world, screaming in anger and frustration at everyone. We joked that we could tell him ‘no’ or amputate his leg with a butter knife and we would get the same response. Being his mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

His boyhood room was bare and simple, not because we didn’t try to decorate it, but because his temper tantrums sent him on a path of destruction that ripped pictures from the wall and flipped over his bed and nigh stand as he raged against the world. We would wrap him in our arms and try to calm the storms that raged inside of him, and most of the time we couldn’t.

We spent many hours in exhausted tears, unsure of how to help the son we loved but often struggled to like.

Puberty hit him like an answer to prayer, and the angry boy gave way to a quiet and funny young man. The son we had despaired over became a person we genuinely liked. He let us into the world of his imagination, and we discovered who he really was inside. He told us about the frustrations of his early years, the inner struggles he’d raged against, and how he’d finally begun to find peace within himself.

He is funny and witty. Shy and finding his way.

He’s the kid who belts out Disney songs with all of his might, and is my front seat dance partner when we’re driving in the car. He snorts when he laughs, and that makes him laugh even harder.

We have learned to play and find joy in each other’s company, and he often actually chooses to hang out with his uncool Mom. I like him. So very much. At last.

And he’s leaving.

I know that this is probably what’s best for him, and that we never intended for our children to live with us forever. I just didn’t know that the future was going to hit us so soon. I can’t imagine what our house will feel like without his crowing laughter wafting down from upstairs, or how dinnertime will be without him in his usual place at our table.

We have just two weeks before our house changes from where he lives into a place that he comes to visit. We can’t keep hold of our children forever; I just didn’t expect that the time to let him go was going to come so soon.

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Do You Know About The Lady in Blue?

I don’t know how I managed to live a huge chunk of my life in Texas, and manage to never hear the story of the Lady in Blue. I’ve made the obligatory annual pilgrimages with my children to take photographs in the bluebonnets, and yet never knew the legendary and distinctly Catholic reason behind their bonnet-like shape.

In and around the 1620s, a young woman wearing the blue habit of the Poor Clares appeared to the Jumano tribes in what is now West Texas. She spoke to them in their own dialects, and taught them extensively about Jesus Christ and the faith of the Catholic Church.

When Spanish traders and missionaries crossed paths with these nomadic people, the Jumanos spoke lovingly of their Blue Lady, and asked Fray Alonzo de Benavides, father-custodian of New Mexico (he was in charge of the Church for the entire territory of New Spain that stretched from Texas to California) to set up a mission and send them a priest.

The Jumanos described with great detail the habit of a Poor Clare nun. The only problem with that was that the nearest convent belonging to the cloistered order was back in Spain. Who, then, was this mysterious woman who was wandering around the American Southwest evangelizing the native peoples with such success?

The more Fray Benavides looked into the mystery, the larger it grew. Not only was The Blue Lady appearing to people in West Texas, she was visiting native peoples across a huge territory – from East Texas forests to the Rio Grande Valley and all the way out to what is now New Mexico. Not only was she covering an insane amount of territory, but she was crossing rivers and harsh terrain alone, and speaking to every tribe she encountered in their native tongues. How was such a thing possible? Yet, as the reports came in of over 500 separate accounts of personal encounters with this Poor Clare, Fray Benavides became convinced that as unlikely as it was, there must be something to it all.

Fray Benavides began blanketing Spain with letters asking for any information that could lead him to the Lady in Blue. At last, one of his letters reached a priest near the Spanish town of Agreda. The good father went to the local convent and asked if anyone knew of the nun who was bringing the Good News of Christ to the American Southwest. The Mother Superior, Sor Maria de Jesus, said calmly “Yes. I’m the one.”

In 1631, Fray Benavides heard about Sor Maria and traveled to Spain to question her. She accurately described to him the people and terrain of his territory with astonishing accuracy and detail. This cloistered nun, who had never left the convent in Agreda, Spain since taking her vows in 1619, had somehow also been teaching and preaching all over Texas.

The story of Sor Maria is one of bilocation, the ability to be in two places at the same time. The most well known bilocator is Saint Padre Pio, but the people of West Texas and the Poor Clares of Spain are certain that this gift was also granted to Sor Maria de Jesus de Agreda in the 17th century, and her writings back it up. She knew things about the people literally on the other side of the world that she simply could not have known unless she had seen them herself.

The Jumano people who are still around San Angelo, Texas say that the bluebonnet was a consolation given to the people of Texas at the time of The Blue Lady’s death. The bluebonnet’s distinctive hat shape and vivid blue color look very much like the one Maria de Jesus de Agreda wore as a part of her habit, and serves as a reminder of the woman who led over 2,000 of their ancestors to Baptism in the Catholic Church.



A memorial statue of The Lady in Blue will be unveiled in San Angelo, Texas the weekend of May 18, 2018

If you make it over to Spain, Sr Maria de Jesus’s incorrupt remains are in the chapel of her convent in Agreda

Maria de Jesus de Agreda

photo credits:

“Bluebonnets” By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters (Texas bluebonnetsUploaded by Dolovis) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Maria” via Pinterest


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All He Wanted Was Us

Our son turned eleven this week. I started blogging way back when he was only a twinkle in his Daddy’s eye, and now he’s grown up and eleven.

The boy I once wrote was “happiness just out and walking around” has become quieter and deeper. He’s become a lover of history and a voracious reader. He lives in a world which sometimes seems to have conspired to wipe the shiny happiness off of him, and somehow he has managed to hang onto his delight in other people, his gentle and generous heart, and an immense compassion. He is my child that the world has forgotten how to see.

On Tuesday, I asked him how he’d like to celebrate his birthday. In a perfect world where we could do anything, what would he want to do? I readied myself for another trip to the aviation museum or a flock of boys invading our house, but I was wrong.

“Can we just stay home?” He asked me. “Can we please just have a day where no one has to go anywhere or any chores to do? Can we just stay in our house and be in the same place together? Can it be just us and no one come over?”

And so we did.

We skipped gym classes and ballet lessons. I canceled my grocery store run and made do with what we had on hand. I parked the car in our driveway, and it didn’t move all day except to pick up his siblings from school. We had a day of stillness, and it was a gift to us all.

He spent a sizable chunk of the day in his room rereading the final Michael Vey book. I sent his sister upstairs to ask him what he wanted us to do while he read, and he sent back the reply, “Whatever you want. I just like knowing that you’re all here.”

It’s two days later, and I’m still thinking about his birthday, and how different his childhood is from my own. When I was a girl, the days stretched around me, unhurried and uncomplicated. I played sports and was involved in all kinds of activities, but they never seemed to consume my family’s life. Our home was was more than just the place where we changed clothes and shoes and eventually collapsed exhausted and wrung out into our beds. Our home was a place where we lived.

My children don’t have that life. We seem to be always on the run from one activity, practice, or class to another. It’s pretty rare for all of us to be home at the same time until it’s almost bedtime. It’s the way that most of us live these days, and I can’t help but feel that it’s wrong.

It shouldn’t be a treat to have a quiet day at home. It shouldn’t take a special occasion for family members who live together to be under the same roof at the same time. Somewhere along the way, our lives have spun out of our control in a blur of rush and busy-ness. And there is no time for quiet, or peace, or family. There is only the swirling undertow pulling us always faster.

My son gave me a gift on his birthday. He asked for his family, and showed me quite clearly that it had gotten lost along the path of obligations. I don’t know how we will remedy the mess we have allowed to grow, but I have a few ideas, and they all start with the word ‘No.’


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What happens after

I’m sitting here looking at pictures of bridal bouquets and trying to decide about the wording of wedding announcements. With one short conversation over IM, our wedding planning went from slow and leisurely to fast forward speed. Our daughter and her love have set a wedding date at last, and it’s one month from now. ONE MONTH!

Fortunately, they have declared the theme of this wedding to be “simple and easy,” and have only invited 40-ish people to share their day with them. (22 of those people are their immediate families.)We don’t have time for custom anything.    There’s not a lot of time for people to get their feelings hurt or for this to blossom into a nuptial extravaganza.

My husband and I have been put in charge of her flowers (the only flowers they will have besides the spring flowers growing at their venue,) the wedding cake (100 cupcakes from her favorite bakery,) and the announcements to be sent out later. It’s not a lot to focus on right now, but I’m throwing myself into this tiny to-do list with enthusiasm.

I used to wonder how mothers-of-the-bride could so completely take over their daughters’ weddings, but right about now, I wish we had a big wedding for me to micro-manage. I’m wishing for tiny details and feats of daring-do. I can’t help but think how nice it would be to have all of that minutiae to pour my energy into so that I didn’t have to look to what happens after their wedding day.

Because after they’re married, she leaves.

Her fiance is about to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, and she’s going to be a military wife. We’re waiting for his orders to arrive any day now, but we already know that there aren’t any Army bases anywhere near us. I don’t know if y’all realize this, but “not anywhere near us” is kind of far away.

I’m not ready for her to go.

She’s 21 now, and we’d made it past the teenage years when we weren’t so sure that we were going to end up liking each other. Then suddenly, we liked each other again, and then it seemed like maybe were were going to get to be mother/daughter and maybe friends.

I was getting used to seeing her smiling face around here again, and it was pretty great.

But there’s this boy….okay, he’s actually become a man…which is weird because he’s been her friend since she was 12 or 13. He was this nerdy goof, and next thing we knew they were adults and he was becoming a part of our family. (He might need a prayer or three, if I’m absolutely honest.)

We were planning a wedding!!! And it was fun and hopeful and then it hit me…

she’s leaving.

We raised her for this, of course. There was no time in her life that we wanted her to be thirty, single, and still living at home. We wanted her to grow up, fall in love, get married, and build her own wonderful and exciting life.

She’s doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing. She’s a great person, and we are beyond proud….

but it’s hard to watch her go.

Which is why we need a WEDDING!!!!

Or at least I do. I need the distraction. I need a big wedding, and to be the nightmare Mother of the Bride. I need to obsess about pointless details like the stitching on the napkins and whether or not the florist’s centerpieces are the exact perfect shades of blush and bashful! I need to expend all of this emotion in a whirlwind of busy-ness.

Anything to avoid thinking about what happens after the wedding.

Because I’m just not ready to think about that today.


photo sourse? Pinterest

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Without Him

One of the few memories I have of both of my grandfathers is of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.  When we would drive past a Catholic Church, my dad’s dad would always tip his hat (I love that he wore hats) and my mother’s father would inevitably cross himself.

I can remember my older brother asking why once, and hearing my dad’s dad say, “It’s because He’s in there, in the tabernacle.” I recall looking at the church and wondering who could be in there that was so important that my grandfather would slow down and say hello to someone he couldn’t even see from the street.

As I got older, and lost my paternal grandfather, it was only my mom’s father who slowed down to say “Hello.”  I loved him and wanted to make him proud, so I would cross myself too. He would nod in approval and  smile at me when I joined him in this small show of respect.

I’ll always remember the Good Friday when we drove by St Elizabeth’s Church.  As my hand rose to my forehead, Grandpa’s gentle hand reached out to stop me.   “Not today,” he told me. “Today he’s not there.  The tabernacle is empty and the whole world is a little sadder to not have Him in it.”

That’s where my brain is this morning…in that big boat of a car with my grandfather as his eyes welled up and he fought back his sadness.  His mournful voice said, “Today He’s in the tomb and we are alone.”

My mind keeps drifting to the empty tabernacles all over the world with their doors standing open, filled only with the silence of the grave.  How ready we will be for Easter to arrive when we can again bask in his glorious presence.



Photo – By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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You Need A Herd

When I told people that I was writing about the modern loneliness epidemic, the first thing they would say is “It’s the social media, right?”

Well, no. Not really.

Our dependence on social media is actually a band-aid. It’s an attempt to cover the ache of isolation and loneliness, but it’s only a small part of why we feel that way.

The more research I did into the topic, the more I came to understand that the problem is the way we live today – our 10 foot privacy fences, 12 hour work days, divorce, cross country moves, low birthrates, insane schedules, long commutes, etc – the way we live our lives almost seems purposely designed to be the very worst things for our feelings of belonging, safety, and community. The feelings that are so important to our mental health and well-being are in short supply these days.

We weren’t designed to live this way. We’re not meant to live lives of such intense isolation.

We’re actually made to live within the safe community of our families or tribes. Human beings do best when we live near to the people who love and know us best, people who work with and support each other. This isn’t news to anyone. We know this instinctively.

We know that in a perfect world we’d have multiple generations helping us raise our children and take care of our elderly or sick relatives. We know that when our babies take their unsteady toddling steps into the waiting aging hands of their great-grandparents, it’s good for both of them. We know this, and yet we make decisions that carry us further and further away from the ideal of a close and connected family.

If you’re living far from home, go back if you can. If that’s not possible, then you need to create a tribe of people for yourself. Not just people of your own generation and season of life, but a broad swath across the spectrum – you need siblings and grandparents, cousins and parents. You need to find people who will stand in the gap created by the lack of family, or a healthy functioning family, nearby.

Depression and loneliness are skyrocketing as we become more and more isolated, and it’s not really a mystery why. We are, biologically speaking, herd animals. Have you ever watched the Nature Channel and seen the look on a gazelle’s face when it gets separated from its herd? The complete fear of finding themselves alone is one that we know all too well. Too many of us are living the life of that shocked gazelle, and not knowing why we can’t find peace and a sense of belonging.

We’re feeling lonely because we’re alone. The only way to fix that is to find our herd – either the one we came from or the one we create. While social media can help you find your people, eventually you’ve got to turn off the screens and get to know each other in real life.


My new book on loneliness, friendship, and the search for belonging, Can We Be Friends?published by Our Sunday Visitor, comes out May 2018. It is available to preorder now.

image credit : By Grant’s_Gazelle.jpg: Stig Nygaard from Copenhagen, Denmark derivative work: Lycaon (Grant’s_Gazelle.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Searching for Something Real

Last Summer, our daughter made the decision to give public school a try this year. By December she’d decided that next year she wants to come back home. “They aren’t teaching me anything so that I can learn,” she complained. “They just stuff information into my head as fast as they can so that I can pass a test and then we move on to the next thing for me to memorize. I can tell you facts, but no one teaches me the reasons behind them.”

I’m amazed at the reactions of the people we’ve told. They all agree with her assessments of the problems with a school system that is focused on test scores instead of understanding, and yet they are surprised that she would want something more.

“What about the social benefits?” They ask us, as though there are no comparable benefits to schooling at home, or that socialization were something we’d never considered before this moment. There may not be hallway traffic jams or standardized testing at home, but I think she’s going to do alright.

“Even if you’re not going to be at high school next year,” she’s heard people say, “at least you got to spend one year in the real world.” As though the eighth grade in a middle to upper middle class Texas suburb is somehow the  real world, or that Ella was only just now getting to see it.

What they meant was “you got to spend a year seeing what my life is like,” and it is an experience that we’re glad she was able to have. She’s done well academically, and done as well in the shark tank of 8th grade girl-dom as anyone could have done. She isn’t choosing something else because she’s failing at traditional school, but because she knows how much of “real life” she’s missing when she’s sitting in a classroom.

While the friends she loves are living their real world of lunch room politics, standardized testing, learning that’s limited by the number of minutes between bells, cool kids and losers, and all the social pressures that come with traditional schooling. She hungers to return to living in the wider world. Because the girl who travels the country for competitions, hangs out with homeless skaters at  Venice Beach, volunteers at the rehab hospital to meet with children who are newly in a chair, is as comfortable discussing catheters and prosthetics as she is movies and tv shows, and has learned to reinvent not just herself but her whole life,  lived a whole lot of “real world” before she ever rolled through a public school doorway.

This past Summer, I wasn’t unhappy at the idea that our family was transitioning away from educating our children at home. This Spring I learned that the only thing which could make me rethink that was my daughter’s search for something real – a real education, the real world, and her own real life.

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Owning My Weakness

There was a time when I was strong. I went into the gym and picked up all the things. I could out-lift most of the women I knew, and keep up with a lot of the men. My body was strong and healthy, and I loved the way it felt to live in it.

Then my 20th anniversary and three bottles of wine led to a new baby. The gym where I worked closed when I was eight months pregnant, making it hard to find a new place to exercise.

As 2016 became 2017, I settled into a sedentary lifestyle, waiting for our newest baby and forgetting all of the nutritional truths I’d learned in my years of coaching and fitness. I once again became comfortable with a meat and carb dominated diet.

When our girl Rita came along, I curled my body around hers and decided to let myself drink in the bliss of new motherhood without worrying about the condition of my body. She snuffled into my softness, and I was happy to let her. As the months went by, I flirted with the idea of working out, but it wasn’t fun. I knew I was eating terribly, but it was easy and tasted good. I knew how I should be living, but that knowledge wasn’t enough for me to push past my lethargy. I just didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

Then one day I rested my hand on my bicep, and I was surprised by how far my hand sank into the fleshiness of my upper arm. I climbed the stairs to our playroom, and my thighs burned from the unaccustomed activity. My husband walked into our room while I was changing clothes, and I closed the bathroom door so that he wouldn’t see me naked. My blood pressure was high, and it was once again hard to breathe. And I realized how much I didn’t like the body I was living in.

When my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas, I simply said “Crossfit.” I knew that in the sweat, the WODs, and the Olympic lifting was the body I missed having. He gifted me with a couple months membership with the promise of more as long as I stuck with it.

I started back on New Year’s Eve, and it was brutal.

Eighteen months ago, I deadlifted close to 300 pounds. This week I struggled to get a third of that off of the ground.  Halfway through the workout, “Girl pushups” on my knees became so difficult that I had to switch to push ups against the wall. I looked around and saw that I was easily the weakest person in the room. It was humbling and frustrating. My body knew how to do all the things, but just wasn’t able to do them.

My coach saw the frustration on my face, and offered me consolation, “Go easy on yourself. It’s okay to be where you are. You had a baby…”

My husband echoed his words with “Stop being so hard on yourself. You’re not that weak.”

I listened to their trying to talk me down off of the ledge they thought I was on, and then I told them to stop. It’s not okay to be where I am. My health sucks. With a family history of heart disease and obesity, I’d let myself slide backwards towards cardiac disease and a high BMI. I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be because I wasn’t healthy enough to keep up with them.

So I told myself the truth. “It’s not okay. I’m here because I made bad decisions about my health. I’m not going to use the baby as an excuse for my eating like crap and not getting myself up off of the couch. I know they mean well, but I can’t listen to them giving me permission to be unhealthy. It’s not okay to be weak. it’s not okay to be unhealthy. It’s just not okay.”

I’m unhealthy and weak as a direct result of the choices that I have made. It’s okay to say that. It’s okay to say that where I am today sucks. It’s not mean or offensive to say that I need to do better, or that I owe it to myself and to my family.

I don’t have the right to give my family an unhealthy mom and risk my life simply because I can come up with excuses not to exercise or just because bread is delicious. I have an obligation to them to stick around and stay healthy for as long as I possibly can, and I owe it to myself to have a body that I don’t hate walking around in. I may be weak today, but I’m working on it. Because I want to. Because I need to. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Back when my body was strong and I loved living in it

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Can We Be Friends?

Me and my bff, Kara

I just looked at the last time I blogged, and was shocked that it was in September! Then I thought about it and realized “…yeah….that’s about right…” I didn’t disappear because I ran out of things to say, (that could never happen) but because I have been hunkered down researching and writing a book.

Way back in the Spring, I said to an editor I met that I’d like to someday write a book about the modern epidemic of loneliness and going in search of your people. She took me up on it and asked for a formal book pitch (which is a lot of writing for a book that may or may not happen.) It took months of refining what I wanted to write about and what they wanted to pay me to write about, but by mid-summer we had come up with something we thought people might actually want to read.

And I researched. Because that’s the kind of girl I am.

I read sociological, psychological, and anthropological studies on why people are reporting loneliness in epidemic numbers and how to create a tribe of people to fight off the lonely. I read Ph D papers, and all kinds of studies. I had gone into this whole thing thinking “it’s probably the social media,” and came out of it knowing that social media is a part of the problem, but also a part of the solution, and that it’s so much more complicated than just Facebook or Twitter. It’s the way we live, but it’s not a hopeless thing. Loneliness can be fought and defeated!

Armed with that information, I sat down in mid-October to begin laying out what this book would look like once it was on paper, and began writing around Halloween. On New Year’s Day, I sent in the last rough chapter to the editor and she sent the first chapters with notes and corrections back to me.

A bit ago, Our Sunday Visitor started taking pre-orders which is crazy exciting, and I added working on a talk on the subject to my to-do list. I’ve already been asked to speak at three events this Spring about friendship and loneliness, and am talking to a few more for this Summer and Fall. If you’d like to have me come out and speak with your group, I’d be happy to discuss it with you. If you’d like to pre-order my new book “Can We Be Friends?” my publisher would be happy to let you.

I’m going to try to blog a bit more this year, because I miss the community of writers and readers on the internet, and because I still have a bit more to say.

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Public School, College, and Home

For years I joked about the “magic yellow bus that came and took children away.” This year it takes away three of mine.*

After sixteen years of teaching my children at home, five years of medical crises, and a whole lot of other reasons, I’m tired. This past May I began researching curriculum for this school year and I started crying. I looked at the beautiful sleeping face of our newest baby, and I knew beyond any doubt that I didn’t want to still be homeschooling until she graduated high school. The thought of another eighteen years of this lifestyle were NOT the way I wanted to live.

I thought back to the woman I was when I stepped out in faith and self-assurance and made the decision to tackle my kids’ education myself. I was twenty six years old back then, the mom of three small children. My eldest was four and a half, and the boys were almost two and brand spanking new. At no time did I think I’d be homeschooling for the next thirty four  years. It never occurred to me that I could be homeschooling until I was sixty.

Thirty four years. That’s how long it would be if I continued teaching until the baby graduated high school. It’s overwhelming to me to even write it. A friend of mine and I joke that you can’t “do the math” or you’d never be able to do anything, but in this case I can’t stop doing the math. I don’t want to homeschool for thirty four years. I just don’t.

I flirted with the idea of putting the children in school last year, but a hinky feeling and a general mutiny from the children put that on hold. Adding a new baby to the family pushed me over the edge, so I just closed my eyes and leaped. I’m so glad that I did. This school year has had the most peaceful beginning of any in years.

We prayerfully discerned what was best for each child, and my three extroverts are loving the crowded hallways and sea of faces in public school. They chatter away about recess, reading groups, and new friends. My two eldest sons are taking classes online and at the local community college through the dual credit program, and our eldest daughter is a college senior studying neuroscience. Which leaves me with only my 10 year old and the sweet new baby at home.

This one child just works best in complete silence, so the strange quietness in my house is suiting him to a T. He has his own learning nook by a picture window where he reads and works for most of the morning. We break for a walk with the baby after lunch, and then he learns until his siblings start coming home around 2:30. There’s a freedom for my child who has sensory issues to be able to be blessedly alone for most of his day, and in getting the one-on-one time with me that he desperately needs. He’s calmer and happier, and when his brother and sisters burst through the door in the afternoon, he’s got the reserves built up to roll with the chaos they bring in their wake.

During the day are these quiet hours when I just get to hang out with the baby. I haven’t had a baby without a toddler nearby since my eldest was born. I’d forgotten how fun it was to listen to screams of baby giggles without hearing “Do that to me, Mom” or “I need to go potty.” I have the time and the freedom to be just her mom for a little while each day, and it’s such a gift to us both. I have loved the joy of motherhood these past twenty-one years, but I’d forgotten about the quiet peace that can be found in the presence of a baby.

When I started homeschooling all those years ago, my husband and I agreed it was going to be a year-by-year and child-by-child decision. I confess that I lied. I thought I’d be doing it until the last child graduated and left my house. I was in it for the long haul. Then I suddenly wasn’t.

I woke up one morning and knew down to my bones that this was no longer the best option for every member of our family, and on that day I was done  teaching all but one. This is going to be an interesting year as they adjust to learning from someone who’s not me in a place that’s not here, and I adapt to a life with all this amazing silence and learn how to spend all of this extra time that I suddenly find on my hands.


*Figuratively speaking. I’m driving them not the bus.

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