If you have a daughter over the age of 10, there is good chance you know what the 1989 Secret Sessions were. Basically, it was a gesture that Taylor Swift extended some of her most devoted fans, called Secret Sessions, prior to the release of her new album, 1989. Fans were invited to her different homes (89 fans each session) and she shared with them her new music, while thanking them all personally for being fans, serving cookies she had baked herself, and allowing herself to be completely accessible. Due to their personal, informal nature, it is hard to not argue that the sessions were kind of awesome in their generosity.
This gave me the idea for my own “Secret Sessions” series here on the blog…but mine have a much different purpose…Mine would become a place for me to share with you some of the behind the scenes that happens here. The gift of imperfection–mine– if you will. I’m doing this mainly because I would never want someone reading this blog to feel bad about their own homeschool based on something they read (or didn’t read) here, and because I want to encourage homeschoolers that things can go awry or not as planned and everyone still ends up okay; academically and emotionally. Especially new Waldorf homeschoolers, who tend to, freak out over things like rhythm and watercolors and knitting (oh wait, is that just me?). I should also share now that being quite the academic, it makes me mildly crazy when the homeschool day starts to become a comedy of errors, but as I’ve entered my 40s and my 7th year of homeschooling I’ve learned to just kind of take it all as it comes and just. keep. going. And there is real wisdom in that; and that is worth sharing.
And so begins Secret Session #1: Derailed
I spent last week working on my lesson plans for our homeschool in this new year. (And I’m gonna tell ya, that lesson book was looking ah-ma-zing.) As we are a family who travels often and fall of 2014 found us in 4 states and 5 countries, our homeschool is rather untraditional during certain times of the year. So I always look forward to the turning of the calendar to a new year…it’s a chance to make all things new, full of possibility and all things good and we don’t travel January through April so establishing a good rhythm each day is so much easier.
And this week was to be no exception.
I was ready for an awesome, productive week of homeschooling. Rhythm, academics, crafts, and whatever other magic that could be sprinkled upon.
This week there would be no exceptions.
Except by Tuesday, there were already several.
Monday was a wonderful homeschool day. A full day at home and the kids and I settled into our wonderful old rhythm and it was as comforting for me as I’m sure it was for them; especially after the rush of the holidays. And speaking of holidays, I was looking forward to doing something this year for Epiphany, which we were to celebrate the next day.
Then it happened.
I looked at the calendar and realized three of the five kids had dentist appointments at 9:20 on Tuesday morning (Epiphany) and after that we were to drive to the next neighboring town to drop off material and get Charlotte measured for her garment she will wear for her First Reconciliation that is coming up. Obviously, when I made this appointment last JUNE I didn’t think “Hey…first week of new homeschool semester”… and unless I wanted Charlotte to be the only one without her garment, that material had to be dropped off to the church seamstress asap.
Tuesday came and by the time all was done and we had eaten; it was late afternoon and my beautiful lesson plans had laid neglected all day and for naught. Also, the dryer died (Rest in Peace me, RIP me, it died dead.) This for some families may be an inconvenience, but for a mother of 5 children, it is an anxiety producing state of affairs.
As I write this it is coming up on Wednesday and my calendar is still full of exceptions…a private speech client that was supposed to be wrapped up in December, has one last session, that has been re-scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Our handyman who was supposed to come in December but had to cancel due to family concerns, is now coming tomorrow morning to replace windows in my craft studio and the boys bedroom downstairs. Exceptions now abound Wednesday in both morning and afternoon.
By the way, for him to replace the large window in my craft room, I have to move the craft stuff that will be impeding him from said task. Most craft rooms are not the minimalist room of the house but the crazy fabric hoarding rooms of any otherwise organized establishment, but these things need to happen. New windows are a blessing and I have been asking for a better window down there for a while so I’m not about to complain that the timing is not awesome (well it’s NOT awesome) but gratitude is a great salve to our spirits when we are feeling inconvenienced.
The rest of the week is not fairing better. My eldest daughter has an audition Friday for SAB’s summer ballet intensive. There is a birthday party Friday evening. A new ballet class starts Saturday morning that was not a required class before but is now. Finding my rhythm this week is…challenging.
But, when I take a moment, and take a breath, and look at next week; there it is…the white space I crave. The white space they need, and it’s back in spades. I don’t necessarily consider myself a patient person and so I’ve started viewing these exceptions as chances for me to practice becoming more patient. I feel, no I know, there is a bigger hand in this.
As we often hear people say, “God is in the details”, but he is also in the laundry room, and in the interruptions, and in the day to day busy. Years ago, these interruptions would make me feel frustrated, defeated, and even angry. But today I’m able to better see them for what they are…part of the fabric of up and down, good and bad, that make up the fabric of this ordinary, extraordinary life, even if, for this week anyway, they have made having a normal daily rhythm challenging at best. And for me the lesson to remember in those weeks, is my children will learn more from my reactions to these bumps in the homeschool road than they will from some of the actual lessons I present.
Until next time,