Well, first things first - my husband a/k/a the Fabio version of the computer geek - only without the long hair and without the rest of his body waxed of every hair - managed to get everything (we hope!) off of the hard drive on my computer. Hewlett-Packard is sending me a Fed-Ex box with shipping paid so I can send it to their repair center. I hope that we get this problem eradicated before the 1 year warranty of the darn thing is up. It must be something special about me - I do indeed have the opposite of the Midas Touch when it comes to electronic devices.
Now on to my regularly scheduled thoughts this evening:
Right now it is 10:15 pm, and Kendra decided a short while ago that she wanted to make a Chai cake she found in a recipe book yesterday - the chai flavor being her favorite and all. She asked if she could - and I hate to say it but I really struggled to say yes. You see, I am learning to live free - and accept that my kids need to live in freedom in order to blossom into the individuals that God made them to be. For Kendra, her optimum, peak-performance time is night. It has been since she was a baby. What upsets me is that I have to fight everything in myself so hard to allow them this freedom. I don't want a mess, or the noise, or the questions that will come with baking an unfamiliar recipe. But what my daughter needs to do is create - try her hand at something new. I grew up with an early bedtime, waking up every morning to the demands of an alarm clock or someone else's idea of what I should do and when, making my bed before I left my room, and following "the plan". This is very responsible, and there are likely quite a few of you reading this thinking, "what on earth does she think is wrong with that?" This routine may create an obedient, well-regulated, societally oriented person, but it will never facilitate the extraordinary. When I was in high school my life was school and work. I was a talented writer - but my homework assignments, even in the creative writing class that I loved, were delegated to an item to cross of the never-ending list of things that I was obligated to do. There was no joy, no searching out the world around me with wonder.
I watch television shows like the Gilmore Girls and see the college bound Rory that I adore, however, I find it supremely unrealistic. Rory is involved in about a zillion extra-curricular activities, has breakfast every morning before catching the bus with her mother at the local diner, participates in everything that is going on in the community, has a boyfriend, a best friend and reads constantly - not light reading either - Russian authors, and classics like Shakespeare, all while maintaining a grade point average to keep her at the top of her class. I am sorry but no real human can maintain all of that - but yet most of our society models their lives after what they see on the boob tube. I imagine many families watch the Gilmore Girls and feel inferior because their kids and families aren't doing all of that.
What I want is to create space in our lives for my kids to grow, branch out, try their wings. It is counter to everything I have ever learned. It reminds me of learning to breathe - it should come naturally - but when we are anxious or under pressure - we tend to hold our breath. I have been holding my breath my whole life waiting to learn this lesson - for them and for me. It is what unschooling is about - inhale - exhale - inhale - exhale.