Yesterday my husband and I traveled all of ten miles to my daughter’s home. We were attending the annual recitation and dance her children put on at the end of the school year. As I listened to the Ogden Nash poetry, the Slovak folk songs, and the Scripture verses, I found myself somewhere between the present and the past. Only twenty years ago, it would have been me, watching my own children reciting poetry and singing songs.
I started homeschooling my children due to a family tragedy and a need to draw “’round the covered wagons” to stay safe as a family—emotionally and psychologically. I had heard of this type of education. All I had to say about it was, “Who would do that to their children?”
Now here I was, slightly unhappy and resistant to the plan of it, but maternally knowing it was the right thing to do.
I homeschooled all my kids (fourteen) for varying years of their education. Some started later as they were in school the first year we switched. Some schooled all their years at home, others went to private Catholic high school (for which they paid). We started with boxed curricula and ended with online classes (the latter was a lifesaver for all). I was not a poster mother for a homeschool magazine, but a pretty good all-around teacher/mom.
It was a lifestyle that included welcoming new babies regularly, trying innovative plans to keep order in the home, taking turns cooking, everyone helping everyone, going to Mass daily, praying together, learning how to be poor yet rich, and at the end, journeying with love and forgiveness, and making memories (both good and bad).
Far from perfect, far from greatest life ever, far from quietness, far from fight-free, or argument-free, and far from dull: that was our life. Rich in joy, rich in adventures, rich in the miraculous, rich in play, rich in stories, rich in prayer, rich in comfort, rich in laughter, and rich in gratitude: that was our life.
History is in the telling. I often think I would love to write our story with several of my children and my husband, because even if we wrote on the same memory, there would be multiple tellings. And that is how it should be—each of us living our own walk, yet joined through a bond created by an all-knowing God. He knew what he was doing.
I can write today about a peaceful home and peaceful hearts because that is what I saw and experienced at my daughter’s home. Also, as I look back on my life, I can claim it as a peaceful home with many peaceful hearts. I never said perfect, nor successful, nor happy, nor regret-free . . . not tear-free, anger-free or heartache free.
Peacefulness comes from faithfulness. While the storm rages, I have come to understand that I do not wake my Lord, who sleeps on my boat.
Why would I? He sleeps peacefully on my boat, and my peace comes from him.