Why on earth would I want to be that close with my child?

Why on earth would I want to be that close with my child?

Found this sweet blog post this morning from a homeschooling mom who’s been sick and enjoying time with her son. The passage that grabbed my attention:

Throughout the whole week I kept remembering a conversation that I had shortly before I decided to begin homeschooling my Big-Eyed Boy. He was in public school at the time, and I was waiting outside his classroom for the teacher to finally release him back into my care. It was raining and miserably cold, which meant that all of the moms had to huddle closer together than usual so we could share a small overhang to stay dry. There in our cramped huddle, I heard for the first time other moms voicing the same frustration with school, and with our kids� teacher, that I�d been harboring for some time.

I�m not sure what led me that day to speak up, considering how few words I�d exchanged with any of the other moms prior to that afternoon. I think I was a little bit outraged that had I delivered my son 5 minutes late to school I would�ve had to sign paperwork at the administration office, apologize to the teacher, and spend the rest of the day feeling like a slacker, but there I was waiting in the rain for the teacher to release my son five minutes after school had officially ended and there was nothing I could do about it.

I spoke up that day and mentioned that I�d been thinking about homeschooling my son. One woman, who�d been the most friendly to me out of all of them, replied: �I don�t think I want that close of a relationship with my child.� It sounded so callous, so opposite of what mothers are supposed to feel. Yet, truth be told, it reflected my own ambivalence. I was at a loss to understand why I felt both those things, but I knew could not feel them both and still claim to have integrity. And who was I to dictate to my son the limits of his relationship with me? I chose to have him, not vice versa. Was motherhood now a role I�d fill from after school until bedtime, or was it a way of life for me? I had to choose.

I withdrew my son two days later, and I�ve been homeschooling him ever since. When I did so, however, that mother�s words still rang fresh in my ears. Why on earth would I want to be that close with my child?

Of all the endorsements for homeschooling, the one that most consistently tugs at me is this one about having time together. True, teaching is work, hard work. I know how hard it can be because I have spent a great deal of time and energy teaching other people’s unappreciative kids some of whom fought me on a daily basis over the simple fact of having to be there and do the work. It was an uphill struggle.

I am certain there will be days with Bella that will be a struggle. But in the end it will be worthwhile because I do want to be that close to my child. I want to be her teacher as well as her mother. Why on earth would I want to give that pleasure up to some stranger who could never love her as much as I do or take the same delight in each of her small accomplishments?

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  • Great shots!  Didn’t look remotely unsafe to me, FWIW.

    Funny how kids glom on to what happens in the kitchen.  Every day, my youngest has to see the coffee after I’ve ground it.  Without fail—“I see?  I see?”  After she sees it, she says “Cool…”

    Wait to you start grilling outdoors—that is a source of endless fascination—especially if you use charcoal and you ignite the stuff.

  • You can’t really tell from the photos, but I tried to keep my body turned so that she was as far from the stove as possible.

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