Dear Homeschool Diary of a Sleep-Deprived Mother of Seven Boys,
This week we started our new “school year”. Complete with new books and software, play-doh and markers, we had all the essentials lined up to make it a successful year. Undaunted, Tuesday morning, I woke up, hit the ground running, and set out to teach my 7th grader some pre-algebra, my 4th grader a little something about constellations, my 2nd grader about Hill Country, my Kindergartener about communities, and my preschoolers some colors and numbers. We started out with prayer and a lesson from the book called Proverbs People. We discussed slothfulness vs. diligence and talked about how an ant is rewarded for his diligence, when after long months of arduous work, he had plenty stored up for the winter. Yep, I’m a saint. I can teach six boys at one time, 89 subjects, teach ’em character, nutrition, and etiquette, all while breastfeeding……..Um….NOT!
I found it hard at times to remember that it was just the first week, and when I did remember, I was intimidated by the sight of the long road I saw ahead of me. Apparently, we’ve forgotten how to sit still again. We’ve forgotten to wait our turn, to share the play-doh and not beat the livin’ daylights out of one another for taking it away. We’ve added new skills acquired by months of summer leisure, like imitating Fred with the obnoxious voice (most appreciated by my now almost 13 year old), fart jokes, and an obsession with drawing guys in combat.
Today was day three in our little classroom, and while I am holding steadfastly to every conviction that has ever resonated in my heart about my commitment here to teach and equip my children to be the men they’re called to be, I’m keenly aware of the challenge set before me.
Am I up for it?
And I used to think others gave me this vote of confidence, too, but now I know they’re just waiting to see the finished product. Skeptics, but still loving towards me, some have told me they question whether I’m able to handle this many boys.
Not much hurts my heart more than hearing someone say this to me. I eat, live and breathe for this mission.
I EAT, LIVE, and BREATHE FOR THIS MISSION.
I totally know that I am not perfect. I totally understand that, on the outside looking in, this can look so difficult, almost impossible to a skeptic.
But I’m a believer. I mean I believe in God. I believe that He called me to do what I’m doing. I believe He called me to train 7 boys to grow into the men who are called according to His purpose. And I believe, even though sometimes I don’t FEEL LIKE IT, that I CAN do this. I can because HE SAID I CAN.
I know that’s such a simple explanation, but it’s that black and white for me. For those that don’t see children the way my husband and I do, I get why they don’t “get it”.
They’re gifts, these boys of ours. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to fail my assignment.
And I’ve always been an ‘A’ student, I’m not going to stop now.
I wish I could tell the world to wait to judge me. Wait until my sons are grown. Wait until I’ve put the time in. Wait until I’ve read every last story book, completed all the phonics workbooks our shelves can hold. Wait until we’re done carting these boys back and forth from soccer to football to baseball and back again for 20 years straight. Wait until I’ve cooked and cleaned the kitchen and served a million meals to sticky-fingered little boys and filled their tummies with yummy, nutritious foods that kept them energetic enough to knock holes in my walls and jump on the couch til it fell apart. Wait until I’ve done 3 times the amount of laundry that a mom of 2.3 kids has. Wait until my hair is gray and my boys are men, tall and grown and taking wives of their own. Wait until they’re noble, kind, caring, strong men who are fully equipped and have gone off to serve our country in battle, to be an influential congressman, a pastor, a missionary to a starving country, an expert in science who helps find a cure for MRSA, a talented minister of worship, and an innovative engineer. Wait until they’re married and become fathers and they remember me and say, “yes! My mama gave it all she had. She poured her heart into us. She taught us to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And because of that, I can stand boldly today and declare that I have never strayed from the path that God has called me to. I’ve wasted no time floundering around in search of who I was, because she taught me that my identity was in Him. Though the naysayers might have been many, she kept on, in diligence and strength, and I’m thankful that she did.”
Just wait til then, world. Wait til then.