I sat in our Homeschool Tutorial’s walk-through the other night and was surprised at the catch in my throat as they announced the seniors. We have been talking about Zach’s senior year for some time, commenting on how amazed we are it is finally here. We have talked about all that needs to happen this year, all the details and all the good things. We have talked and talked and talked.
And then the headmaster began announcing the seniors by name and we all applauded and cheered as they stood. Zach is always last, alphabetically. Each student standing and being applauded sank in a little more…all of his friends. And then my boy. How is my boy a senior?!
I was going to spend today trying to write some hints and advice about homeschool. I have some friends who are entering the “upper years” and thought I might have something to share.
And then I found this picture, and well…I decided to switch gears and just focus on this boy for today.
I have not done our “school pic” for this year, and I am realizing I have not been incredibly faithful in those through the years. But I do have a few.
They mark the time. They mark the growth. And when I see them they make me stop and look at that little man. The first born. The one who has born the brunt of our stumblings as parents, and has taught us so much.
We had no idea then what our school journey would look like on that first day of kindergarten. We were so excited about school uniforms and new backpacks!
Not every start of the school year was glorious.
There were so many high moments, though. Zach attended a small Christian school from Kindergarten through 5th grade. He had some great friends, and learned so much. Looking back it feels like a lifetime ago, as we enter our sixth year of homeschool…these pictures of little boys in uniforms!
These just make me smile. The life that was happening, and the boys they were becoming. The character that was being formed.
And Zach leading the pack.
The reality of this being his last year of education under our roof is settling in.
When Zach was just a baby our pastor talked one Sunday about parenthood and shared his experiences. One thing stuck with us more than any other. He said he was weary of hearing parents constantly talk of dreading the teen years. He challenged us to speak with hope and excitement about the teen years, about our children growing and becoming their own identities and people.
Speaking with expectation that we would enjoy and delight in every phase.
And we have. We have loved seeing the people they are becoming, and relating on new levels with our children. It has truly been delightful.
But we need these moments to pause. These milestones to look back and remember the tenderness and innocence. To remember the foundation that has been placed to bring them to this moment.
The brink of adulthood. Whew. The time really does pass in the blink of an eye. This seems like an apt time for one of the most used quotations on this blog…
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
I am hoping, praying….watching. Waiting to see that the seeds we have planted in this boy continue to bear fruit. The seeds of faith and of hope, of compassion, of determination. I am watching and always wondering if we have done enough.
Ready for a heavy quotation? This time Chesterton…
“Every education teaches a philosophy; if not by dogma then by suggestion, by implication, by atmosphere. Every part of that education has a connection with every other part. If it does not all combine to convey some general view of life, it is not an education at all.”
Whether homeschool or private or public or some mix…we have these souls in our care for such a short time. The clock is ticking more loudly this morning for me. I am more aware that this will be a year of saying “the last time to…”. The danger is to try and tick off all the checklist and cram in all the information.
I think…and we’ll see how it plays out…that it is more about living with wonder and pointing out how mysterious and amazing this world is. It is about constantly pointing to and reminding of the God who has created and who continues to participate in this amazing creation.
I think it is about reminding these in our care to be aware. To listen to their lives, as Buechner says.
One more year we have. One more year to pour in to this young man all the truth we can. Not just through our words. Through how he is loved, and how we live. One more year to live our faith before him. One more year for all the connections to begin to make sense and become more of a whole than a bunch of lessons.
Whew. I still need to write the tips and ideas about homeschool this year. I still need to finish my bullet journal. I still need to do the last few details of registrations and tutorial requirements…but first I need to pause. To remember, and then to act with expectation and delight as we begin this next phase.
Hopefully this will stick (one more Chesterton, I can’t resist!):
“What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.”