Friday, May 13, 2011

A Remarkable Journey

We finished our lessons a week ago.

I took this week off from work and we just spent the week having fun, relaxing, doing what we wanted to do, reading books, going to cool places, being together.  I had more time to reflect on this year and just how amazing it was.

I am so proud of my girls and where we are now in our lives.

This year has been life transforming.

Neither Jason nor I have ever been the type to follow the herd and do what everyone else was doing.  To be honest, I was annoyed when we were doing home improvement projects and people would tell me that they were going to start a similar project, because we were doing it.  Why?  Why do what we are doing?  Why not do what is right for you?

When you have kids, you tend to not want them to miss out on anything.  There were times, I admit, that I got wrapped up in what everyone else was doing and not wanting the girls to miss out.  I didn't take into consideration that they were not really interested in doing it.  If they gave me a hard time about it, I was incredulous: I was doing this for THEM.

This year has been about finding what is right for our family.  Every step toward living an authentic life has taken us further away from worrying about our kids missing out and brought us closer to realizing what the girls enjoy, need and love and what we enjoy, need and love.  And really, isn't it more important for them to be able to find what truly interests them than to go on the vacation that everyone else is going on or do the things that everyone else is doing?

Every step leads to another step and with each step we grow.

We are meeting people who we have more in common with, who do what is right for them as opposed to worrying about what everyone else will think or say.  We are meeting people that we genuinely like and admire and are proud to call our friends.  These friends are not competitive or manipulative, they encourage our growth and inspire and support us.  It is so humbling and feels so blessed to be on a journey like this.

My girls are not athletic.  They've tried various sports over the years and it's not their thing.  They like to create things.  They like art and music and fashion.

I had heard of a homeschool knitting group and I knew my girls would LOVE it.  But, unfortunately, it was on a day when I ran a program at the library and I was unable to change my schedule at work until the program was over.  Finally, yesterday, we were able to attend the knitting group.  It was wonderful!

The girls with some knitting experience taught A and P how to knit.

The moms stood by and observed how the girls were instructing A and P, while they chatted with me.  We made wonderful connections.

I had heard that there were a lot of girls that were A's age and older in this group.  A and the girl who taught her how to knit made a great connection and sat together talking and knitting like old friends.

After our time at the library ended, we all went outside.  The moms sat around chatting, while the younger kids ran around playing and the girls A's age sat under a tree knitting.

Then, some of the families decided to head to a local bakery and invited us along.  A joked with the moms.  She ordered her own special drink.  She sat at a table with the 11, 12, 13 and up girls, drinking milkshakes and giggling and talking like old pals.  It made my heart soar to see her so happy, surrounded by girls who were interested in talking about things that interested them, like their horses and rabbits and projects they had done.  These girls were completely happy to pursue their own interests and completely disinterested in whether or not those interests would be considered cool by their peers.

P played checkers, first with me; then with some of the girls her age :)

We were invited to a party at one of the family's homes.  The girls are begging to go.  A said that she wants to go to this group all the time.  I've already asked and they are not sure what day they will meet next year, which may be tricky with my work schedule.  I pray that we can work it all out.

Last night, after I tucked the girls in, I went back for another goodnight kiss and this is what I found:

I am so excited and happy to give my girls the opportunities to explore their true interests and the time to develop those interests and to find cool people to do it all with!