As I am typing this, the sun is setting on this summer day and my children just gave me hugs goodnight. My husband is tucking them in as I write. It is a wonder to see gentleness and love in their hugs and voices as they good night. It is a wonder to see what they learn through us. Perhaps I will next write, the wonder of being a mother, because it is a wonder to see our children grow,learn and become who they were made to be.
I spent the spring of this year questioning. I was questioning our first homeschool year. Doesn’t every mother question herself at some point during the journey? Add to “job title”, teacher, and the questions have doubled. Are my children getting what they need? We had counted, started beginning phonics and worked on memorization. I had check off many boxes that I so like checking off. But I could feel myself being led to a new way of living and learning, being a mother and a teacher.
I have always been a planner. A planner in the sense I love writing things, ideas and plans in a clean white space in a journal or planner, but living it all out, that felt more overwhelming than fun. I am slowly learning through mistakes and exhaustion what I can actually can do during a given time.
One of the many reasons why I decided to homeschool was to allow our children to be children as long as they can. I want to give them ample free time to explore, pretend and build. I believe they learn such valuable lessons through play. I adore watching my children lost in play,for that is indeed the wonder of childhood.
Here’s the thing, as much as we may TRY, we cannot plan wonder. Wonder just happens. It’s the reaction to discovering a frog hopping along the cement or the taste of freshly picked fruit off of the tree. Wonder often happens outside, in discovery and exploration of nature. The wonder of childhood is experiencing something for the first time.
So, I began searching for more ways to be outside and to bring school outside. At the same time,the house we’ve been renting was sold, and we again found ourselves looking for a new place to live.
We came up empty with options in the town we had just moved to. But then, a unique opportunity we had considered in the Fall, “wound up” being our only option in our minds. We could house-sit a house in the country, a half an hour away. We said yes, although we weren’t fully convinced about it.
When I woke up the first day in the country and saw my kids playing outside I knew this was the right place. My kids eyes were glowing and radiating with joy. What mama cannot help but rejoice in that? I began to breathe easier after the business of moving as I sat and stared at nature. Nature itself is therapy. My husband, a teacher, joined us during our days, and we all have been able to experience wonder.
The wonder of watching a mama bird feed her young.
The wonder of chicks hatching and Mama hens protecting them under their wings. The wonder of them growing up.
The wonder of jumping on a trampoline most nights while the sun sets.
The wonder of taking care of dogs and how they want to be your best friend.
The joy of seeing something new or experiencing something for the first time.
The wonder of playing outside until it is too dark to see.
The wonder of having a bonfire and roasting s-mores.
The wonder of having a long driveway to have races on.
To wonder, is to really live, and its not only for children, but for their parents too.