As a writer I am always looking for inspiration. Today I found it in my daughter, Lily. She has completed her intensive home training! Now that she can read confidently she is off to public school again for fourth grade. She is so excited! She will be in a class “alone” and her three highly competitive brothers will share a teacher. This is one of my favorites. She doesn’t compete with them the way they do with each other. There’s just nothing in common to compete about. My life is simplified for having one set of instructions for the boys and my sweet girl gets to be unique without them telling her how different she is all the time.
This morning we went to school early and met the teachers before class started. Lily was beside herself with joy to see that her teacher had written her name in “the color that matches her eyes!” She made sure everyone she saw knew about it. Her teacher is going to be the perfect match for Lily’s personality.
When her teacher asked if she was happy to be in her own class and not with the boys, Lily said, “Yeah! I have to be with them all the time at home. I need some space to be without them.” She is so definite of what she wants it’s almost funny if it weren’t so inspiring. She told the teacher how she was going to make new friends and how excited she was to be able to have a recess with girls. I wish I could be that focused on my goals and desires.
I followed them all out to the playground and observed them interacting with the other kids. My heart swelled to see them happy to be with me and happy to be on their own, just happy. Isn’t that what all parents want for their kids, happiness? Well, I was watching them have it. It was great until I noticed that everyone out there were boys except my girl. She was following her brothers around until Evan stopped and had a talk with her.
I don’t know what was said because I was too far away. That way I can observe more realistically. It looked like a regular visit until he flung his arm flung over her head and stretched its full length to be sure there was no mistaking which direction he was pointing. If he could have used his arm, head and legs to point he would have. Lily looked where his arm aimed and began walking that way. She stopped walking when she got to the group of girls standing a few feet away.
They welcomed her and they all started talking like they knew each other already. She probably did know them from before we started homeschooling. I know there are lots of kids who remember Lily. I heard them greeting her in the hallway. One mother’s eyes lit up when she saw us. She told me how her son kept talking about how he wished Lily was still going to their school last year. She already has her little group of fans cheering her on.
This made me wonder how many things I say that I am excited about, but when it comes right down to it, I am reluctant to jump into and do it. Even when I already have a foundation begun. Even when it’s right there waiting for me to take a few steps and engage. Even when I have others cheering for me. I still find that I need an extra shove, like a brother pointing out which girls to talk to. How many opportunities do I miss because I am afraid of leaving me comfort zone, or lack direction?
Here I am embarking on a new adventure as I am forced out of my comfort zone into the land of having no kids to care for at home. It’s like I get a ‘do over’ of when they went to kindergarten. I was not at all organized in my thoughts back then. I was just trying to survive and I am sure I missed plenty because of my short sided dreams. My dreams still include the survival goals of feed kids, bath kids, breath, repeat. But they have expanded. I can do more than survive now. This time there will be more. More direction, more peace of mind, more ambition, more quality in everything I do, simply more.
I feel like this is an obvious second chance to become more. I wonder how many other second chances I have not noticed. I am definitely going to be more observant this time around!