The lesson came over dinner, when we talked about what went wrong. Matty thought it was in not navigating well, not warning me in enough time to make turns, (I did go around blocks quite a few times because of this, which didn't bother me so much) but I pointed out that the greatest frustration was in getting lost due to the incorrect entering of numbers--a simple problem that could have been solved with a double-check. It was an honest mistake the first time, and next time it will be foolish. He got it. He took it in. I'll absolutely give him another chance. But this is really what it is all about, isn't it? Life is the educator! We both experienced the stress and frustration of getting lost, of carelessness, of being late for an appointment, but we were able to look back and glean some value from it. When I told him that I didn't blame him, that I would get him to navigate again for me, that I would continue to give him jobs that required his responsible diligence, he was relieved. He said, "You will!?" as though he really didn't think I would have faith in him for next time...but I do. Even if it means getting lost again.
When I think about "why I do this..." I cannot help but think it has something to do with days like this one--lessons learned hard, with a wise parent-friend to guide them through, to love them in spite of their shortcomings, to celebrate the overcoming of a thing.
It's not that other parents don't do this, because I know they do, and there are many great parents out there who don't homeschool. It's just that I love how it is so naturally woven into our daily life--that education and coming and going and living and experiencing are all the same thing, not compartmentalized into "this happened at home" and "this happened at school." School is life and life is school. Every day.