Wednesday, July 19, 2017

School Year 2016-17: The Wild Ride



How has it happened that we are here in this place? I'm posting a photo of my family with my son who is taller, done with braces, shaving often, driving with a permit, and about to start...college? My daughter is interested in everything, rides horses, is about to try out for a play, wants to take French and creative writing and will soon have her very own pet hedgehog. Between trips to drop them off at  youth group activities, sending them on mission trips and to camp, play days with friends, and friends coming here, I am full with all the life that they are living.

But within this year was a unique set of challenges. It was a season of change and growth and weathering storms. At the start of summer 2016 our closest friends who had been very much a part of our life as a family both socially and scholastically ended their marriage. Sadly, it caused us to go our separate ways. School year 2017 felt a little lonelier. My husband was in the thick of earning his MBA, so his stress levels were high. Matt, who had previously only had me as his teacher, suddenly took on a full course load of classes taught by others. His classes were rigorous and, while he handled it all very well, it was a new kind of stress. Wintertime came and both he and Glen caught the flu. Then the three of them caught colds in the spring. Really decent colds--no messing around. Somehow I avoided it all until one day the week before Molly's 12th birthday, I started feeling run down, then developed a fever. It was unlike any fever I'd ever had, peaking at 104 F on the fifth day. That night the fever broke and the following day I had a circle rash on my arm where I had previously had a bite of some kind. I was immediately seen by my doctor and treated for Lyme disease. Basically, I missed the month of May. It was a slow recovery and I had concerns that we would not even be able go on the dive trip we had planned for June. Thankfully, that was not the case.

That dive trip was like a wall of separation for me from the stresses of the past school year. I had been so sad from the estrangement of our friends, tired from holding more than the usual share of the work, stressed, and even ill. I was aching for the getaway to Honduras, and it was all I could have hoped for; blue skies, blue water, the silence and stillness that diving brings is therapy to me that nothing else can match. There are these moments that I just don't have on land, and I can revisit them time and time again in my mind. Here are a couple of examples:

Squid!

Sharks! (No, I wasn't afraid at all.)

Dive trips also give me the chance to take all the pictures I want of my family--my photo-resistant teenager agrees to a truce while on vacation. 

Now it is time to consider the upcoming school year. We are not participating in any co-op this year for the first time in six years. Molly will be busy with horses and play practice and hedgehog care. Matt will be busy with his first college classes and his final homeschool courses, with the goal of completing high school this year, which would be his Junior year, and I will post more on this very soon. I have just read Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie and as much as I tend to resist books written expressly for homeschooling mothers, I needed this book so much. I didn't even realize that I was in the middle of the desert dying of thirst until someone came along and offered my heart a clear, cold drink. I will share my thoughts and reflections on this in upcoming posts.

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