THE TIME HAS COME, FRIENDS!
This December, Unlearning Blog will undergo exciting changes to reflect my growth as a blogger and new directions for my writing.
Excuses. Those of us who parent young children are good at making them.
Perhaps too good.
The Gratitude Gospel: Day 10
Okay, so I’ve missed a few days. The thing about writing about your life is, well, sometimes you just can’t blog about what happens in your day.
Small things happen that no one else will find interesting.
Big things happen that you can’t really share…at least not at the given moment in time.
But today, I was reminded of the deep love I have for something so fleeting in our technology-mediated world: face-to-face small talk.
Life has been full of goodbyes lately. And, you know, they never really get easier.
Today we part ways with our home – the first address that belonged to just us. The only home our children have ever known.
Something happens the first day that you begin teaching. A connection materializes between your heart and those of your students.
But what about the ones who hate you? What about the ones who hate each other? What about the ones who make your instruction difficult?
“My insurance is gonna run out soon. Truman promised to take care of us.”
When you’re immersed in Appalachia, this statement translates quite easily: I used to work in the mines.
But the coal industry that sustained life in West Virginia – and, if we’re honest, the rest of America – is now idle. Caught in the political crosshairs, tens of thousands of men and women are now without work.
The local pastor with whom our mission team recently served was quick to redirect our sympathy: “I can’t even go through a metal detector – I got metal in my knees and hip!”
It was a light moment before the grim reality of the region intensified: There is no money.
You are a daughter, a sister, and a mother. To the greater world, however, you are largely known as a college football coach’s wife. When we first met, you chose not to volunteer the latter. You positioned yourself as a preschool mother ally and, in doing so, earned my deepest respect.
I know today must be difficult. When your husband’s team wins, the world laughs with you. When they lose, you fear for your life. Last night, the points did not fall in our favor. I didn’t see you at pick-up.
“He’s at a great age for swim lessons.”
It’s one thing to hear such a statement from a stranger, but it’s another when the voice belongs to your three-year-old son’s pediatrician.
Truthfully, I had been preparing myself for this for some time. After all, older, more experienced parents have been warning me since pregnancy: “Just wait until the activities start.”
And now, it seems, the time has come, and the question is felt from all sides.
In which activities will we enroll our children?
I think blogs breed narcissism. But, then again, what social media account doesn’t?
Ironically, this is one of the reasons why I began my blog in the first place. By my third year of parenthood (shortly after my daughter’s birth), I started to feel particularly weary from endless “perfect child”/“perfect mother” musings that I encountered throughout Facebook.
When you are raising your children hours away from family and find yourself daily questioning your parenting abilities, this environment is, quite frankly, damaging.
So I had a pretty bold idea. Why not use a blog to work through my own struggles? Why not highlight how I am coming to peace with imperfection? Why not share my story to, perhaps, empower others?
Except what I didn’t know then is this: Honesty makes people uncomfortable.
Kids will try anything. Really. Just a few weeks ago, my son turned three and we surprised him with the ultimate old soul gift: a hula hoop. Immediately, he was intent on mastering the toy.
If I remember nothing else in all my life, I will forever retain his laughter bouncing off the walls in our home. With each attempt, he learned a new technique. With each attempt, he gained confidence. With each attempt, he overcame his mistakes.
Yesterday evening – just as the sun was fading – I peered at my son with a jealous eye as the hoop made six complete rotations: I want to be that kind of writer.