“Oh, you homeschool? How does it work? Does your teenager have to go to high school? What do you do? What do you teach?”

If I had a nickel for every time I had to endure this questioning, I would be a rich woman. Initially, I felt the need to explain. I felt compelled to have to explain myself. Sometimes I felt I was soothing their fears for my children. A quick resumé of my education, my degrees, my teaching experience, and my philosophy seem to quell the fear in some while sounding like bragging to others. Any hesitation in explaining my plans for my children’s future seems to appear I don’t have a clue of what I’m doing while in reality I have a half of dozen ideas rambling around my mind at any given time because what people don’t understand is that homeschooling is a fluid way of life.

I don’t school at home. I homeschool. There is a difference. The difference in the two make traditionalists clutch their pearls with anxiety. If some governmental agency isn’t dictating what I do on any given day, then I must be leading my children to ruin. If some religious institution isn’t sanctioning my curriculum, then I must be doing something wrong. If someone who is perceived as an authority figure is not issuing my books or checking my children’s work, then I must not be giving my children a quality education.

Ridiculous.

Homeschooling is as old as civilization. The brick and mortar method of schooling where children are divided by age and expected to think, learn, and succeed at the same time and pace as everyone else while responding to a set of bells is fairly new in human history. My children have a 2 to 1 relationship with their teacher. They have a teacher who would go to any length to make sure they succeed. She doesn’t waste time on busy work and worksheets. She teaches lessons and shows how these lessons apply to real life. She also teaches lessons that she explains are important to know to succeed in higher education.

Sometimes I believe people are afraid to live outside the box. I’m not talking about living in mayhem and hoping for the best. I’m talking about walking down another road to get to the same destination.

So I bear the questions while quietly swallowing my annoyance.

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These are the 5 places I will patronize if there were no other choices available.

  1. Subway
  2. Carl’s Jr.
  3. Macdonald’s
  4. Burger King
  5. Weinerschnitzel

The three songs that resonated with me today on my radio.

Faith by George Michael

No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley

Young Turks by Rod Stewart

Watching the breath move in and out

Soothing the organs

Caressing the spirit.

Life fueling breath.

Soul soothing breath.

Inhale

Exhale

Invisible friend

Serving this mortal coil

Until the sun sets

One last time.

This is a buzz phrase that drives me nuts.  Eating clean has a different meaning depending on the source.  If you follow a raw diet, there is an expert who will call that clean eating because your food has not been altered by cooking, pasturization, or perservatives. Having a paleo diet is considered clean eating.  Being a vegan is looked upon as eating clean.  Staying away from processed and frozen foods has also been categorized as clean eating.  

So this year I have made a vow to continue eating clean.  I will continue to wash my fruits and vegetables before I give them to my family to consume.  I will cook my meats and fish at a high temperature to burn away all harmful bacteria so their food will be clean.  If I drop something onto the floor, I will not pick it up and kiss it to God and scream, “Five second rule!”  I will make sure my decades long habit of washing my hands before I eat will stay in place. And for eating out, I will make sure the restaurant has a clean bill of health from the health department. That’s my definition of clean eating.

 

Icy, cold

Wet and sticky

Dry and scratchy

Cutting, biting.

Warming wind

Dancing through browned, curled leaves.

Wilting stem

Dropping petals

Floating like drowned feathers

Onto blue lips.

 

Downton Abbey

Breaking Bad

Mad Men

6 Feet Under

Lost

Fraiser

A Different World

Seinfield

Limitless

Growing up with the motto, “Never let them see you sweat,” sets one up for  failure.  For some reason, it’s believed to be a badge of honor to be a woman juggling the sun, moon, and stars without breaking a sweat.  Somehow it was encouraged to smile, be nice, and never let the world know you are breaking under the pressure.  As a woman, if you cry, you’re looked upon as weak.  If you rage, you’re being hormonal.  If you say you can’t do something, you’re looked upon as being inferior. If you say you can do it all, you’re taken for granted.  If you say you will try, you might as well have said you will do it for the word “try” had fallen on deaf ears.  If you get depressed, you get medicated or…ignored.

So as a woman, you are at 100% if you could cook, clean, raise children, have a career, maintain the physique of a 12 year old boy, balance the Madonna/Whore, be happy, and never complain.  The stress of it all can break you.  I wonder how many women are on medication to maintain a happy medium.  I wonder how many women self medicate to survive another day in the gilded cage society created,  I wonder how many women are silently battling stress and do not know it.  I wonder.

My Picky Eater

My youngest son is a picky eater. When I was breastfeeding him, he refused to drink my expressed milk from the bottle. He needed it from the source which made life a little challenging. My oldest son is a different story. While his brother shunned most foods, my oldest ate most things. 

Dinnertime is hellish whenever I cook which is 90% of the time. I’m a good and predictable cook, but you wouldn’t know it by my youngest reactions. He would rather eat baseline pizza (hello, Pizza Hut), hamburgers, and hot dogs. 

His pediatrician has been telling me that my son will outgrow being picky. Friends tell me to give it time. Experts say to offer a variety of foods, but don’t force him to eat. Well after 10 years I’m still in the midst of the battle with no end. 

I’m trying hard to not be resentful, but when it comes to dining, it seems like my youngest has held the family hostage to his preferences. I like seafood, but going out to a seafood restaurant is out of the question unless there is some chicken fingers on the menu. So many restaurants I enjoy come off the table for choice. Any family outing for a meal becomes a conversation on what’s on the menu the youngest would attempt to eat. It’s frustrating. 

Hide and Seek is for Children

Don’t hide.
Don’t be a person hiding behind an ideology. Don’t be a person hiding behind your religion. Don’t hide behind your friends and family who are more vocal. Don’t hide behind your attack dog while sitting on your hands. Don’t hide behind your keyboard.

Don’t hide.

Do.