It is very strange for me, all this back to school-ing going on right now! This is the first back to school season since my “retirement” last May and to be perfectly honest it feels weird. Very. Weird. When you’ve homeschooled as long as I have it just doesn’t feel normal to not be beginning a new school year.
For the last several years I took my daughters out to breakfast on the first day of school, usually to Panera Bread. It was a fun way to kick off the new year. We’d then come home and have a short first day of school usually getting acquainted with the new books and new schedules and discussing what the year would look like. There was always that sense of excitement that goes along with new beginnings that the new school year brings.
When my older daughter entered high school in 2007 I felt a certain soberness; her time of homeschooling would be coming to a close. I let that thought slide around in my thoughts for about a minute and then continued on with the here and now. It felt like it was a long time away in the future even though I knew time travels at warp speed as you look back on it.
Last year when my youngest daughter began her senior year it definitely hit me. This would be the last year, her last year homeschooling. Anyone who homeschools knows first hand the hours and hours of investment it takes. And I admit I had very mixed feelings, more excitement at finishing the race rather than disappointment that it would soon be over. Remember I’d been at this for many, many years and was looking forward to more time for myself!
So, it has been a surprise to me to find that now that it’s over I’m not as excited as I thought I’d be.
I well remember the times older women would tell me, “Enjoy your children, they grow up so fast!” Yeah, I know, I know. But guess what? I found out they were right. They do grow up fast. Those nighttime feedings eventually end, and so do the diapers, and climbing like daredevils, and running into the street, and “will they ever learn to read?” and “will they ever learn their math facts?” and “how can we possibly get this book finished by such and such date?” and “will the interruptions ever quit so we can have a ‘normal’ school week?’ and, and, and… Yes, Moms, it will all end much sooner than you thought. I speak from experience.
I decided I’d give the same advice that was once given to me. It will probably fall on deaf ears like it did with me but I’ll try anyway.
This is your season of life, your time to be with your young children, or not so young children. They will grow up and need you less (though, in my experience, they will never NOT need you at all, thankfully).
Try if you can to live in the moment, savoring this precious time with your children making the boring sameness of the moments count. Try not to waste the time you will never be granted again. Try to savor it.
Enjoy this back to school time. Give the kids kisses and hugs (even the teens!) and thank God for where He has placed you and them at this moment in time!
Remember the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A Time for Everything
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.