unschooling

I remember the day that Lil got a favorite color.  Someone asked her what her favorite color was.  She replied that she likes several different colors and did not have a favorite.  The very opinionated person explained that everyone has to have a favorite.  It’s part of being human.  Lilith was wearing pink that day so she decided that her favorite color was pink.  I was very annoyed with the person for pressing her and for presenting opinion as fact.  The fact that Lil chose pink only added insult to injury since it was obviously gender stereotyping that I did not appreciate.  Lilith was happy to be a participant in a social custom that was new to her, she was also happy with pink.  We both survived the moment and over the next year Lilith learned to appreciate several different shades of pink.  She settled on a vibrant hot pink as her absolute favorite.  I thought I was stuck with this color for the next ten years.  I was quite surprised the next when she announced her new favorite color.  Red.  Over the next year, we spent time discovering and noticing shades of red everywhere in the world around us.  Maroon, bright red, brick red, by the end of the year a very dark maroon won out as the color of the year.  This year started out blue. The color of clouds.  It has evolved to teal, more closely related to green than blue, but in the same family. I love the journey into color exploration and I have taken a serious lesson away from this experience.

When the person presented the idea of favorite color to Lilith I was annoyed with their creating a social box for her to live in.  I did not realize what was actually happening.  The person was displaying a box for me to step out of.  My perspective was stuck in a set of ideas that I have.  I assumed that Lil would live in the same box, but in actuality the person only presented a more in-depth exploration of color for her and for me.  I don’t think the person did it on purpose.  I think that unschooling creates a system for receiving information and interpreting in a way that leads to more exploration.  Instead of receiving information and assimilating it into your being (this process ends when you become an adult or finish your “education”), unschooling means receiving information and exploring the details, unencumbered by a prerequisite set of rules given by a teacher or parent.

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My period is late…

This is not a pregnancy announcement.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with me I will start with a brief history.  In the past three years, I have had 1 stillbirth and two miscarriages.  My doctors assure me that I am perfectly healthy and they have no idea why this is happening to me.  The first positive pregnancy test after his death was tremendously exciting.  It gave me hope. I was determined to do everything right in order to ensure that this baby would join our family and be in my arms.  Imagine my dismay when I had a miscarriage four months into the pregnancy. Grief multiplied by two. A year later, another pregnancy, this time filled with anxiety and fear from day one. I was not surprised when I miscarried.  It just confirmed what I already knew.  I was never going to have another baby.  I have spent the better part of the last year reconciling myself to that idea.  I have three beautiful, healthy, smart kids, a husband who I love dearly and who is the perfect partner for me. It’s dumb to complain about not having four kids right? I mean who wants 4 kids nowadays? No one. Okay, I am sad at the same time every month, but other than that life is good.  I need to get over myself and enjoy my beautiful life.

Then the idea strikes me. What if I am infertile? I am ok with that as an eventuality, but at 36 I am just not ok with the idea that I can no longer have children. It makes me sad. It makes me feel as if I have failed somehow.  And what about my husband?  We married with the idea of having a big family. If I cannot give that to him, then shouldn’t he move on to someone who can?  It isn’t fair that his dream has to die with mine. Of course I am not brave enough to mention this to him. I mean if he hasn’t noticed, I am not going to be the person to bring it up. I am pretty sure that makes me infertile AND evil. I can live with that.  I have to live with that.

Then, about 2 months ago an amazing thing happened.  The opportunity for TWO kids to join our family. I was beyond excited. We talked to our kids about and they were immediately excited about having more siblings. My youngest even made plans for how he would teach his new little sister math.  Now everything seems to be coming together. I will have 5 kids, not four. Obviously this is why I have been through the past few years of hell right. It is so that I would have even more love to give to my children, no matter if they grew inside me or inside someone else. It was a big lesson learned and I spent many nights being thankful for the opportunity to grow and for finally getting the opportunity to have the big family that I have always wanted.

Then, a few weeks later the ball dropped and I had to swallow the fact that my two additions to the family were not going to join us after all.  It’s good news really, since the solution is much better for their overall wellbeing, but now I have to deal with the fact that I am down to three kids again. I am sad, but it’s ok.

And now my period is late. What does that mean?  I  am not happy. I am worried.