I did everything in my power to delay making a final decision, but when the calendar rolled over to Gabe’s school’s registration deadline, I begrudgingly made the call to inform them that Gabe would not be returning and we’d be homeschooling instead. I expected to feel anxious or to have to hold back tears, but I didn’t. I felt…okay.
The next week, I realized that I maybe needed to file the appropriate form with the state in advance of the district’s start date lest we somehow get caught in the truancy gray area. Our state requires homeschoolers to submit notification after the public districts begin, and I fretted that since this is our first year and we were previously out-of-district, we might fall through the cracks/get reported as truant/not have a clear contact person. So I went ahead and filed the form early, further finalizing our commitment, and that didn’t bother me much, either.
I thought I might be getting off easy on the emotional front, because it wasn’t until Tuesday night–the night when Gabe would have normally attended his school’s open house–that it hit me. And it hit me harder again on Thursday, the day our former school district started. We’re really not doing this! I thought, and not in a fond way. It was more of an isolated, lonely, oh-dear-god-what-have-we-done sort of way. My sister put it best, describing it as an entire plane of existence happening around us, but one in which we no longer existed.
It also felt heavy. I knew this to be true, but I hadn’t realized how comforting it is that my son was connected to a loving, caring community outside our family that looked out for him. I became suddenly aware that our “village” was (at least temporarily) getting much smaller–not classroom teachers to get to know him, no specials teachers to broaden his horizons, no playground and lunch monitors to help him learn to navigate different authority figures. Tahd and I were all those things, and because I’m the one at home, mostly I’m all those things. And that felt like a burdensome load to carry.
I cried a lot last week.
Thankfully, the weekend brought with it lots of busyness and family visits and festivities to distract me from my melancholy. Granted, it also meant I didn’t get done half the things I wanted to complete before school began, but our weekend readied my heart, and I’m not sure heart readiness can be overvalued.
And now, we’ve completed our first day! I’ll write more about that later, but it…was good. This plunge seemed worth the effort. I’m sure every day won’t be so rosy, but today was, and I want to mark that down.
We did it. We are really a homeschooling family. And that is something I absolutely, positively never expected.