Stuff That is Actually Going Right

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Message to self: Step back, because then you can pick up stuff that is actually going right.
— Anne Lamott, Some Assembly Required

Early fall weather and Irma aside, we have had a challenging beginning to the start of sixth grade this year. Yesterday Bauer was consumed with schoolwork from 8:30am until 9pm. There were some breaks along the way, and meals, but he carried the burden of many things still unfinished all throughout the day as he slogged through one challenging task after another.

With the tears shed came tender moments shared. We talked about not being Latin scholars now, and not striving for perfection now or later. We discussed proper pacing and what’s an appropriate amount of time to spend on each subject. Bauer cried and I encouraged and he took deep breaths and I felt his discouragement. I praised him for his perseverance and set him to work on typing his paper for ten minutes while I put the girls to bed. Then the two of us sat at the island together and I finished the typing for him as he watched and eagerly waited for the winding down of a long day’s work.

Then around 8:15 last night, TJ helped Bauer begin a Keynote presentation for his history assignment, while I piddled in the kitchen, listening, answering other kids’ calls from bed, and being especially grateful for one less co-teacher responsibility for one day.

If I step back, I can see that yesterday was heart-school as much as homeschool.  These opportunities to struggle and grow are what I hoped this school year would facilitate, even though when it’s happening, it feels sad and hard. Being gentle toward Bauer yesterday and being able to listen and care and engage in his emotional state is all I really want a day like that to include. He can miss most everything he attempts, but if he gets that he is not alone and that he is enough and that he has what it takes to do hard things, then what more going right do we need?