Monday, August 14, 2006

Unschooling Through Hardship

These are the times that try a mom's soul, a couple of weeks of misfortune that started with me severely twisting my ankle (leading me to appreciate how helpful my kids can be when I'm laid up on the couch), then progressed to a truly awful day in which three of my kids' pet chickens were killed in front of them by a rogue dog (see my post When Bad Things Happen to Good Chickens on my urban farm blog) and then two days later, I was stung repeatedly on the face by a hornet and ended up with my eyes swelled shut, looking like someone had inflated my head. Through all the miserable days and misfortune, unschooling is a blessing and a balm.

It's a blessing because there's nowhere we have to be and nothing we absolutely have to be doing. When things go bad, we can hunker down together and just hang on for dear life. We're used to doing things for each other, and pitching in as a family, so in tough times, we tend to pull together. Our unschooling friends came together to help us mourn and bury chickens, to take my kids so I could rest, to bring me over to their house on a day when my face was so swollen that I not only couldn't walk around or do anything, I couldn't even read or watch TV or in any way entertain myself in my misery. When things got better, we escaped with friends to the beach for a mid-week retreat from sadness and pain.

On the good days, it's easy to appreciate all of the blessings that unschooling brings to our lives. But I've found that on the bad days, the life we've chosen is even more crucially important. Today, I'm grateful for my kids, my spouse, our friends, and our wonderfully free unschooling life together. And here's to a better week!


Bonny said...

better week indeed!

I'm so glad you've got a good community of friends - that makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Jo said...

What a wonderful post and I truly hope that it is a very long while before you guys have anything even close to the hard week you just had.

Your face sounds like it was so painful. It made me wince just reading about it. Poor thing. :(

Robin said...

Thanks for the kind words, both of you. I actually ended up with poison oak this week, but even despite that, things are definitely looking up.