No one ever told me, before we started homeschooling, about the dark side of it. "One on one education" they said. "Learn at their own pace" they said. But why didn't anyone ever tell me THIS truth?
"You will love this time spent with your children so much that it will hurt when they move on."
When we started our homeschooling journey in Feb. '07, it was just me and Lea. She was 13. We laid on my bed reading "Little House" books. We went to the library. We did all kinds of work in workbooks and such. Then Lainie came home after finishing 4th grade. The 3 of us would sit cuddled up on the couch in our jammies with blankets on, as I read aloud from some amazing books. They took classes all over the place with other homeschoolers. They made some great friends (it's true! Homeschoolers socialize!)
But now it's all changing. Lea is almost 18. She graduated from homeschooling. She graduated from ME.
She just started her post-high school program yesterday. I dropped her off in a classroom full of people with special needs, aged 17 to 26. She will learn life skills, job skills, about money, about independence. She walked right into that brand new classroom like she owned the place! She didn't even say goodbye. Meanwhile I am hanging outside the doorway talking to the teacher. Trying to come up with some more questions so I can hang out a little longer. I walked away with tears in my eyes.
Yes, Lea is ready for this step. We certainly need a break from each other, too! And yet, I am sad. She is my firstborn, my lovely, kind, caring, funny child. I will miss her belly laughs. I will miss seeing her smile all day. I will miss her and Lainie sitting at the table together.
Lainie is almost 15 and is growing up and moving on, too. She seems to be away from home a lot. She is quite in demand as a babysitter. And with her daytime availability, she is a SAHM's dream. So she babysits during the day and many evenings. She has many friends to hang out with and is off making films with them much of the time. She has homeschool classes, too, and online classes. So even when she is home, she is often in her room on her computer doing homework, rehearsing her lines for plays or writing something wonderful.
Our days will be different now, and will continue to change as my babies get older. But no one ever told me that these homeschool days spent together, learning everything together, would change ME. I loved those days of being with each other! I love my girls and who they are becoming. And it just hurts all the more to see them moving on. Sure, I think they have been well-prepared for the world.
But I miss them.
And forget what I said....it wouldn't have mattered if anyone had told me. I would not change our journey for the world.