September 15

Appreciating “The Moment”


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Time flies, yet sometimes while we homeschool it seems to stand still; especially if it’s during one of those moments when things don’t go as planned.
In my home …that would be every day!  Yep.  I’ll admit it.  Things hardly ever go as I plan.  Whether it’s a battle of the wills with my oldest or the ‘I need’s’ of the youngest and the quiet messes of the middle one with the constant pile of laundry, toys, food requests, dishes and play-dough crumbs.  You know what I mean—life.  It simply derails us from our best laid plans at every turn.
I have tried different approaches. I have gotten frustrated, I have cried and I have screamed, I have threatened to put my kids back in school; but in the end these moments have had one thing in common—they end.  The term “this too shall pass” is well said and quite true and we need to keep it in mind while we homeschool, or we’ll get discouraged, feel like a failure and want to quit.
A wise friend of mine who has successfully homeschooled four children for seventeen years, once said, “You have to look at those instances as moments.  You have to tell yourself, this is a bad moment. If we only focus on the bad moments, over time we will feel like we are failing altogether and will want to quit and put our kids back in school.”
Life is hardly ever all good or all bad.  It is made up of tiny little “moments” both good and bad and the ones we give more credence to become the “whole” of our lives.
A few years ago I experienced this shift between good and bad moments while we were moving a lot due to job changes.  I had just started homeschooling my 8 year old and my 3 year old decided to enter the ‘terrible twos’ late while my 18 mos. old entered the same stage early.  We hadn’t finished un-packing all our stuff yet, and had a great deal of boxes stacked in the garage.  While I taught my older son, the 3 and 18 mos. old would paint the house red…literally!
I knew they were up to something, because they were so quiet.  I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach; you know…the one you get when you just know that they’re up to no good.  I left my wailing 8 yrs. old doing his math, while I searched the house for the other two.
As I stepped into the garage, the feeling intensified and I broke into a cold sweat when I found the box that contained all my art supplies open.  I called for them.  No answer.  The dog came instead and to my great surprise she was pink all pink!  I called them again, angry this time and all I could hear were some giggles coming from the back yard.
When I opened the door I was bracing myself for something, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.  Mural sized Picasso paintings all over the cement patio!  Tonka truck wheels, laden with paint were being pushed as a more practical way of spreading my acrylics.  Green, blue and red fingers, feet and toes baking in the hot Indian Summer sun leaving me no hope of ever getting the paint out of my brand new house!  I overreacted.  In fact, I lost it!
I hosed them down and the dog immediately.  I recruited my oldest and handed him a stiff brush and we spent the rest of the day cleaning out the paint.  Not a single picture was taken.  Not even of the pink dog!  What a shame!
Bad moments now might mean good moments later.  How I wish I could have had my friend’s advice sooner.
Since then I have focused on the good moments and walked away from the bad ones, telling myself that they are temporary.  Thanks to this, my attitude has been a lot more positive and my homeschooling days a lot happier.  I also have learned to keep a camera handy.  Even if you snap that picture with a shaky angry hand, someday you will laugh.

Picture Silvina B. Niccum was born in Rosario, Argentina and raised in Buenos Aires.  Her family immigrated to the US, when she was fourteen.  She attended the University of Utah and studied Spanish Literature. Silvina now lives in Dallas, TX. with her husband and her three homeschooled children.

She is the Author of Veiled, a young adult Christian Speculative Fiction novel.



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