we went on a beach trip in october with a bunch of other unschoolers. it just happened to be in isle of palms, near charleston where we used to live. sooo, we got to meet up with a few friends from there (but unfortunately not everyone we would've liked to). my friend, tracy, asked me one night how i went from being a person who rarely liked to leave her apartment to this new person who now travels all over the place going and doing all sorts of things. good question!
one of the reasons we didn't do a lot back then was because we only had one car. and whenever i did keep the car i was so exhausted from the drive to drop scotty off that i often didn't feel like doing anything anymore (it was a long drive). but i realized later that even when scotty got his jeep, i still didn't want to go anywhere too much. it was a habit to just stay home. it was easier. i used to have such a hard time being social.
anyway...so how did i get from there to here?? short answer...my kids. specifically...silas. long answer...well, you might've heard it already but hear it is anyways...
last year, after we first moved into this house, we went for a walk in our neighborhood and discovered a school with an awesome playground. we played awhile and then walked around the school, looking in the windows and talking about it. on the way home silas mentioned that he might want to try going to school sometime. it was surprising and unexpected...so i asked him why he thought he might like to do that. he said there were some other things he'd like to learn (he never really elaborated on that) but mostly he'd like to have more friends. i told him we'd have to think about it and talk about it some more, that our life didn't really fit into the school schedule but we would have to just see what we could do.
in that moment, i realized i could probably be doing more. we were already getting together with friends a few times a month but he was obviously needing more. we talked about the impression of school that's given in some tv programs...that it's a fun place to hang out with your friends and talk and have a good time. i told him that those weren't very realistic depictions of school, about how we were always told "you're not here to socialize" (which is the one thing that runs through my mind...and makes me laugh...whenever the "socialization" question comes up about homeschooling). i realized he was missing the convenience they had when we lived in the apartment in charleston of having friends around everyday and that moving was a big adjustment with having to make new friends again and that getting together with new friends was going to be harder since we are spread out a bit.
he never really brought it up again, he said he was just sort of thinking out loud and hadn't really firmly decided that was something he wanted to do. but it did push me to become more involved with the friends we were making here. we had already signed up for the live and learn conference at this point so it was definitely something we were looking forward to. in fact, it was the one thing samuel brought up when silas was talking about school, he said "you won't be able to go to the conference!!!" but we had no idea how much it would change our lives.
in the meantime, like i said, i made more of an effort to get together with friends. but it was definitely L&L that made the difference. we met so many people, made so many real connections. and the rest is history. we started getting together for more casual gatherings. going to house concerts at the lovejoy's. and there was also ARGH, which we had been to the previous year when it was in its infancy. then we met even more people at the one that followed the L&L conference last year.
i don't know how i came out of my shell. i know that i was still in throw up mode as we pulled into the parking lot for the conference. big group of mostly strangers. oh fuck!! anxiety and panic set in. but i got through it. i learned a lot about myself that week. and the kids had an amazing time. it just turned a light on inside for all of us.
my point is...to answer tracy's question...i had to do some work, go outside of my comfort zone, meet new people and all that, because i wanted to give my kids a bigger, better experience. not that i think what their lives looked like before was bad or not good enough. but it definitely can always be better...most anything can be. and somewhere along the way i started having a good time, no longer feeling like puking, and really opening myself up to the experience and letting people in, and reaching out.
well, i have realized something else. this is just a rambling bunch of twisting and turning making no sense sentences that go in circles.
i don't even feel like editing it. and that's saying something for me!Share