“I think that we can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.”
– the film Chocolat
I read this quote on "The Art of Simple" blog this week, and for some reason it stuck with me, so I went back and looked again. I think the reason I took notice is because I spend too much time lately thinking about all the things that I don't do.
Our homeschool co-op has just started, and we're doing a study called "The Best Yes" during our R&R hour. This was the first week doing that, and we had to go around the small group circle and talk about how we felt our time was generally scheduled right now. At this point, I feel like we have a pretty good balance with planned activities and calm days at home to school and create and play. We've got Scouts and now tae kwon do on Monday and Tuesday nights, and M-T-W are free of activities during the day other than school and play. Thursday and Friday are out of the house in the mornings for Community Bible Study and homeschool co-op.
I feel like we're in a pretty good place over all right now, but as I was talking in small group, I realized I do live too much with the worry that I'm not doing enough, not balancing enough, not creating the best education for my children, etc.
The freedom to homeschool is a double edged sword. We choose this so that we won't be pushed around by too many external pressures from a traditional school environment. BUT we often trade that external pressure for internal pressure. We have the freedom to create an individualized education for the children in our families, but what do we do with that? Sometimes all the things we could be doing crowd our minds. It's easy to think about those things instead of what we're actually doing and doing well.
I need to be more like that little guy up there. Evan and I had some one on one time this summer while my wonderful in-laws took the other boys. On two of those mornings, we picked out Lego kits to make together. Evan is my Lego obsessed boy, and he is so good at building and creating with all kinds of materials. At this point, he's populating his own Star Wars alternative universe called "Air Wars."
And he's not worried about what he's not doing. He's not focused on all the different galaxies he could be creating if he had the time. Instead, he's sitting the kitchen table with his latest intergalactic vehicle and calmly saying, "I'm a genius." (No worries about low self esteem over here right now. :)
I want to be a little more like him, smiling with satisfaction at what is before me.