I don’t care if it’s ice skating lessons for one of my children, the doctor or the dentist. I seem to always have the same problem—getting there on time. It’s hard enough just getting myself ready, let alone several of my kids. And when we have to be somewhere it usually gets stressful, such as one of them can’t find one of their socks or a baby is crying when I have one foot already out the door.
Sure, it’s fun filling up my calendar: lunch at noon on the 13th, we’ll be there! Teeth cleaning at 3 o’clock on the 20th, no problem. Science class this Friday, exciting! But when the time comes to actually going to these appointments, I’m not as excited as when I made them. One time, I had all seven of my children with me on our way to the dentist, because my two older ones had an appointment. I of course was running ten minutes late; turned into the dentist’s parking lot on two wheels, and pulled in front of the building with a screeching halt. I put our truck in park, looked back at all of my children in our Suburban and yelled,
“Hurry and get out!”
We unbuckled ourselves, the older ones helped the younger ones, and our feet hit the pavement in record time. We all ran in the front door, I tripped over the foyer rug and out of breath exclaimed,
“The Pentons are here for their appointment.”
The receptionist looked at us over her spectacles, then her appointment book, and then back at me with pity and said,
“I’m sorry honey, you’re here too late for us to take you. We’re going to have to reschedule.”
Not to mention the buzz from other Mothers and their children’s busy schedules was the topic of conversation everywhere as if they were heroes;. at my son’s football games, my daughter’s ice skating lessons and even the dentist. Homeschooling your children definitely does not make you immune to an over scheduled life!
But in everyone’s defense, including my own, there is so much out there to entice you.
It was then becoming clear to me that I didn’t want to be a part of that busy life any more. I wanted to go back to living and enjoying life, unhurried. Of course that doesn’t mean that I took my kids out of everything, and we never go anywhere; we go and do things all the time, just more at our leisure than by appointment.
For us, when we are just running errands, going to the library, or visiting a museum, we learn more and enjoy each others company. The mistake was made when thinking they were not going to learn anything, or become somebody of importance unless they were in a structured learning atmosphere and pursued a gazillion different activities.
Children do not need to dabble in a hundred different things to find out what they want to pursue, but rather, maybe one or two at the most and knowing and seeking out themselves, personally.
There are the appointments in life that we must do and keep, such as the dentist. But as far as activities and my children are concerned, I want to be focused on the ones that create purpose and meaning, rather than always being frazzled to “Death By Appointment!”
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