Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fantasy Vs. Reality


Fantasy: I'm up by 7 am every morning and in my apron frying up fresh organic eggs and bacon for my clean, dressed, happy children.

Reality: It's a good day if we're all up by 8. It's a miracle if we're all dressed. And we're much more likely to be tossing out quick bowls of cereal and juice.

Fantasy: My children will learn easily with my gentle teaching.

Reality: My kids get frustrated if they don't get something the first time. Sometimes I get frustrated if I can't teach them something the first time.

Fantasy: My children will be busy all day with dioramas, Science books, nature journals or reading Shakespeare between our hikes, organic baking, and service to the community.

Reality: My children would much rather play with toys, play outside and do what they want to do. I'm not big on crafts and have never seemed to be able to carve out the time I need to volunteer.

Fantasy: My children will be well behaved everywhere we go and be the model for homeschooled children everywhere.

Reality: Bridget has developed the brooding surly attitude of a girl 3 times her age and we're working on breaking her of it. While they're good kids, they're not perfect. And they seem to be especially not perfect when I'd most like them to be.

Fantasy: I will have a clean house, laundry done, kids fed and clean and all in perfect order.

Reality: Days fly by and if I've managed to get through it and get something accomplished at the same time, it was a really good day.

All the fantasies should be abandoned. None of us will ever measure up to them. I'm real and imperfect. So are my kids. But the reality of our life, while maybe not as clean and perfect as the fantasy, has a depth and a joy to it that sterile fantasies could never come close to matching. Our days are organic, flowing, changing, and fun. And it may not be perfect, but the rewards are unmatched. And there's no place I'd rather be than here with them.

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